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Cromer beaten narrowly after failing to raise full side

PUBLISHED: 09:18 07 December 2017

Phil Godfrey (left) and John Baker after their final.

Phil Godfrey (left) and John Baker after their final.

Archant

A month ago Cromer were sitting proudly at the top of Division Three of the Norfolk SRA Squash League after a four match unbeaten run.

But now they have lost two successive matches and have dropped down to third place, having played one more match than the two teams immediately above them.

They have not been helped by a sudden unavailability of key players and, due to injuries, illness, work commitments and family commitments they were forced to travel to Norwich to take on East Anglia IV with only four players. Although playing with one player short they were only just beaten 16-8 and could easily have won the match.

Ross Murray, who is still relatively new to competitive squash, was forced to move up the order to play the fourth string match and went down to a 3-1 defeat. In the absence of John Baker, who was one of those with work commitments, Matthew Jordan again filled the third string slot and when he won the second game of his match to draw level and had a succession of game balls in the third game he looked to be heading for victory.

Sadly he eventually lost that game 12-14 to go 2-1 down and then in another extremely close game lost the fourth game 15-13 to also lose 3-1.

In contrast Phil Godfrey, who was runner-up in the recent club Over 35 tournament, is enjoying a fine run of form and after just winning a tight opening game 17-15 comfortably won the next two to win 3-0 in what was his sixth successive victory.

At No 1 Alex Oliver is having something of a mixed season and after he went 2-0 down he looked to be heading for defeat. However he recovered well to win the next three games to win the match 3-2 which left Cromer rueing what might have been.

Technical director Barry Starling said: “It was annoying that we could only field four players but at least five of our middle order players had genuine reasons why they couldn’t play. I nearly played the fifth string match myself but I am far from being fully fit and it wouldn’t have helped the scoreline at all.”

Results: Alex Oliver beat Simon Elphick 13-15 4-13 13-9 13-8 13-4, Philip Godfrey beat James Thacker 17-15 13-8 13-8, Matthew Jordan lost to Olli Phillips 8-13 13-9 12-14 13-15, Ross Murray lost to Phil Ringwood 8-13 13-11 6-13 7-13, walk-over to Clifford Fox.

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