Trac Oil & Gas
North of Scotland Open
29-Mar to 03-Apr, Aberdeen, $10k
[Q] Youssef Soliman (Egy) 3-0 Chris
11/4, 11/5 (33m)
supreme in Aberdeen
Teenage Egyptian qualifier Youssef Soliman captured his
first PSA title as he beat Jamaica's Chris Binnie in the final
of the third edition of the TRAC North of Scotland Open in
Match report from David Ireson
The first game saw a much firmer stance from the referees on mid
court interference, standing on the ball would no longer be
tolerated, hallelujah! Game was pretty clean from the start as a
result with few decisions. Soliman looking to keep it tight and
pacey and then then counter at the front, forcing several loose
shots from Binnie. Although the score was 11-4
Binnie never looked out of the game, just didn’t seem to win
the second and Binnie started the game quickly firing some balls
into the nick at the front, seemingly trying to take the young
Egyptian at his own game, however probably not too wise to get
engaged in a nick contest with an Egyptian…. Soliman then
reeling off a series of winners to take a 6-3 lead.
Binnie now seemed to be struggling with the referees’ firmer
stance on interference, Soliman taking full advantage of having
a clear route through to the ball starting to show us some holds
and flicks at the front that we hadn’t yet seen from his racket.
Silky stuff from the young Egyptian. At 9-4 up Soliman hits a
nick and flick to take the game 11-4.
on fire in the third game, taking a 7-0 lead, Binnie contributed
3 tins to this score line, but all forced by Soliman just going
for nicks for fun.
Binnie starts to claw his way back into it – solid stuff at the
back – just keeping it tight, but then at 9-5 down Binnie hits a
couple of loose balls into the front, and it’s all over. Soliman
is the new TRAC north of Scotland Champion 2016!
Well done, big things to come from this young man.
North of Scotland Open
29-Mar to 03-Apr, Aberdeen, $10k
 Karim Ali Fathi (Egy)
7/11, 11/7, 16/14, 9/11, 11/4
[Q] Josh Masters (Eng)
 Karim Ali Fathi
8/11, 11/6, 11/4, 11/9 (73m)
[Q] Youssef Soliman
[Q] Youssef Soliman
15/13, 11/7, 12/14, 11/7 (100m)
 Mahesh Mangaonkar
[Q] Youssef Soliman
 Josh Larkin (Aus)
11/8, 9/11, 11/8, 11/7
[Q] Youssef Soliman (Egy)
 Chris Fuller (Eng)
10/12, 13/11, 7/11, 11/9, 14/12
[Q] Ashley Davies (Eng)
 Chris Fuller
11/6, 11/3, 11/5 (32m)
 Mahesh Mangaonkar
 Mahesh Mangaonkar
8/11, 11/6, 11/8, 10/12, 12/10
Dougie Kempsell (Sco)
[LL] Joe Green (Eng)
11/9, 9/11, 11/9, 11/9
 Piedro Schweertman (Ned)
[LL] Joe Green
6/11, 12/10, 11/9, 11/4 (61m)
4/11, 11/7, 11/4, 11/7 (53m)
 Eddie Charlton
Chris Binnie (Jam)
11/5, 3/11, 11/2, 11/8
 Richie Fallows (Eng)
[Q] Matthew Hopkin (Aus)
11/7, 1/11, 11/5, 11/7
 Steve Finitsis (Aus)
 Steve Finitsis
11/5, 7/11, 11/7, 11/9 (70m)
 Eddie Charlton
[wc] Chris Leiper (Sco)
11/5, 11/5, 11/7
 Eddie Charlton (Eng)
30-Mar, Qualifying Finals:
Matthew Hopkin (Aus) 3-1
Martin Svec (Cze) 12/10,
11/9, 7/11, 15/13 (50m)
Youssef Soliman (Egy) 3-1 Mark Fuller (Eng)
11/4, 9/11, 11/3, 11/5 (29m)
Ashley Davies (Eng) 3-1
Tristan Eysele (Rsa)
11/8, 11/9, 10/12, 12/10 (55m)
Joshua Masters (Eng) 3-0 Joe Green (Eng)
11/5, 11/8, 11/8 (27m)
29-Mar, Qualifying Round One:
Matthew Hopkin (Aus) 3-1 Robert Dadds (Eng)
11/8, 7/11, 11/5, 11/7
Martin Svec (Cze) 3-0 Mike Black (Sco)
Youssef Soliman (Egy) 3-0 Ricky Hollins (Sco)
11/9, 11/4, 11/3
Mark Fuller (Eng) 3-0 Gavin Sutherland (Sco)
11/0, 11/5, 11/2
Ashley Davies (Eng) 3-1 Connor Sheen (Eng)
11/5, 9/11, 11/4, 11/9
Tristan Eysele (Rsa) 3-2
Micah Franklin (Ber) 11/6, 10/12, 9/11, 11/3,
Joe Green (Eng) 3-1 Brian Byrne (Irl)
12/10, 11/6, 9/11, 11/9
Joshua Masters (Eng) 3-0 Calum Johnston (Sco)
Surprise final in Aberdeen
The final of the North of Sctrland
Open weill be between a qualifier and an unseeded player after
more upset wins in the semi-finals by Youssef Soliman and
Qualifier Soliman, the British Junior Open U19 champion,
followed up his win over top-seeded fellow Egyptian Karim Ali
Fathi with a 100-minute four game win over India's third-seeded
Binnie, the unseeded Jamaican champion, beat second-seeded
Englishman Eddier Charlton in four games to reach, like Soliman,
the biggest PSA final of his career.
from David Ireson
Soliman (Egy) 3-1  Mahesh Mangaonkar (Ind)
first game was all about the quality of the counter drops.
