WarKens eye play-offs after Farag masterclass

Ali Farag
Ali Farag

The University of Warwick/Kenilworth Squash Premier Squash League avenged their first-half loss to Birmingham Lions at Crackley Lane last night, with a 3-2 victory topped off by a breathtaking performance from Egyptian world number three Ali Farag.

Lucy Green competed well and almost took the first game off Finnish international Emelia Korhornen but ultimately found the boots of the unavailable Sarah-Jane Perry too big to fill.

Birmingham’s Jaymie Haycocks upset the rankings, knocking over Nafiizwan Adnan 11-9 in the fifth set, adding a second rubber to the Lions’ tally.

Meanwhile, England junior international Nick Wall saw off his Welsh international counterpart 3-0 and Mahesh Mangaonkar outpaced the dangerous Chris Ryder to set up a grandstand finale to decide the match between Ali Farag and Jan Van Den Herrewegen, Birmingham’s Belgian number one.

Farag seemingly defies all logic and the laws of physics in being two places at once such is his speed around the court and his ability to react on the volley is unequalled in the game.

Going through the gears he hit full throttle in the second game, at times seemingly hitting the ball just as soon as it came back from the front wall.

Audible gasps swept through the crowd, sometimes multiple times per rally as Farag wrapped it up in three.

In his post-match interview Farag was asked “Are you actually human?” and that seemed a perfectly legitimate question after watching the match according to team manager Steve Townsend.

“Wow. Just wow,” he exclaimed. “Of course I wanted the win but I also just wanted that match to continue.

“Ali can do things I’ve never seen anyone do and it’s a pleasure to see it so close up.

“The crowd have absolutely lapped it up and it’s put us in pole position for the end-of-season play-offs.”

The WarKens go to unbeaten division leaders Nottingham next before hosting Pontefract on March 13 in what could be a decisive match for the play-off positions.