Winchester Throw Title Race Wide Open
Winchester Men's first team roared back into contention for the Hampshire Premier Division title with a convincing 4-1 victory at home to closest rivals Lee-on-Solent.
Wes Cusick got Winchester off to a flying start, comfortably despatching Alex Kershaw in three straight games, but Lee were soon back in the hunt, British O50 finalist Jon Foster just being edged out by Brandon Hanley in five tight games.
Next on court Phill Bull looked at first to be engaged in a close battle with England junior Robbie Keefe, but with the game locked at 1-1, the irrepressible Bull upped the pace, hitting a series of outrageous wrong-footing winners to take the third and fourth games 11-1 11-4 and put Winchester firmly in the driving seat.
Adam Corcoran’s progress over the last two seasons has been quite remarkable, but even the England U19 no.9 could be forgiven for thinking he had met his match as he quickly found himself 2-0 down to world Top 200 ranked Micah Franklin. But Corcoran has astonishing resilience and there is seemingly nothing he cannot return with interest on court. He simply refused to buckle and took the next three games 11-9 11-9 11-7 against an increasingly despairing Franklin to clinch overall victory for the Bereweeke Road side.
With the match won, it was up to no.1 Robert Downer (pictured) to apply the coup de grace for the home side and this he did in style showing just why he has recently risen to a world ranking high of 122, overpowering four time National Racketball champion Tim Vail in four entertaining games.
So a crucial win for Winchester avenging their only defeat so far this season in the reverse fixture and, with the two teams locked neck and neck with six games to go, ensuring a thrilling finale to the season.