Brave show from Cromer squash team - but opposition is too strong

Martin Sanville and Peter Arbuthnot, both of whom lost 3-0 in Cromer'’s defeat by Fakenham II. Pictu

Martin Sanville and Peter Arbuthnot, both of whom lost 3-0 in Cromer'’s defeat by Fakenham II. Picture: Martin Braybrook - Credit: Archant

Cromer continue to hold on to fourth place in Division Two of the Norfolk SRA Summer Leagues despite losing for the second time this season to Fakenham II.

Technical Director Barry Starling was able to call upon Alex Oliver for only the second time this summer to fill the problematical first string slot as well as veteran Peter Arbuthnot who in his own words 'had played a decent amount of squash at Hurlingham' to play at No.4.

Fellow veterans Martin Sanville and John Chandler once again filled the two positions in the middle order. However despite the best efforts of all four Cromer players a strong Fakenham team ran out comfortable 15-3 winners.

Arbuthnot played well but was not able to cope with the all-action style of the much younger Gary Hastings, who is unbeaten this summer, and, although far from disgraced, went down to a straight game defeat.

Chandler looked as though he was going to take the first game against Jason Smith but the Fakenham captain, who is also unbeaten this summer, just did enough to edge the game 14-12 and then, as Chandler tired, went on to take the second and third games to also win 3-0.

At No.2 Sanville was up against the former Norfolk SRA League secretary Kevin Blake and like Chandler had chances to win a marathon first game before narrowly losing it 16-14 and then also lost the next two to become the third Cromer player to lose 3-0.

The match of the evening was the first string match between Oliver and Connor Doy in which each of the five games had a 13-11 scoreline. Oliver won the opening game but was pegged back to 1-1 and again to 2-2 before he took the deciding fifth game to win his match 3-2 and prevent Cromer suffering a whitewash. His win moved him up into the top 75 in the county rankings.

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Afterwards Starling said: 'On paper it looks as though we were well beaten but this wasn't the case. Peter Arbuthnot gave his all against a very fit opponent and both JC and Martin Sanville could easily have got games. Alex Oliver had a tremendous match and hopefully he will be able to build on this.'

Results: Alex Oliver beat Connor Doy 13-11 11-13 13-11 11-13 13-11, Martin Sanville lost to Kevin Blake 14-16 9-13 10-13, John Chandler lost to Jason Smith 12-14 8-13 4-13, Peter Arbuthnot lost to Gary Hastings 7-13 4-13 9-13.