Livingwell and Marsa Sports Club dominate second round

Thursday, November 24, 2011, 21:59

Union Club squash team 2011-12

The second round of the Squash Club Challenge was recently held at the venue of the newly entered club this year, The Malta Union Club.

Coming from their first round disappointment Livingwell meant business from the start, thrashing Cynergi in the first encounter 21 points to 2, with the only points from Cynergi coming from Sarah De Cesare and Nigel Dunkerley. Livingwell clearly got their act together winning all their matches to love except for 2.

Marsa Sports Club was up next against The Malta Union Club. Marsa Sports Club featuring their usual strong team gave very little away to The Malta Union Club and comfortably won 17 points to 6. The 2 highlights of this encounter were the highest and lowest ranked matches. Gary Nitchke ranked number 1 with The Malta Union Club showing what a controlled game is all about by beating Mark Lupi 2 games to love , Gary so far has not lost a match in this challenge. The other highlighted match was ranking sevens, Jason Stivala who beat Jeffrey Muscat in a very thrilling match to watch. This match could have gone either way but it was Jason who pipped it at the end. Marsa won the encounter 16 points to 7.

Malta Union Club wanted more points and faced Livingwell in the 3rd encounter, however, Livingwell seemed to be on a mission and only let 6 points slip away. Some entertaining matches were seen throughout, especially national coach Ivan Balzan ranked at number 2 managing to beat female national team player Johanna Rizzo. Newcomers, Jasper Hougard and David Crane also proved to be an asset for Livingwell as their respective wins sealed the overall win against Union Club. Livingwell won the encounter 15 points to 6.

Cynergi had to pick the pieces after their first encounter against Livingwell and now had to play Marsa Sports Club. The start was promising as Simon Decesare won his encounter to love sealing the first 3 points for Cynergi, however, Marsa had other plans. Consecutive wins by Cliff Pace, Paul Borg, Alan Seychel, Jeffrey Muscat gave Marsa Sports Club a very healthy lead. The last 2 matches left were seeds 2 and 1. Arthur Castillo for Cynergi managed to unsettle Robert Sultana from Marsa Sports Club and the latter was unable to find a comfortable rhythm throughout the match with Arthur Castillo winning 2 games to 1. Last match on this encounter was Mark Lupi against Nigel Dunkerley. Nigel had a flying start and put Mark under immediate pressure , the first game could not be any tighter with Nigel just getting the upper hand. Mark using his experience stepped up the pace and made less mistakes turning the game around and winning the match 2 games to 1. Marsa won the encounter 16 points to 7.

The next encounter was the battle of the 2 leading contenders of this round, Livingwell versus Marsa Sports Club. All matches were extremely close and all could have easily gone away. The highlights of this encounter was up and coming young squash player, Jean Balzan who secured a solid win against Alan Seychel and yet again Jasper Hougard who comfortable beat Norman Gera. The final result was Livingwell 13 to Marsa’s 11 points. This result showed that every game won in every match was so vital as it means a precious point for the team.

With this top encounter over it was clear that Marsa Sports Club had done enough to secure overall first place after 2 rounds with a total of 80 points with Livingwell hot on their heals with 78 points.

The last encounter of the day was a battered and bruised Cynergi versus a every more confident Malta Union Club. The ever reliable Gary Nitchke, veteran Johanna Rizzo and solid performances from newcomer Nordine and regulars  Melchoir Vassallo and Jason Stivala secured their overall win against Cynergi 18 points to 6, with points won from Cynergi by Simon Decesare who won the only match for Cynergi and additional points from Nigel Dunkerley, Arthur Castillo and Sarah Decesare. Malta Union Club showed that from now onwards they were not going to be considered as the rookie side any more with this result.

The next round will be held at Cynergi on January the 14th giving all the teams enough time to train and prepare for some more entertaining matches.

Overall standings :

Marsa Sports Club 80 points

Livingwell                78 points

Malta Union Club   67 points

Cynergi                      52 points

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