Neither player found a particularly good length in the first, so
the ball spent a lot of time in the front corners; both players
getting ample opportunity to attack the front. The first player
to get that quality counter drop was punishing their opponent
with savage diagonal hitting to the back.
Soliman was unlucky not to get two blatant strokes – a casualty
of the 3 man referee “it was a majority decision” problem…. Game
tied at 10-10. Standard blood injury. Soliman suffered a small
graze to his knee. Media reporter now acting as medic… Cheeky
bit of kinesio tape and we are good to go. Tin from Mangaonkar,
and an unreal nick from Soliman, and he takes the game 15/13
after 40 minutes!
Soliman goes off at a frantic pace in the second, not sure if
Mangaonkar is going to be able to keep this up – hes starting to
look really tired. Soliman keep putting the ball short and then
deep with superb accuracy, making Mangoankar do a lot of work.
Soliman goes 6-1 ahead. Mangoankar tries to slow it down but the
damage is done and Soliman closes out the game 11-7.
The pace from both players slowed in the third, some tired body
getting in each other’s way causing a few stoppages, this slowed
game seemed to suit Mangaonkar at the start as he took a two
point lead. Soft lets though…. Soliman looking tired now, but
still hanging in there. At 8-9 down he glues a drive to the
wall, Mangaonkar can’t scrape it up. 9-9 and Mangaonkar earns a
cheap let, clearly taking a line into the man not to the ball,
Soliman visibly annoyed.
Pace goes up in the next rally – silly squash – blantant block
from Mangaonkar, “yes let” – absolutely fuming…. (and that’s
just the reporter!). Slip and trip - court cleaning now
required… standard. Soliman earns a match ball, good shut out
from Mangaonkar. Safety let… standard. Brutal rally at 13-12,
and Mangaonkar takes the third 14-12. Some tired bodies out
there 83 minutes so far.
The start of the fourth is scrappy, but Mangaonkar manages to
keep it the tidier of the two players and edges an early lead.
Massive rally Soliman looks hurt, and just starts going for it
now – shorter rallies, but tempo to the max, back to suiting
Soliman – Mangaonkar on the ropes – so many diagonals…. Hurt
locker isn’t going to come close tomorrow morning. Soliman earns
a match ball. Obvious stroke to Mangaonkar – “yes let”.
Kill winner on return of serve from Mangaonkar. Obvious stroke
to Soliman – “yes let”. Drop winner and we had our first
finalist after 100 minutes of play
(Jam) 3-1  Eddie Charlton (Eng)
game started with a much greater display of length right from
the word go. Both players were controlling the length and width
of the ball, with great quality. However, the first game was all
about the Charlton hold. Quote from the crowd “Eddie isn’t even
that deceptive, but he’s sent Binnie the wrong way 500 times”…
yeah OK I don’t fancy your chances against him pal… His hold was
excellently used to nullify the Binnie volley and stopped him
dominating the middle, taking an early lead and closing out the
Difficult to understand what happened at the start of the
second. Charlton game on court and fired the ball into the front
on almost every second shot, making several uncharacteristic
errors, and gave Binnie an early 6-1 lead. The second half of
the game was much more competitive, with some longer rallies,
with Charlton looking to move Binnie round the court, however
the lead was too great and Binnie took the second game 11-7.
The game became very scrappy in the third, with a lot of lets,
and no lets – there didn’t seem to be much consistency from the
referees in their decision making. Charlton was clearly annoyed
at this lack of consistency.
Following a no-let decision he queried why it was a no let;
“You’ve been giving cheap lets all day long, and now when
someone genuinely gets in the way, you start to be strong, it’s
not the time”. Response from referee “well that’s our decision”,
Charlton’s response was priceless “yes, that’s why we are doing
this”…. Still though, not the outcome that Charlton was looking
for. Charlton not happy, game to Binnie 11-4.
It's difficult to describe the difference in the first half of
this game compared to the last two games. The quality and rhythm
from Charlton was superb, using the height on the front wall
brilliantly to push the ball into the corners, and then using
deft touches to take the ball in short once he had forced an
opening. Much more like the Charlton that we are used to seeing.
The fluidity of squash was so good that there was also no
interaction with the referees. Then it all changed at 7-5,
Charlton’s length dropped off ever so slightly and Binnie
started to dominate the middle, and standing his ground - he
wasn’t clearing. In the first two games this would have resulted
in a let, now the referees decided to award a series of no lets.
Shafted. Game to Binnie 11-7.
