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No wins for LDSC

Luton and Dunstable Squash club took on Henley Squash club in the first round of the National Club Championships on Friday evening. This was the first time the side had entered the prestigious National event that draws out the best players across the country.

Number 1 string Steve Davies got the evening off to the perfect start with a 3-0 win over Henley's Luke Power. The match was fast paced but Davies always had control and the win was comfortable enough in the end.

It soon became clear however that Henley were strong in depth and Numbers 4 and 5 strings Scot Adam and Dean Pike were on the wrong end of 3-0 defeats. Both Scot and Dean have excellent records this year in the Beds County league but in truth their opponents from Henley were a step up and the strongest they have faced this year.

That left Henley 2-1 up and LDSC had to win the final two matches at 2 and 3 string to progress into the next round. Unfortunately, despite playing well and pushing his opponent in each game Matt Mulara was beaten 3-0 by the experienced Simon Street. The final game was the best of the evening and very evenly matched. LDSC number 2 Kachinga Kabwe lost out 3-1 in the end with both players looking extremely tired from a gruelling battle.

Captain Steve Davies said, "Whilst it is disappointing to lose in the first round we can have no complaints about the final result. This is the pinnacle of club squash in the country and hopefully, we can come back stronger next year. It's been a great experience and a sign of the growth in the sport and the club that we can field teams in competitions such as this"

Back in the County League, both LDSC sides lost, the 1st suffering their first reverse of the season away to Open University I, whilst the 2nds went down at Bunyan

For the firsts, the match started very much as planned with a 3-0 win for number 1 string Steve Davies against Wayne James.

Steve Wells was up against arguably one of the best number 5's in the division and started fantastically well. For the first two games almost everything Steve hit seemed to go exactly where he wanted and he raced into a 2-0 lead. Laurie Collick then upped his game and Steve could not keep the winning shots coming and eventually lost 3-2.

Number 2 string Matt Mulara was also expecting a tough match against the classy Ben Shakespear. Their previous encounter was a thrilling 3-2 match and so the rematch was eagerly anticipated. Ben however, looked fitter and sharper than last year whilst Matt has been suffering with shin splints over the past few
weeks and not played as much as he would have hoped. The match was full of quality squash and long rallies but Matt was never able to get in front of Ben Shakespear in any of the games and ultimately ran out of steam in a 3-0 defeat.

Dean Pike was a firm favourite to win at number 4 string against Terry Saunders, especially after playing so well in the first game and moving swiftly into a 1-0 lead. The key moment happened in the 2nd game though when Dean pulled a groin muscle and whilst he battled on gamely his opponent was well aware of the injury and took full advantage with plenty of drops and boasts. Dean lost 3-1 and
left LDSRC 3-1 down and the match gone.

Scot Adam was last on court against the awkward style of Dave Gibson. Despite having already lost the match Scot played very well indeed and secured 3 extra points for the team beating Dave 3-2. His opponent pulled a calf muscle at the end of the 4th which made the 5th just a formality for Scot.

Next week the team look to get back to winning ways against Flitwick.

The LDSC second team slumped to a disappointing defeat away at Bunyan.

The panelled back wall at Bunyan gives the home side a clear advantage against any visitors and the team will learn a lot about coping with "hostile" conditions in future.

Kachinga Kabwe returned to winning ways this week with an impressive win over the experienced Matt Towers. The watching crowd couldn't help but be impressed with Kachinga's fluid movement and relentless fitness.

In reality all the other matches were fairly straightforward with the home side racking up a comfortable home win, with Carl Bates feeling well below par in his match. Only Adrian John put up any sort of resistance, but Bob Amos showed his experience at key points in the match and was always on top.

Next up for the seconds is a trip Open University 2, who will be the team most likely to be competing with LDSC 2 to avoid the bottom spot.

Posted by : Qaiser Malik at 14:18:PM on Friday 11 November 2011
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