Cromer squash team avoid wooden spoon

It was a good week for Cromer Squash club as they convincingly beat bottom of the table Bannatyne's II 14-6 in their Anaco sponsored Norfolk SRA Division One match, a result which means they are virtually certain of avoiding finishing in the bottom spot themselves.

With just one match remaining – away to neighbours North Norfolk – the team just need a further eight points to be absolutely certain of avoiding the dreaded last place and that is in the unlikely event that the Bannatyne's team are able to take maximum points from their two remaining fixtures.

Technical Director Barry Starling and captain Richard Keeble were able to field a strong team for the penultimate match of the summer with Mike Tudor, who had been unavailable for the two previous matches, filling the No.1 slot, club champion Keeble at No. 2 followed by Ben Herrieven and Henri Paul at the bottom of the order.

After a run of five successive defeats Paul was low on confidence but being able to drop down to play the fourth string match was just what he wanted and his ability and determination came to the fore as he won a hard fought match 3-1. On the adjoining court Herrieven, who had played the last two matches for the second team in a bid to regain both his confidence and his fitness, struggled at the start of his third string match and when he lost the first two games he looked to be heading for a straight game defeat.

Some sound advice and guidance from the balcony at a critical time was just what was required and after trailing 1-4 in the third game Herrieven put the advice into practice as he won the game 9-4 and then took the fourth and fifth games to take the match 3-2.

With two wins under their belts Cromer's victory was almost assured and Keeble, playing at 2, was simply too good for his opponent as he eased his way to a straight game victory while in the final match of the evening Cromer's hopes of a maximum were thwarted by injury when Tudor, who was up against one of the leading young players in the county, pulled a muscle in the third game of his match and sensibly decided to retire at the end of the game and conceded the match 3-1.

Starling said afterwards: 'This was a good result and an important one. It certainly helped having Mike Tudor available again as Keeble was a 'banker' at No.2 and both Herrieven and Henri Paul benefitted from dropping one place in the order.

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'Both of them have had, by their own high standards, some 'iffy' results this summer but they came good this week.'

Cromer's final match of the summer is away to North Norfolk while the second team travel to Broadland Hunters for their last match as they aim to finish top of Division Three.

Results: Mike Tudor lost to Jordan Creed 9-10 9-7 0-9 retired, Richard Keeble beat Shaun Nicholas 9-1 9-7 9-1, Ben Herrieven beat Anthony Baines 9-10 5-9 9-4 9-1 9-4, Henri Paul beat G)areth Jones 9-5 5-9 9-4 9-7.