Soliman takes out top seed
in Aberdeen and there was a big upset as qualifier Youssef
Soliman took out top-seeded compatriot Karim Ali Fathi in
the opening match. Youssef, the BJO U19 champion, recovered from
losing the first to take the match in 73 minutes.
the semis he'll face third seed Mahesh Mangaonkar, the
Indian youngster beating Chris Fuller in straight games.
Second seed Eddie Charlton came through a tough four
games to beat Steve Finitsis (playing his last PSA match) and
the Englishman will meet Chris Binnie in the semis after
the unseeded Jamaican beat 'Lucky Loser' Joe Green in four
Full reports below ...
Quarter-Final Match reports - from
 Eddie Charlton (Eng) 3-1  Steven
Very clever variation from both players in the first with
dome super use of height, and angles - very intelligent
squash – great to see. Charlton’s deep forehand hold had
Finitsis in trouble several times in the first game, coupled
with some deft touches at the front same Charlton take the
initiative and game 11-5.
The second game saw Finitsis take away Eddie’s trademark
forehand hold, choosing to avoid hitting the ball in that
part of the court unless he had no other option, and this
strategy saw him move ahead to 8-4. Charlton tried to use
some clever height variation to get the ball deep and force
errors from Finitsis, but the lead Finitsis had created gave
him some confidence and he looked to use his flare at the
front to finish the rallies off, hitting several nick
winners to take the second 11-7.
The quality that both players varied the height and pace of
the ball is difficult to express, such delicate control of
the ball like this is something you don’t get to see very
often. Charlton was struggling to keep the ball off
Finitsis’ racket, constantly cross courting the ball. In the
mid stages of the game Chalrton seemed to straighten up at
the back and started to claw his way back up the scoreboard.
At 7-7 a classic frame-boast-winner was produced to take
Charlton ahead. There’s some interference in the front
corners that after several attempts Charlton got some reward
from earning a stroke to take the game 11-7.
the fourth Steve unfortunately suffered a nasty slip midway
through the game and sprain his ankle. After some emergency
treatment Steve came back on court to play out the match,
although clearly not moving right. Eddie closed out the game
and match 11-9.
Few people knew that this was actually Steve’s last match on
the PSA – he announced his retirement after the match
finished. Steve is a crowd favourite and his attacking style
of play is a joy to watch, and will be sadly missed from the
Steve described that it was a difficult decision, but felt
the motivation to keep training at an elite level was not
Steve plans to go back to Australia and start to build his
own programme from the ground up.
Best of luck!
Chris Binnie (Jam) 3-1 [LL] Joe Green
Joe Green definitely playing some of his best squash this
weekend, some outstanding length on show from Green – ball
just dying in the back, Green also moving better today than
we have seen all week – getting on the ball early and using
some holds that we didn’t see in the early rounds. Green now
a clear crowd favourite having taken the lucky loser spot
from qualifying, the prospect of a semi-final spot was
getting the crowd behind him. First game to Green 11-6
the second Green stopped moving onto the ball as quickly as
he had in the first, he was unable to hold Binnie, and check
his movement, and consequently Binnie’s shot quality
improved, and it also let Binnie volley more. This played
into Binnie’s hands and he dominated the middle of the
court, and pushed Green into the corners, making him do some
serious retrieval. Binnie takes the second 12-10.
The third saw the tempo go up from both players but the
quality suffered as a result – this slightly less refined
style of play definitely suited Binnie; Green’s width
dropped off and gave Binnie some cheap volleys around the
middle, who pushed the ball straight into the front corners,
making Green do a lot of work. Game to Binnie 11-9.
The fourth game was a copy of the third, Green too content
to try and hit his way past Binnie rather than trying to
place the ball accurately the way he had done in the first.
Binnie once again commanded the middle, and eased through
the game 11-4.
 Mahesh Mangaonkar (Ind) 3-0 
Chris Fuller (Eng)
It seems fairly obvious that Fuller likes a stable platform
to play from – sporting heavy ankle supports, and adding
lots of little small positional steps to his movement. In
the first few rallies Mangaonkar looked to exploit this by
keeping the pace high and not letting Fuller settle into a
rhythm, and using subtle deception to slightly check
Fuller’s movement. This worked well in the first as he raced
into an early lead. Fuller tried to claw his way back into
it, but Mangaonkar kept up the pressure to close out the
More of the same from Mangaonkar in the second, varying the
pace well to unsettle Fullers rhythm, and using his holds
when he got the chance. His straight play when taking the
ball short was excellent leaving Fuller with so few options,
he was forced to just ship the ball back into play.
Mangaonkar making Fuller look a little ordinary. Game to
Mangaonkar in no mood to muck about this evening, more of
the same in the third, just taking Fuller’s game apart.
Nothing Fuller could do this evening Mangaonkar was just too
good – everything he hit either rolled out the nick, or was
glued to the side wall. Ridiculous rally to end, Mangaonkar
all over the court, but Fuller just can’t put the ball away.
Game to Mangaonkar 11/5.
[Q] Youssef Soliman (Egy) 3-2  Karim
Ali Fathi (Egy)
The first game saw a nervous start from both players as they
both tried to push in front of each other. In the early
exchanges both players looked to use their speed to get onto
loose drives and these were punished with strokes from the
referees. As their width improved, both players looked for
opportunities to take the ball short, and a series or errors
followed – the ball just clipping the top of the tin on
several occasions. Unfortunately for Soliman it was his
racket that produced slightly more errors and Fathi duly
took the game 11-8.
