Defeat in Bristol ends WarKens’ play-off quest

No Caption ABCDE NNL-180328-105629002
No Caption ABCDE NNL-180328-105629002

Team manager Steve Townsend was in upbeat mood despite seeing The University of Warwick/Kenilworth Squash side miss out on their play-off dream in the final match of the Premier Squash League campaign.

After a home defeat to Pontefract in the previous round of matches, WarKens needed an emphatic win at Bristol combined with a defeat for the West Yorkshire side against Birmingham University to extend their season.

However, with both university sides decimated by players either in or preparing to go to Oceania for the upcoming Commonwealth Games, it looked something of a tall order.

Nevertheless, Sarah-Jane Perry got the home side off to a rousing start with a comfortable 3-0 win over Kip Quiney before Guy Pearson recorded his first win at Premier League level, coming from 2-1 down to beat veteran Jethro Binns in five.

That was as good as it got for Warkens, however, with Mark Fuller going down in four against Yousef Soliman and 20-year-old Harry Falconer losing out to world number 53 Josh Masters in straight games.

Marwan Elshorbagy, on current form ranked two in the world, then overcame Mahesh Mangaonkar in three to seal Bristol’s win.

Pontefract’s win over Birmingham University meant the result in the Westcountry was not pivotal to WarKens’ play-off quest and Townsend is already looking ahead to next season.

“It’s been an amazing and extremely encouraging first season for us in the PSL,” said Townsend.

“The players have given their everything and each and every one of them has been a joy to work with.

“The home matches will live long in the memory and I’d like to thank everyone who came down to support us.

“We’re hungry for success and already looking forward to next season and going, at the very least, one better.”