Burnley fault at Clayton Green

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Burnley returned to league squash after the Christmas break.

They were away to one of four teams chasing promotion, Clayton Green, who they beat 3-2 earlier in the season.

Clayton started the first match against Burnley’s Dan Whittaker at a blistering pace and went 1-0 up, though Dan rallied in the second game to draw level at 1-1.

This was followed by some hard-fought games, with the Clayton player’s superior fitness proving too much, winning 3-1.

The second game between Nik Czernianin of Burnley and Lee Salter was the battle of the big hitters, both players driving the ball to the back of the court.

It was a matter of who would crack first, and it proved to be Nik, with the Clayton player coming out the winner 3-1.

Rod Taggart, the Burnley number three, started well, and was soon leading 2-1, before disaster struck when Rod over-stretched and badly pulled a muscle in his leg.

At that stage, he should have retired but fought bravely on.

What could have been a great fight back by Burnley ended in a 3-2 defeat as Rod limped off the court to tremendous applause.

Burnley’s Steve Morris took to the court and convincingly beat his opponent 3-0 in double quick time, never in any danger of losing, thus stretching his undefeated run to seven wins out of seven.

Last on court were the number one players from both teams, Graham Riley from Burnley and Chris Dix from Clayton, and what a great advert for squash this match proved to be.

Both players played to their best, with some great retrieving and magnificent winning shots by both players.

The advantage flowed one way then the other until, with the match tied at 2-2 and the Clayton player having match point , at this stage Graham stopped and took a short walk around the court and took a deep intake of breath for one last effort, saving the match point and going on to win 17-15 in the fifth and final game.