At the interval, Soliman asked for a 3 minute injury break,
seemingly suffering a sore lower back. Some emergency physio
from Injury Time Physiotherapy (shameless plug), that
operate out of ASRC tried to repair the young man…. Into the
second and Fathi clearly looked to extend the rallies and
keep the tempo high. Soliman however continued to attack the
front of the court, whereas in the first he made a series of
errors, in the second he reeled off a series of winners to
take the second game 11-6. Schedule already out the window…
41 mins for 2 games…
After a cheeky “equipment” change, Soliman came back on
court – clearly he had changed into his lucky t-shirt,
rolling a series of winners straight out the nick, and
taking an early lead, going 6-1 up. The onslaught seemed to
slow after this when Fathi responded with a cross court nick
winner, followed by a series of lets and a sting break from
Soliman. Tell you what, the boy Soliman can play a bit…
Fathi is very steady with solid length hitting, but Soliman
subtle use of holds and deception are very high quality, as
is his speed and relentless retrieval. Brutal rally at 6-3
seems to break Fathi’s spirit a bit, he has Soliman all over
the court, but can’t finish the rally off, then loses
several quick points in succession to give the game to
Yep, into the fourth and Fathi definitely looks a bit
dejected; Soliman using all four corners of the court to
great effect, forcing weak shots from Fathi’s racket. Now
it’s Fathi’s turn to get some luck managing to hit a series
off lucky floorboards and nicks, and some holds of his own.
Its nip and tuck all the way, at 8-9 down Fathi gets involed
with the referees – clearly rattled at the prospect of being
beaten by an opponent 120 places below him in the world
rankings. Dead length from Soliman takes him to 10-8, tin
from Soliman 10-9, tin from Fathi, game and match to Soliman
11-9. Big upset here. Bigger things to come from Soliman….
David Ireson reports
 Eddie Charlton (Eng) 3-0 [wc] Chris Leiper (Sco)
Last up after a very long day was local favourite / hero
/ hulk wannabe Chris Leiper in s the tournament’s Wild Card
against No 2 seed Eddie Charlton. Leiper played well in the
first, and didn’t seem too phased by the pace of the
professional game. Charlton’s line and length was however,
impeccable in the first and he forced a series of boasts
from Leiper. Charlton capitalised on these with some nice
holds at the front, and ran away with the first 11/5.
Into the second and a slightly more positive start from
Leiper, looking to take the initiative and use his own holds
at the front, sending Charlton the wrong way on several
occasions. Sam story in the second however, it was even
until 5-5 and then Eddie seemed to pull away, this time
though as a result of errors from Leiper’s racket. Game to
The third was much more exhibition like, with Leiper looking
to be more aggressive with his front court play. Both
players were holding, flicking, corkscrewing their way to
points. It looked to be all over when Charlton went 10-4 up,
but Leiper made a spirited comeback before Charlton closed
out the game and match 11-7.
 Steven Finitsis (Aus) 3-0 [Q] Matthew Hopkin (Aus)
first observation of this game is that there are very few
decisions being made…. Just some typical Aussie blokes
having some fun. Finitsis prepared for his match with some
“Netflix and chill”, and he certainly carried on in relaxed
fashion in the first moving effortlessly about the court
taking the first 11-7.
In the second Hopkin went on a nick rampage – so “on it” it
was unreal – just didn’t miss – all over in minutes –
exhibition stuff…. Hopkin takes it 11-1 #jokesquash
More of the same in the third from both players this time,
absolutely ridiculous squash, loads of angles, boasts,
holds, flicks, and nicks; such easy on the eye compared to
the previous match! Finitsis takes it 11-5. Into the fourth
and more ridiculous stuff, end to end rallies, with such
great variety and creativity from both players. Finitsis
just a bit stronger in the end taking the fourth and match
Chris Binnie (Jam) 3-2  Richie Fallows (Eng)
am embarrassed as a player, coach, tournament organiser, and
more importantly spectator when I am forced witness the
absolutely shambolic scenes on the show court this evening.
I have not seen such an appalling display of blocking,
cheating, and playing the man in a long time.
Bluntly if you are going to play like that, please don’t
come back next year. PSA – sort this out….
[LL] Joe Green (Eng) 3-1  Piedro Schweertman (Ned)
off the bat, want to mention that this is probably one of
the fairest, most flowing games of squash that I have
witnessed to date.
The pace was ferocious from the start both players looking
to step up and volley and whilst there was a lot of
competition for the middle of the court, in the whole match
I think that I counted 3 lets, both players just choosing to
get on with it and play the ball. Great to see.
Anyway onto the squash…. Both players are very similar in
style, hitting hard length, pushing up and volleying and
both looking to extend the rallies. This favoured Green in
the early stages as perhaps Schweertman got a bit impatient
and made a couple of uncharacteristic errors. First game to
Green 11/9. The second game was a mirror of the first, this
time Green making a few errors, handing the game to
It was clear in the third that Green had got up a bit of
confidence and several members of the crows noted he seemed
to be playing much more fluid squash that yesterday. Green
decided to add a bit of front court flair in the third and
hit a couple of front court rollers. Third to Green 11/9.
