Lings: We'll still make play-offs
EXETER Diamonds team manager Adam Lings is adamant the club will still make the Premier Squash League play-offs – albeit by a smaller margin than he originally hoped.
Lings' side host second-from-bottom Winchester on Tuesday in a game they most likely will have to win to keep their play-off ambitions alive.
Diamonds sit third following a 5-0 thrashing at Surrey H&R last time out, but victory would set up a potential one-off knockout tie with Chichester for the second play-off spot.
"I am still confident of making the play-offs, it's just going to be a bit tighter than I was expecting," said Lings, who will be missing Olli Tuominen, Aisling Blake and Natalie Grinham for the Chichester showdown.
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"It is not all lost. We have a match against Winchester where we will have our full-strength team available so we care confident of winning that.
"If that happens then it will all come down to Chichester – that will be the decider.
"Chichester really have been the surprise package this season. Nobody expected them to do as well as they have done but they are up there and are very solid."
Against Surrey, Victoria Temple Murray went down 11-3, 11-1, 11-6 to Alison Waters, while Tim Vail lost 11-6, 11-4, 11-2 to Adrian Waller. Gregoire Marche then beat Joey Barrington 11-3, 14-12, 11-5, before Olli Tuominen was forced to retire with a stomach problem whilst trailing 11-8, 11-7, 7-3 to Karim Abdel Gawad.
Laurens Jan Anjema lost to Adrian Grant 11-13, 4-11, 11-3, 11-9, 11-9.
Looking back on the 'disastrous' result, Lings admitted that, although it was a game they did not expect to win, the crushing nature of the defeat was hard to swallow.
"It was disastrous," said Lings. "We were expecting to lose the match but it was damage limitation – unfortunately, it didn't go too well."