Report by Adam Coates
Northern 3 played hosts to Eldon 1 in a bottom of Division One battle on Monday night. Both teams were fielding
weakened teams, Northern were without their no.1 and no.2, while Eldon were without Steve Carr their no 2.
The 1st game of the tie saw the no.5 players, and long-time friends, Gary Law (Northern) and Alan Coates (Eldon) take to court. Law took the match relatively comfortably 3-0, with Coates not playing his best squash by his own admission.
The 2nd game of the night was between the teams 4th string players; Northern’s Stan Brown and Eldon’s resident frenchman Guy Eniona. Eniona used his flair and fitness to come out on top, taking the games 11-9, 11-2, 11-6 and leveled up the fixture 1-1.
Game 3 saw the number 3s, Gary Armstrong (Northern) and Will Benson (Eldon) battle it out. Benson took the initiative in this fixture and did just enough to edge out Armstrong and win 3-0; 11-6, 11-7, 11-9.
The penultimate game pitted no.2s Iain Loughran (Northern) and Mark Steven (Eldon) against each other. This was more competitive than the previous games. Loughran won the 1st game 11-7, then Steven responded and took the 2nd 11-7. Steven then pushed on and closed out the 3rd and 4th games, 11-6 and 11-5 respectively. This put Eldon 3-1 up in games overall, meaning they won the fixture with 1 game to spare.
The final game of the tie was the closest of all the matches, with Derek Collins trying to salvage some consolidation points for Northern and Eldon’s Milo McKenzie aiming to put extra daylight between the 2 teams in the table. The first 2 games went 1 a piece, Collins took the 1st 11-9 and McKenzie won the 2nd 11-3. Collins had to make a big push in the 3rd, but it paid off as he beat a frustrated McKenzie 11-8 to go 2-1 up. McKenize came back firing and sent the match into a decider, after winning the 4th game 11-6 with some more consistent play. This pattern of play continued in the final game as Milo fought his way to a 3-2 victory and gave Eldon a 4-1 win in the fixture.
This was Eldon 1s first victory of the season, and the 17 points they accrued put some real breathing room between themselves and Northern 3, who are yet to win a game this season.