Top teams consolidate in Round Seven
Round 7 of the Dutch PSL had no surprises in store as teams made their way towards the playoffs.
In Group One the match between Victoria Rotterdam and Squash Almere was over in he blink of an eye. Almere unfortunately is not up to par this season and enabled Victoria to secure their playoff-ticket with ease.
In Hoofddorp, the stakes were very high and the line-ups very competitive so fireworks were to be expected – and delivered. Frans Otten‘s Sebastiaan Hofman beat fellow Dutchman Bart Ravelli quite unexpectedly with relative ease and Tarek Momen showed the difference between a top-10 and top-50 player beating Rory Stewart. On behalf of Meersquash Jonah Bryant pulled something back defeating Omar Abdel Meguid in three.
Frans Otten Stadium are now only four points away from the playoffs, so Ridderkerk and ‘Meersquash will have to engage in a battle for the last remaining playoff position. A battle in which Ridderkerk holds the best cards by far and ‘Meersquash is hanging by a thread.
In Group Two Twente and Houtrust consolidated their top positions, beating Drachten and Utrecht with big numbers. Twente have now made it to the playoffs and Houtrust are just two points away, so it is highly unlikely they’ll fail.
The battle for the third spot might resolve in a very interesting battle however because the bottom three have a lot mutual duels in the remaining three rounds. In this battle Apeldoorn currently holds the best cards, but in the strongest line-ups, they’re weak in third position, so they could drop some points in the remainder of the group stages.
In Group One leader of the table Victoria Rotterdam faces a likely easy night against Squash Almere. For the impartial spectator the match between Eain Yow Ng and Irish Sean Conroy is definitely worth watching, but in positions two and three Almere are unlikely to make an impression against reining Dutch champion Piëdro Schrweertman and reigning Belgian champion Joeri Hapers.
Second match of the Group between ‘Meersquash and Frans Otten Stadium is a big one. High quality players and high stakes. First match of the evening will be between Dutch rising star Sebastiaan Hofman and former Dutch team player Bart Ravelli.
After this none other than Tarek Momen will make his official Frans Otten debut playing playing Rory Stewart. And to conclude the evening British prodigy Jonah Bryant will take on the Egyptian powerhouse Omar Abdel Meguid, who in the away match between the two team beat Nicolas Mueller 3-0. Should ‘Meersquash lose, it could be their knock-out in the race for the playoffs.
In Group Two both Houtrust and Twente are lined-up to win in all positions and virtually make it to the playoffs. But Drachten and Utrecht are bringing in some big guns to prevent that from happening and they just might succeed.
Top of the bill at Houtrust is the match between Iker Pajares and Viktor Byrtus, while at Twente it is the match between Rafael Kandra and Mostafa El Sirty. And eventhough on paper Drachten and Utrecht are set to lose, they might position themselves next to Apeldoorn, who this week isn’t playing, for that last playoffs ticket.
Exciting times. And as always all the action is broadcast through the Squash Bond TV youtube channel.