Big Win For Liddell...
Winchester's Sigvaris-sponsored seventh team stormed back into top spot in Hampshire Division 5 with a thrilling 3-2 victory at fellow promotion hopefuls Avenue III.
Supersub Chris Liddell (pictured) was first on court and he set the scene with an extraordinary comeback against Avenue skipper Andy Franklin. After dropping the first two games and seemingly on the verge of total exhaustion, Liddell drew on hitherto unknown and untapped reserves, digging deep to take the next three games against a disbelieving and increasingly despairing Franklin.
Captain Jonathan Fox was unable to build on this lead however, going down fighting in four games against the in-form Walter Chapman. Winchester were not to be denied however. The fast-improving Pete Glyn-Jones found himself in a tough encounter with Phil Brooker, both players going at it hammer and tongs to reach 2-2, at which point Glyn-Jones was offered lots of timely although somewhat conflicting advice from his concerned team-mates. Happily he ignored all of it, pulling out some beautifully timed and executed lobs to win through 9-4 in the final game, credit also being due to the fair play of Brooker who made a couple of very sporting calls when right up against it in the fifth game.
Meanwhile Alex Sinclair found himself embroiled in an equally ding-dong battle against Wayne Evans on the adjoining court. At 1-2 and 2-8 in the fourth game all seemed to be lost for Sinclair...but six saved match balls later he took the game 10-9 before running out a relatively comfortable winner 9-4 in the fifth against a distraught Evans.
Club Squash Chairman Trevor Leahy was always going to find the going tough against Avenue no.1 and former Winchester player Jim Bain, and so it proved, Bain squeezing a tight first game 10-8 before running out a comfortable winner in straight games.
Nonetheless a great victory and good haul of 15 points for the team to keep them on course for back-to back promotions, albeit with some crucial games to come over the next few weeks which will decide their destiny.