BURTON Manor A continue to rack up the points in the Staffs & Central Squash League after a resounding victory over Bilston and a very narrow defeat to Four Oaks.
The 5-0 demolition of Bilston began with number five player Simon Ehrenmark – close to match fitness again after an enforced lay off – notching up an easy 3-0 victory.
And number four-string Steve Hole dropped only two points in his 3-0 win as he played accurate and powerful squash that his opponent just could not deal with.
Manor number three Greg Rees and second string Alan McDonald were both kicking themselves after dropping the odd game in their 3-1 victories, before Manor number one Richard Smith finished things off with aplomb and an impressive 3-0 victory.
The same five Manor players acquitted themselves well against high-flying Four Oaks in a tense and lengthy struggle that could have gone either way.
Ehrenmark nicked a tight first game and then lost a marathon second 10-9, but rather than wilt he snatched the third 10-8 and then clung on to win the fourth 9-7 for his best and most satisfying victory of the season.
Hole started like a train in winning the first, but the second slipped from his grasp and he expended a lot of energy in snatching the third 9-7. His opponent took advantage to ease away in the fourth, so it was down to a deciding fifth game and after some arduous, long rallies it was the Four Oaks player who just triumphed 9-7.
Likewise, Rees unluckily went down 3-2, but not before hauling himself back in the game after going two down in a slow start.
He battled to win the next two but it took a lot out of him and he finally ran out of steam in another tight decider.
McDonald got Manor back on level terms, however, against a much younger and lightning quick opponent, just edging all three games with a winning combination of coolness under pressure and shot selection.
So, with the match tied at 2- 2, it was down to top-string Smith, who found himself up against a player specifically brought in from the higher level Warwickshire leagues.
He raised his game accordingly and ran him all the way, but just lost out in one of the closest 3-0 defeats you will ever see.