Burton Manor Sports Association

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WINTER TEAM NEWS 2011-2012

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Burton Manor lose top spot in league last gasp final

A strong team from Burntwood put an end to the winning run Burton Manor had been enjoying in the Staffs and Central Squash league and to their hopes of clinching the league. However, typical of most of the matches this season, it was another close encounter.


Playing at Burntwood, the Stafford team got off to a nervous start against one of the top teams in the league. Simon Ehrenmark was first on court and was well into the second game before he began to find some rhythm. Playing some strong drop shots he forced his way back into the match to even things up. However his opponent looked calm and efficient as he regained control and, despite Ehrenmark’s dogged efforts, Burntwood claimed the first points of the evening.


Colin Gallow and Alan McDonald were next on court hoping that between them they could secure much needed points for their league aspirations. Gallow’s match went much the way as the first, with Gallow losing the first game. He recovered well and looked in control as he won the second with some ease. However, his opposite number played with increasing precision and once again Gallow found himself playing a defensive role, losing 1-3. McDonald was involved in an edgy match, peppered with arguments with the referee and a number of pushes and shoves. McDonald never looked in danger of losing the match and his consistency and power was too much for his opponent as he notched up another well-deserved 3-0 win.


The ever-improving Gavin Burton relishes these sorts of encounters and took little time getting into his match. Starting at a very high tempo he blasted the ball to the back corners and had his opponent scrambling from the start. Having won the first game with some ease, Burton attempted to maintain the high level of winners in the second, but a number of unforced errors seemed to frustrate him and he lost the following game. His improving match temperament showed in the latter stages, however, as he regained composure and secured a very good 3-1 win.


At 2-2, it came down to the final match of the evening – and how different things might have been. Burton Manor’s number one, Richard Smith, had only the weekend before completed 3 marathons in 3 days for charity. And yet as enthusiastic as ever, he stepped onto court to put in a creditable challenge. It was a titanic battle against a young, talented shot-maker characterised by long, exhausting rallies. Smith made a superhuman effort and at 2-2 it was still anybody’s game. The Stafford supporters held their breath as it looked like Smith would grab a sensational win. But somehow his opponent kept finding the nick and the game was gone, giving the Burntwood player victory.


With little to separate the top three teams in the league the result meant that Burton Manor ended the winter season in 3rd place.

 

WINTER SQUASH LEAGUES

TEAM

PLAYED

POINTS

 

 

 

Burntwood

16

270

Four Oaks

16

268

Burton Manor

16

266

Cannock

16

218

Bilston A

16

178

Bilston B

16

150

Sprintz A

16

133

Sprintz B

16

90

Oak Park

16

75

 

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Burton Manor squash team continue to impress

Heading towards the latter stages in this winter’s Staffs and Central League, Burton Manor are well placed to challenge for top honours. In the latest encounter, the Stafford team travelled to Bilston, and put in another good, solid performance.

Simon Ehrenmark and Terry Horne started proceedings, both taking control of the early exchanges. Ehrenmark continued in the same vein throughout, completely dominating his opponent to ensure maximum points for the Stafford team. Horne, on the other hand, had to work much harder as his opposite number recovered well to challenge in the following games. However, Horne retained control and clinched a well-earned 3-0 win.

Colin Gallow and Alan McDonald were next on court, and both went about their matches in a businesslike manner. Gallow looked comfortable throughout as he dominated his opponent to cruise to a 3-0 win. Once McDonald had become accustomed to the slightly unresponsive court, he controlled the match leaving the Bilston team going into the final match still looking for a point.

The big hitting Richard Smith made a hesitant start, also finding the new courts hard to get used to. Having closed out the first game by just 2 points he then settled into a rhythm, got the measure of his opponent and took all three points – making it an impressive clean sweep for Burton Manor.

 

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Burton Manor beaten by close rivals

Oak Park, beaten 4-1 only the week previously by Burton Manor, turned the tables when the Stafford team visited the Sutton Coldfield side last week. This put an end to the winning run Burton Manor has been enjoying in the Staffs and Central Squash league. However, typical of most of the matches this season, it was another tough encounter.

None of the team played particularly badly, but they all seemed to lack the extra edge as one by one they the lost key points that are so crucial to winning games. Steve Mitchell played with tenacity in a match of fluctuating fortunes, losing narrowly in the fifth to go down 2-3. Colin Gallow started slowly and, at 2-0 down looked in danger of never getting started. However he rallied well and came back strongly, winning the final three games fairly comfortably to take the match 3-2.

