ANY sport can become pure theatre when the adrenalin is pumping for the key moments in a crunch match.

That's how it was as the drama unfolded in the closing stages of Tony Beardwood's debut performance for Knutsford Squash Club men's team against Alderley Edge seconds this week.

Knutsford, battling to avoid relegation from Division Two East, were on the verge of securing their fourth win of the season and needed Beardwood to come through an epic contest to seal the deal.

A fantastic 3-0 win for Simon Morrison at #4 and a battling 3-2 win for the ever-improving Charles Keeble at #1 had the match poised at 2-2 going into the final game.

But Beardwood was up against a player ranked far above him and as the match progressed, it was clear it was going to be a long one.

By around 10.30pm, it was 2-2 in games and the pressure was on.

Beardwood brilliantly managed to gradually grind down his opponent, forcing uncharacteristic errors to take the fifth game 11-9, ensuring the team got the win to rapacious applause from the audience.


Knutsford firsts are now within touching distance of a number of teams in the bottom half of the division and one or two more good wins could well ensure survival – the club's priority aim this season.

It promises to be an exciting last quarter of the season.

Elsewhere, the men's seconds had a close loss against Alderley Edge fourths, with good wins for Ewen Macdonald at #1 and Mark Strefford at #4.

After being 1-0 up in games, Andy Ryder suffered a nasty Achilles tendon injury and was forced to withdraw.

Sadly, this meant that the seconds slumped to an 18-10 reversal, but they are still comfortably in second place in Division Three South East and promotion is high on their minds.

The third team were on the end of a walloping at the hands of yet another Alderley Edge team, their sixths – Neil Howarth ground out an excellent 3-0 at #2 against a notoriously tricky opponent, but the team suffered a heavy loss overall.

The fifths and sixths also had a tough night of it, but Dave Ahearn pulled out an excellent 3-1 victory for the sixths in a tough night at the bottom end.