Things are starting to get quite interesting in the Christchurch Men's Open Squash Interclub as we get closer to the end of the 10-round round-robin. With no finals to play, it will be the team with the most points after round 10 and this week we've seen the top of the top tighten up a great deal.
Adam Odering lost to Joe Williams 0-3
Thomas Jordaan beat Matt Smith 3-0
Nathan Smith lost to Stephen Gardner 2-3
Christchurch 2 won 2-1
Football 1 who have been leading the competition by quite a lot over the previous 8 weeks but after losing this week and the previous week they have now give Christchurch 2 a sniff at victory. Christchurch 2 needed 3 more points than Football 1 to give themselves a chance, and Adam Odering and Joe Williams took to court first. Ordering who has lost very few matches in interclub all year seem to have a case of end of season blues as he made a few uncharacteristic mistakes which left the door open for Williams to take to first. Williams had to play well to get the next and the third set was very tightly contested as Williams got a lead but Odering fought back as a few errors crept into Williams' game. However, Williams held on to win 3-0. Next was Matt (Mario) Smith and Thomas Jordaan and Jordaan, who will be the No.1 for Football in their B grades team at national Superchamps, must've taken Mario's powerups as he made the team scores 1-1 in quick fashion. Jordaan was looking in fine form as he hit shots that even Oliver Johnston would be happy to hit as Smith found himself picking the ball out of the nick regularly. Last on was Stephen Gardner and Nathan (Luigi) Smith. This was the closest match of the night as these two had contrasting styles but still very evenly matched. Gardner who is more partial to playing drops was able to counter Luigi's barrage of boasts but as the match wore on Luigi started to cover his drops and when the match evened out at 2-2, the season hung in the balance for both teams. This is where Gardner came into his own as he came out and took a whopping 7-0 lead, it was cruise control from there, giving Christchurch 2 the win and an important 3 points to keep in contention for the title.
Charlie Barker lost to Jason Oxenham 1-3
Richard Hollows lost to Tim Preston 0-3
Joseph Petelo lost to Ray Tahana 1-3
Christchurch 1 won 3-0
This encounter had a little less riding on the result but there was still a great effort put out by these teams. Both Barker and Oxenham have had rather quite seasons but with Master's National getting closer Oxenham has been getting his squash shoes on more regularly. Oxenham's hard-hitting might was too much for Barker as he looked to hit winners more often which helped him be more clinical in getting past the difficultly the Barker can be. Oxenham however still has some work to do before Master's Nationals as he let slip a set to Barker, luckily that was all as he won 3-1. Petelo and Stingray Tahana took to court next and this was tipped to be a close match. The match was evenly posed at 1-1 and the Stingray worked hard to get the next set to gain and 2-1 lead. Petelo eager to get stay in the match looked to put in similar effort in the fourth but as luck would have it his calf gave way, meaning the end of the match and a troublesome outlook for Petelo with B grade Superchamps in the near future. Tim Preston and Richard Hollows took to court to end the night and the match was so one-sided that the pair after Preston's 3-0 victory decided to keep playing for the match practice
With 2 weeks left to play it looks like we may have the most interesting squash left to play. Football 1 has a bye this week meaning if Christchurch 2 get full points, they will slip ahead of Football 1 at the top of the table. Meanwhile Football 2 has no chance of avoiding the wooden spoon meaning if Football club plays their cards right, they have a chance of picking up the trophy and the wooden spoon for the Christchurch Men's Squash Open.