What a fourth game…. Green not wanting to let this
opportunity go! Excellent retrieval from both players, but
Green looked just so up for the match; dives, splits, nicks
– on fire! Green takes the fourth 11/9 – into the quarters.
 Mahesh Mangoankar (Ind) 3-2 Dougie
The first game was the first more traditional game of squash
we have seen with both players looking to rally up and down
the wall in search of an opening. Kempsell looked to vary
the height and pace of the ball more than Mangaonkar and
this stopped him getting into a solid rhythm. It was level
pegging until 8-8 when Dougie managed to use some nice
touches at the front to finish the rallies off and take the
In the second and the third games Kempsell’s play got a bit
passive; using some nice height on the front wall and
forcing some weaker drives from his opponent, however he
couldn’t seem to back this up with some solid line hitting
or front court play to capitalise on this advantage.
Mangaonkar too the second and third 11-6, 11-8.
Into the third and Kempsell starts to mix a good variety of
floated balls with some short kills, which unsettled his
opponent’s rhythm. Despite going 9-7 down Kempsell “dug”
deep and took the game to a tie break, and closed it out
The fourth and fifth games were really high quality from
both players, Kempsell looking to vary the pace and take the
ball short when in front, with Mangaonkar looking to keep
the ball alive and make not errors. It was see-saw all the
way through the game, with neither player more than one
point ahead. Couple of errors from Kempsell’s racket was the
difference. Kempsell took the fourth 12-10 and Mangaonkar
took the 5th game 12-10. Great effort “Dug”!
 Chris Fuller (Eng) 3-2 [Q] Ashley Davies (Eng)
A tight first game saw Fuller play everything to Davies
backhand; Davies not quite able to keep the ball as tight as
he would like on that side of the court. This frustrated
Davies into careless attempt to end the rally early
resulting in a few errors. However as the game progress
Davie’s backhand width improved which forced slightly weaker
shots from Fuller, allowing Davies to capitalise and claw
his way back into the game, eventually pipping Fuller to the
In the second Davies played a series of very well crafted
rallies, keeping the ball tight and forcing Fuller into
playing some loose balls. Davies took a commanding 5-0,
however he seemed to drop his focus mid-way through and
allowed Fuller too claw his way back into the game. Point by
point, Fuller kept getting the ball back and edging his
points tally closer to Davies. As we neared the business end
of the game the game got a bit more scrappy, which suited
Fuller, and he managed to close out the game 13-11.
The third was just silly squash. End to end rallies. Back
wall boasts galore. Crowd loving it. At 9-7 down Fuller has
Davies on the absolute ropes, 6, 7, 8 court sprints, but
makes the crazy decision of arguing with the referees about
a pick up, giving Davies some well needed recovery. Davies
then closed out the game with a ridiculous volley drop
winner and then buried the ball deep in the forehand cross
court nick. Game to Davies 11-7.
The fourth and fifth were both tight games, but it was
Davies on the receiving end of some brutal rallies, being
forced to retrieve ever deeper into the corners of the
court. Fuller did just enough to close out the games 11-9
[Q] Youssef Soliman (Egy) 3-1 
Joshua Larkin (Aus)
The first game was a contrast of styles, both players
wanting to play at high tempo, but Larkin looking to keep
the ball straight and contain his opponent, whereas Soliman
was looking to open the court up and use his speed advantage
over his opponent. Larkin even commenting midway through the
first “He’s quick”. This extra speed was the deciding factor
as Soliman edged ahead and closed out the game 11-8.
Into the second game and Larkin looks to step up the court
and volley the ball as much as possible keeping Soliman deep
in the court. The game was highly energetic with Soliman
looking to open up the court and either force a huge lunge
from Larkin to recover the ball, or causing himself to use
his retrieval skills when Larkin punished a weak attacking
shot. In the end the consistency from Larkin saw him take a
small lead and the game 11-9.
The third game was long and tiring, both players sensing the
importance of the game, despite Soliman taking an early lead
(6-1) by hitting some outrageous winners coupled with some
pin point accurate cross courts. Larkin never looked as if
he was out of any of the rallies though and fought back to
8-8 with some excellent retrieval and defensive lobs. There
were a couple of clashes towards the end of the game, and it
looked like these mini breaks favoured Soliman who took the
next 3 points, to close out the game 11-8.
Into the fourth and once again Soliman took an early 7-0
lead with some outrageous winners, once again Larkin fought
his way back into the game, however this time Soliman’s lead
was far too great, and he took the game and match 11/7.
 Karim Ali Fathi (Egy) 3-2 [Q] Joshua Masters (Eng)
Let’s be clear, the boy Masters can play a bit…. Starting
off exactly where he left off last night, spanking the ball
in the nick at every opportunity. Despite a high pace and
some very low straight drives from Fathi, Masters still
managed to consistently find an angle to play several
outright winners, taking the game 11-7.
