Cromer squash team turn in impressive performance to beat fellow high-flyers

John Baker, who moved up the playing order and was involved in a titanic second string match of 121

John Baker, who moved up the playing order and was involved in a titanic second string match of 121 rallies. Picture: Martin Braybrook - Credit: Archant

Cromer turned in arguably their best performance of the season when they took on fellow high- flyers Harleston in a Norfolk SRA League Division Three match and defeated their visitors 19-7.

They did it as well without their most consistent player Phil Godfrey, who was struck down with illness on the day of the match.

That meant John Chandler was pressed into emergency service to fill the fifth string slot while John Baker, Matthew Jordan and Ross Murray were all forced to move one place up the order.

Due to injury Chandler had not played a match for three months but after putting himself through a late fitness test he declared himself fit and able to play and at one stage it did look as though he might pull off an unlikely win. After losing the opening game of his match he won the next two but then understandably tiredness took over and he had to settle for an honourable 3-2 defeat.

On the adjoining court Baker was involved in a titanic struggle in his second string match. He opened up a 2-0 lead and looked to be heading for a straight game victory when he served for the match in the third game. His opponent, however, showed tremendous resilience to claw the game back 19-17 and when he drew level after winning the fourth game 13-11 it looked as though Cromer would lose their second match. Baker however is an experienced player and he won the decisive fifth game 13-7 for an extremely close 3-2 victory in a match of more than 120 rallies.

Ross Murray is in his first full season of competitive squash and he is now learning how to close games out. This was apparent in his fourth string match which he won 3-1 with two of the games finishing 15-13 and then in the third string match Matthew Jordan turned in a good performance to also win 3-1, which ensured Cromer would take the bonus points and move above Harleston in the table.

Alex Oliver wrapped up a highly satisfactory evening as he won his first string match in straight games — a match which was more straightforward than the games score might suggest.

Most Read

Results: Alex Oliver bt Mike Earrye 14-12 13-7 14-12, John Baker bt Dale Foreman 13-7 13-8 17-19 11-13 13-7, Matt Jordan bt Richard Self 13-11 13-10 10-13 13-9, Ross Murray bt Sam McCluskey 11-13 15-13 13-6 15-13, John Chandler lost to Justin Martin 6-13 13-10 13-7 3-13 8-13.