Alan McDonald was involved in the longest match of the evening and, at 2-1 looked as though he might clinch another match for the Manor. However his opposite number had other ideas and played a brilliant fourth game to level the match and take it into a decider. The final game was breathtakingly close, and at 8-8 a captivated gallery watched a serve bounce off an exhausted McDonald’s back – to bring a great match to a slightly odd conclusion.

Despite being 2-1 down in matches, the Stafford team still expected Gavin Burton and Richard Smith to secure wins. Burton started at a very high tempo, but his opposite number always looked unruffled and found the corners when it really mattered. Burton rallied well to take the second, but never seriously looked like troubling his opposite number as he went down 1-3. The week previously, Richard Smith had comprehensively beaten the Oak Park number 1, but the rematch was just as emphatic – in reverse. Looking composed on his home court, the Oak Park player drilled the ball into the corners, never allowing Smith to take control of the match. As ever, Smith fought for every point, but his opponent earned a well-deserved 3-0 win and secured a 4-1 win for the Sutton Coldfield team.

Burton Manor sweep Sprintz aside

Burton Manor showed real class as they made it a clean sweep against visitors Sprintz A in the South Staffs and Central squash league.

Getting the matches underway for the Stafford-based team was the energetic Nick Fudger, whose enthusiastic approach never allowed his opponent to settle into any sort of rhythm. Throughout the match, Fudger never seemed under any pressure and cruised to a comfortable 3-0 win.

Simon Ehrenmark was equally impressive on court 2. His opposite number looked very good in many of the early exchanges, but Ehrenmark’s pace managed to force a high error count. Throughout the match, Ehrenmark gradually began to target his opponent’s weakness and in the end it was another comfortable 3-0 victory.

Alan McDonald stamped his authority in his first game, using a succession of powerful drives and attacking boasts. He never let up and, although he battled bravely, his opponent finally went down 3-0.

Meanwhile on Court 1, Gavin Burton was involved in the contest of the evening. Having dropped the first game, the Stafford player fought back strongly to take the next two and looked in complete control in the fourth. Then inexplicably his concentration wandered and he gifted the game to his opposite number. Back on track again in the fifth, Burton pushed home his advantage and closed the match 3-2.

Now going for a clean sweep, Richard Smith was on last. Playing to a crowded gallery, the big hitting Smith took on the visitors’ number one in fast, attacking game. Striking the ball with ferocious intensity, both players tried to get the upper hand. There was very little in it in the first, with Smith just clinching the lead. The second game followed a similar pattern – no finesse, just sheer power. Finally, with his opponent tiring in the third, Smith grabbed the opportunity and closed out the match for an impressive 3-0 win and earning a clean sweep for Burton Manor.

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Burton Manor comfortable against Four Oaks

Now well into the second half of the Staffs and Central League season, Burton Manor hosted Four Oaks keen to maintain their impressive record this season.

John Lloyd and Paul Faulkner got proceedings underway, with Lloyd playing his first match in a number of weeks. He quickly settled into the game and looked like he had the better of his opposite number as he cruised comfortably through the first game. And then a string of unforced errors by the Stafford player allowed his opponent back into the game and it became a see saw affair, as they shared games. The pendulum swung Lloyd’s way in the final game giving him a curious, but well earned 3-2 victory.

On court 2 Paul Faulkner was doing his best to run his opponent into submission. Playing percentage squash, Faulkner had his opposite number scrambling around the court trying to stay in touch. To his credit he came back well to take the second, but the steady Faulkner regained control and looked comfortable in closing down the match to win 3-1.

Alan McDonald and Gavin Burton were next on court with McDonald taking on a young, but very competent opponent. However, the difference in strength, speed and experience between the two players became apparent in the opening exchanges and proved too much for the youngster. He had no answer to the McDonalds pace and control and the Stafford player cruised to a comfortable 3-0 win.

Burton, on the other hand, was involved in a scrap. Having lost the first game, he came back well to regain parity. However, whenever he came under pressure Burton reverted to power play, misfiring and spraying the ball around the court with little control and finally going down 3-1.

At 3-1 up in matches, it was now a case of gaining as many points for the team as possible in the final match of the evening. Richard Smith has been a solid campaigner for Burton Manor throughout the season and once again he performed brilliantly. Making very few errors, he ran down every shot, forcing his opponent to earn every point. Playing a very good opponent, Smith played at such pace his opposite number was rarely able to attack. As a result his opponent went for more and more winners, his errors increased and Smith had a stranglehold on the game, earning a well-earned 3-0 victory and an excellent win for Burton Manor.