Into the second and Fathi noticeably looked to increase the
tempo and keep the ball deep on Master’s backhand. Not
deterred Masters continued to look to take the ball in.
Unfortunately for Masters his racket work slightly let him
down and a series of errors handed a very close second game
to Fathi 11-7.
Predictably in the third given the high intensity of the
match, Fathi looked to exert his slightly greater physical
presence on the match, asking for let after let, for no
reason – deliberately extending the length of the games, and
turned a really good game of squash into a dog fight. Third
to Fathi 16-14.
Despite the length and the intensity of the third game,
Masters managed to continue his assault on the front of the
court with devastating effect, taking the ball short from
the most unlikely of places, including roll several 3 wall
boasts right out of the nick in a row. Game to Masters 11-9.
The damage inflicted by Fathi on Masters in the third and
fourth games was simply too great and in the fith game
Masters couldn’t keep the ball out of the tin, looking more
tired with every shot. Game and match to Fathi 11-4.
30-Mar, Qualifying Finals:
Qualifying complete in Aberdeen
The second day's play in the third edition of the Trac Oil &
Gar NoS Open in Aberdeen saw the final five - four qualifiers
plus a lucky loser after the withdrawal of Shaun Le Roux -taken
up in the main draw ...
Match Reports from David Ireson
 Ashley Davies (Eng) 3-1 Tristan Eysele (Rsa)
first game saw both players start at a really high tempo, with
fast and furious hitting and retrieval. Davies use of height on
the front wall managed to pin Eysele slightly deeper in the
court, allowing Davies to step up and take the initiative,
playing the ball short. This earned him a 2 point cushion in the
middle of the game, which he held to close out the first game
Eysele started the second at an even higher tempo, and thanks to
some outrageous frame work, managed to take the early lead.
Davies’ height variation not quite as good as it was in the
first. However, Davies kept looking to keep it stead at the back
and towards the end of the game lifted the ball more, which paid
dividend as he managed to edge back ahead taking the second
In between the second and the third Davies was quoted as saying
“there’s only so much Lemsip can do”, and sure enough in the
third he started to look tired, chasing more of the balls down
rather than controlling the play, which coupled with Eysele’s
relentless retrieval resulted in some more open play which
seemed to suit the South African.
It was nip and tuck throughout the whole game, but a couple of
back court nicks from the racket of Eysele saw him take the game
The fourth was all about whether Davies could hang in the
rallies long enough to create an opening, or whether he would
take the ball short too soon, and try and finish the rally too
early. Inevitably this led to some patchy play, with some very
controlled rallies where he dominated the middle of the court,
followed by some rallies where it was end to end stuff by both
There was never more than a point between them throughout the
game, but thanks to some accurate drops towards the end of the
game, Davies managed to sneak the game and match 12/10.
 Joshua Masters (Eng) 3-0  Joe Green (Eng)
The first game was all about Masters – “nick fest”. It was all
over in a matters of minutes> Masters took the first game 11/5.
More of the same in the second, Masters going for anything
Green made a much better job in this game of straightening up
and keeping the ball tight, trying to avoid giving Masters
anything to work with, but Masters was relentless in pummelling
the ball into the front nicks. Masters takes the second game
Unbelievable racket skills from Masters in the third – Green all
over the court, and Masters finishing every rally with a cross
court nick roller. Crowd loving it. Takes the third and match
 Matthew Hopkin (Aus) 3-1  Martin Svec (Cze)
starts this game exactly the same way he left off last night,
with some cheeky holds, and some casual nicks. His speed and
lunging at the front easily outclassing Svec’s more traditional
Hopkin takes the first 12/10. Into the second and Hopkin really
starts to crank up the use of the holds, sending Svec all over
the court. Svec, clearly frustrated was attempting some cheeky
holds and nicks as well, unfortunately to quote a crowd member
they were “a bit ambitious”. Game to Hopkin 11/9.
The third saw the same style of play from Hopkin – all out
attack with holds and flicks. However, this game saw a series of
errors from Hopkin as Svec looked to glue the ball to the side
wall at every opportunity. This straighter tactic served Svec
well as he took the third game 11/7. Into the fourth and some
silly squash followed, both players holding and anticipating
every shot, which either resulted in a taxi or court sprints!
At 9/9 Hopkin did some serious retrieving and suffered a blood
injury, and after a short break the match resumed with Svec
leading 10/9. When Hopkin returned to the court it was all out
attack from both players, however this suited Hopkin’s style
more than Svec’s and he closed out the match on the second times
of asking taking the fourth 15/13
 Youssef Soliman (Egy) 3-1  Mark Fuller (Eng)
the first game Fuller looked to be carrying an injury as his
usual attritional style was nowhere to be seen, instead
conceding rallies. An informant in the crowd suggested he was
carrying a neck injury from last night. Had the Stallion done
Soliman took a fairly easy first 11/4. The second saw a complete
change as Fuller looked to completely change his style of play,
going for all out attack instead, attempting to finish every
rally early. This tactic worked with Soliman struggling to
contain this level of sustained attack. Game to Fuller 11/9.
The third and fourth were unfortunately mirror images of the
first, Fuller clearly not physically right. He tried hard to
slow the pace down, reverting to his own style of lob-drop,
however Soliman was too good, and Fuller’s injury proved to be
the critical factor in deciding the outcome of this match.
