A gritty perfomance earns Longridge a superb victory over old rivals

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Northwest Counties Squash League

Longridge 1 18, BLACKPOOL CC 4 8

What a game and what a superb victory for the Longridge team, with two games standing out to earn that win from Steve (Griz) Taylor and Alec (Dark-Destroyer) Hesmondhalgh, as the report will reveal.

At number five, Robert Ingham, set off well taking the first game 15-12, mixing up his shot-range. However, his opponent quickly got wise to this tactic and started to adopt the same tactics and this helped him take the second game 15-7 to level up this match. With both players still adopting the same tactics, the rallies were close, but it was the Blackpool player who took the next two games 15-12, 15-13 and with it a 3-1 win to put Blackpool one game up.

Number four Bill Holmes took on a player with a wealth of experience and so ensued a battle of witts. But Bill was in no mood to exchange shots at the front of the court, as his opponent had a knack of ending rallies with some great drop-shots. So Bill adopted a direct approach keeping the ball to the back corners of the court. This tactic paid off well, with Bill clinching victory 15-5, 15-10, 15-12 and a 3-0 win to level up the match scores.

So came the turning point in the night’s proceedings. Number three Alec Hesmondhalgh took on a player well up for this encounter and the Blackpool player set off in blistering style, hitting the ball well and playing some great accurate drives. So it wasn’t long before the Blackpool man took the first two games 15-10, 15-11 for a 2-0 lead. However, the Dark-Destroyer had other ideas and he dug in to produce a gritty come-back, the rallies intensified and back he came, taking the next two games 15-13, 15-10 to level the scores at two games each. Into the fith game and with the Blackpool man taking a 9-7 lead, Alec yet again dug in well and came back to snatch victory 15-12, leaving the Blackpool player distraught at loosing this encounter. This was a truly brilliant come-back by the Dark-Destroyer.

The thrills had not ended there though, with another superb turning-point on the horizon. Number two Steve (Griz) Taylor took on a player with great racket ability in his armoury. So again it was not long before another Blackpool player had gone 2-0 in front. But Steve would not give up in this game and came storming back, taking the next two games 15-13, 16-14, to level up the game two each. Into the fifth game and with both players giving it their all, it was Steve who clinched victory 15-12 for yet another truly amazing come-back on the night and giving Longridge a 3-1 lead and those vital bonus points.

Number one Pete (The Boy-Ash) Ashworth took on a much improved player and it was the Blackpool man who took the opening game 15-8. Pete fought back to take a close second game 19-17 and this appeared to break the Blackpool player’s concentration, with Pete taking the third game 15-6. With both players playing some tight squash, especiallly their back-hands, the rallies intensified, but it was Pete’s nerve that held out a he took the fourth game 15-11 for a 3-1 win.

So it was third from top Blackpool against fourth from top Longridge, with Longridge winning 18 points to 8. The turning points coming in Steve Taylor and Alec Hesmondhalgh’s games, to break the Blackpool players hearts.