PSL game victory against RAC
University of Warwick/Kenilworth (WarKen) Squash defeated defending champions RAC to take a step closer to securing a play-off spot in the Premier Squash League Southern Division.
WarKen ran out 3-2 winners in the round seven fixture which was the first of the year to be hosted at the University of Warwick’s Sports and Wellness Hub.
The Hub features six glass-backed squash courts, with space for 90 spectators on the show courts, where the PSL matches take centre stage.
The Warwickshire-based team now lead the race to qualify for the play-offs in the PSL Southern Division and are emerging as contenders for the national title.
The win was sealed by a classy victory for Spaniard Iker Parajes of WarKen, seeing off world number five Paul Coll in the deciding fixture.
WarKen moved from the Northern to the Southern Division at the start of this season and head coach Steve Townsend has praised the play of his team to excel in the new division.
“Last year, the PSL final was played out by the two southern division teams because it’s significantly stronger in general,” said Townsend.
“So, when we were moved to that league, it was with a certain sense of trepidation from me. Could we repeat the successes we had in the Northern division, down in the South? Well it’s a resounding yes.
“We put in a performance befitting of the fantastic venue we have here at the Sports and Wellness Hub, which has become a fortress for us this season.
“I’m so proud of all the squad, but Iker was just superb tonight and typifies everything that’s brought us success so far.
“We still need to beat a strong Coolhurst team to secure our semi spot, so there will be no let up from us.”
Julianne Courtice opened the fixture for WarKen with a win against former Japanese champion Misaki Kobayashi. Courtice overcame a small wobble in the middle of the second game but never looked in danger of losing.
England’s female number one Sarah-Jane Perry secured a straightforward victory against the country’s number one junior Alice Green, putting WarKens up with the men’s matches still to come.
RAC hit back in the first men’s match, with Ben Coleman defeating Mark Fuller in straight sets.
The visitors were back on level terms when Daryl Selby registering a win for away side against Mahesh Mangaonkar.
Hard-hitting Mangoankar forced the match to a deciding set, despite Selby winning the first, but was unable to claim the victory a Selby took the final set.
But Pajares continued his distinguished record of beating higher-ranked players in a WarKen shirt with his statement win over Coll in the deciding fixture.
The 23-year-old was in fine form and matched Coll’s athleticism, prevailing with his superior short game.
WarKen took 10 points to RAC’s four, and this means they now have a five-point lead at the top of the division. WarKen’s next fixture will take place on Tuesday, February 18 at Kenilworth Squash Club against Coolhurst.
The squash courts at the Sports and Wellness Hub are available to be booked for community use. The light and spacious courts are suitable for all levels of play, with adjustable height tins.
Click here to find out more about the Premier Squash League, the WarKen team or to get tickets