Soliman took the third and fourth 11/3 and 11/5.
Qualifying Round One
Qualifying for the third edition of the TRAC Oil & Gas North of
Scotland Open got underway at Aberdeen Squash Club with
all of the locals falling at the first hurdle.
 Mark Fuller (Eng) 3-0 Gavin “Stallion” Sutherland (Sco)
Last on, but not least, was Gavin Sutherland aka “Stallion”,
admittedly looking a bit more colourful than usual, sporting the
neon Grampian colours, rather than the traditional ASRC whites.
The first didn’t go very well for the Stallion as he struggled
to find his length on a now very warm court 7… the score in the
first game as not flattering… Onto the second and after some
advice between games, the Stallion looked to vary his length a
bit more and try and unsettle Fuller’s rhythm.
This seemed to
work as he managed to get into the game, and forcing some errors
from Fuller, who took the second 11/5. In the third the score
was not a reflection of the game, the Stallion used his
trademark holds with much better effect causing Fuller to check
his movement, and forcing several boasts, and moving Fuller all
over the court, however the gulf in standard was perhaps a bit
too much, and Fuller closed out the game 11/2, with some great
 Youssef Soliman (Egy) 3-0 Richard “Russell” Hollins
up was local Richard “Russell” Hollins just back from competing
for Scotland in the U19 European Team Championships. Richard
isn’t exactly known for his consistent and steady grinding back
court play, and sure enough tonight was no exception – both
players seeming to be comfortable spending the majority of their
time in the front half of the court.
It was pretty even all the
way through the first both players trading nicks and holds, but
in the end the Egyptian’s experience prevailed at the end first
closing it out 11/9. The second and third games were a similar
story, a lot of balls into the front, a lot of holds and nicks –
bit of a crowd pleaser!
 Martin Svec (Cze) 3-0 Michael “Scrapper” Black (Sco)
on court was local favourite Mike “Scrapper” Black. The first
game was high tempo with Svec looking to get on the ball early,
and unfortunately for Scrapper was reading the backhand wiggle –
cross court, which is Scrapper’s trademark, volleying Scrapper
all over the court. It almost kicked off, when Svec hit a frame
cross court drop-roller, however Scrapper retain his composure –
first game to Svec 11/4. Scrapper came out fighting in the
second taking the game to Svec – perhaps intimidating Svec with
his imposing stature…forcing some errors from the Czech.
Svec does enough to close out the game 11/8. Scrapper using the
counter drop to great effect in the 3rd, exposing some slightly
dodgy front court play from Svec, earns himself a game ball.
However, Svec had put enough work into his legs in the first two
games to draw level and then close out the game and match 12/10.
 Matthew Hopkins (Aus) 3-1 Robert Dadds (Eng)
Hopkins looks silky smooth on a squash court, smooth movement,
and some lovely holds – very impressive. Makes the first look
easy taking it 11/8. In the second there is more of the same
from Hopkins, however the end product slightly lets him down as
he makes a flurry of unforced errors, handing Dadds the game
11/7. Absolute joke squash in the third and fourth from
Hopkins…. Holds and nicks for fun… making Dadds run diagonal
after diagonal. Very impressive stuff.
 Joshua Masters (Eng) 3-0 Calum Johnston (Sco)
Calum aka “Tank”, originally from just outside Perth, he now
studies in Aberdeen and trains weekly at ASRC, and was the first
local to take to the court. He took a while to get used to the
pace of the professional game, going behind in the first, and
eventually losing out 11/6. Into the second and for the first
time in history Tank actually tries to slow a game down, decent
stuff; goes down 11/6 in the second. Masters too strong for Tank
in the third taking it 11/4, however Tank managed to stay on
court for (just) longer than 20 minutes which was his objective.
 Joe Green (Eng) 3-1 Brian Byrne (Irl)
The first game started slowly with both players trying to find
their length and find their range at the front. This slightly
slower paced seemed to suit Byrne as he edged ahead by 2 points
leading 6-4, however as the business end of the game approached,
Green looked to increase the tempo, which seemed to suit his
slightly more traditional style of play. A couple of errors
towards the end of the game saw Green take the first 12/10.
Green keeps up the pace in the 2nd pushing Byrne deeper into the
back corners, and forces several errors in the front forehand to
take the game 11/6. Into the third game and with Green leading
6-4, Byrne accidentally clipped Green with the racket who
suffered a bleed just below his eye, resulting in an extended
injury break to allowing the bleeding to subside. On resumption
of the third game Green lost several points in a row, however
managed to claw hi way back to 9/10, after which the bleeding
started again, forcing Green to concede the 3rd game.
leading 4-2 in the fourth Byrne is forced to leave the court as
a result of blood injury. Byrne returned to the court and both
players proceeded to get involved in a “cross court fest”, Green
clearly trying to expose Bryne’s forehand. A couple of critical
errors towards the end saw Green take the fourth and match 11/9
Tristan Eysele (Rsa) 3-2  Micah Franklin (Ber)
first game was a fairly scrappy affair with some fairly short
drives interspersed with some fairly long short balls…. In the
end Eysele’s retrieval seemed to be a bit better than Franklin’s
who managed to just get back a few more balls taking the first
11/7. The second saw much better length and width than the first
– both players straightening and looking to wait for an
opportunity to go short.
