BURTON Manor ‘A’ got back to winning ways with a hard fought 3-2 victory against Walsall based Sprintz in the Staffs & Central Squash League.
First up, fifth string Andy Laker dominated from the start with some tight length and deft angles, only dropping seven points in winning the first two games.
He switched off momentarily in the third however and allowed his opponent to claw a game back, but easily closed out the fourth to get Manor off to a flying start.
And this was carried on by second string Alan McDonald who ruthlessly dispatched his hapless opponent 3-0 for the loss of only six points with a consistent combination of power, accuracy and court craft that lasted less than 20 minutes.
Next up was number one Richard Smith against a very tricky and unconventional opponent.
Smith is renowned for his fitness and there were some punishing rallies in the first game, but the Sprintz number one just edged it courtesy of some remarkable drop shots that even Smith could not recover.
Smith ground out the second to make it all square, but his opponent’s combination of relentless length and trickery was dragging Smith to all four corners of the court and he had to work much harder for his points.
Always playing catch up, Smith lost the next two games and suddenly Sprintz were back in it.
Manor’s fourth string Scott Middleton is on the comeback trail after a few years out of the game, but he blitzed the first game with his trademark power driving.
His opponent started reading his game however and edged the second, with the third also going to Sprintz 10-8 after some gruelling rallies.
This took its toll on Middleton who is still somewhat short of match fitness and the Sprintz number four pulled away in the fourth to win 3-1.
So, it was left to Manor third string Greg Rees against a much younger opponent and Rees nicked a tight first game 9-7.
The second was much easier as Rees slowed the pace right down to take the sting out of his opponent’s power game, but when he just lost the third after some arduous rallies it was the younger Sprintz player with a spring in his step.
Rees kept his nerve however and went back to his favoured lob and boast game that frustrated his opponent and denied him momentum, eventually closing out the fourth 9-6 to secure the Manor victory.
This deserved win followed a crushing 5-0 victory against basement team Oak Park from Brownhills, even with a weakened team. McDonald, Simon Ehrenmark and Robin Padmore all won 3-0, with Pete Matthews and Luke Underwood only dropping one game..
Smith (pictured) completed a good week by winning the club championship 3-2 against Gavin Burton.