In the end it was nip and tuck all the
way through, the only difference being some cheeky front court
play from Franklin, who took the game 12/10. The third saw
Franklin looking to contain Eysele’s pace, and a very solid
start with this strategy saw him take an early lead. Despite
letting his plan slip a bit in the latter stages of the game,
Franklin managed to hang on and close out the game 11/9.
Tactical rest from Franklin in the fourth… Eysele just keeps
going. Game to Eysele 11/3.
Absolutely epic 5th game; both
players playing attacking squash, coupled with some excellent
retrieval. In the end it looked like Eysele just had a bit more
in the tank than Franklin, managing to convert the 5th on the
3rd time of asking.
 Ashley Davies (Eng) 3-1 Connor Sheen (Eng)
first game saw an edgy start from Sheen, making several unforced
errors, giving Davies an early lead. Both players seem to want
to expose their opponent’s forehands, with an exchange of cross
courts in the first, Davies however managed to maintain his
early lead and close out the first 11/5. The second saw a
complete reversal, this time Sheen stepped up the court
increasing the pace, and volleying much more than the first, and
once again opened and early lead.
Despite a spirited come back
from Davies with some deft touch across the front, Sheen closed
out the game 11/9. Davies look to noticeably straighten up in
the third looking to take away Sheen’s volley. This paid
dividend hitting better targets in the back of the court, taking
a large lead in the third, Sheen then hit a flurry of balls into
the tin. Game to Davies 11/4. Davies increased the pace in the
fourth hitting crisp drives deep into the court, forcing some
frantic retrieval and loose shots from Sheen. Davies closed out
the fourth and match 11/9
NoS returns to Aberdeen
Preview from Mike Hegarty
into its 3rd year, Aberdeen Squash & Racketball Club will once
again host the TRAC Oil & Gas North of Scotland Open, returning
in PSA M10 form.
Thanks to support from our headline sponsor, the tournament was
able to be registered on the PSA calendar over a year in
advance. This guaranteed a prime position in the calendar and
this has shown in the unbelievably high standard of entries
top seed for the event is Egypt’s World no 43 Karim Ali Fathi.
His tactically un-Egyptian, Darwish-esque approach to the game
saw Karim recently gatecrash the third round of the 2015 PSA
World Championships. He downed Peter Barker and upset the
spectacular Fares Dessouki before his run ended at the hands of
eventual World Champion Greg Gaultier.
seeded Shaun Le Roux is seeking to go one better than in
2015 when he suffered the very narrowest of 3-1 defeats to Daryl
Selby in the final of Scotland’s ‘other’ tournament, the BSPA
Edinburgh Open, going down 10-12, 10-12, 11-3, 10-12.
WR#48 Shaun is drawn in the first round against Aberdeen’s no1
and PSA Wildcard Chris Leiper, who is enjoying recent
success after reaching the final of the Scottish U23
Championships. The home crowd will be no doubt there in force to
see how the home favourite stacks up against the big South
African’s powerful, hard hitting style.
The quality continues with all 11 guaranteed main draw players
ranked inside the top 100 in the world, which for an M10 tier
tournament is nearly unheard of.
Classy Englishman Eddie Charlton, WR#63 is seeded third
and will look to show his true form after being disappointed
with his run in the 2015 North of Scotland Open.
Mahesh Mangaonkar of India, WR#67 is 4th seed. Mahesh and
Australian Steve Finitsis put on stunning displays to
topple top Scot Alan Clyne and 2015 North of Scotland Open
Champion Greg Lobban respectively in the semi-finals of
the Inverness Loch Ness Challenger when it ran in 2014. Finitsis
eventually beat Mangaonkar to claim Inverness’ M15 title, and is
now world ranked #77. Steve is seeded 7th for the North of
Scotland M10, such is the quality of the field.
‘The Iceman’ WR#70 Piedro Schweertman returns as 5th seed
to try to add this title to his impressive 2015 collection.
Piedro captured an M10 and two M5 titles in what was a great
year for the Dutch no2.
WR#76 Richie Fallows, a young Englishman who’s career is
very much on the rise, will look to leave an impression and
progress beyond his 6th place seeding.
Making up the rest of the main draw are Englishman Chris
Fuller WR#92, New Zealand’s Joshua Larkin WR#98 and
Jamaican no1 Chris Binnie WR#93.
The final place in the main draw is occupied by Edinburgh’s WR#99
Dougie Kempsell. Dougie has a tough draw, facing off
against 4th seed Mahesh Mangaonkar. Dougie will enjoy raucous
home support and his physical, aggressive playing style may very
well see him across the line.
The entry list for the qualification draw is equally
interesting, with British Junior Open Champion Youssef
Soliman in the mix. Youssef succeeds top names such as Ali
Farag, Fares Dessouki, Marwan and Mohamed ElShorbagy on the list
of previous winners of the most prestigious Junior title in the
Local interest is headed up by Aberdeen’s top players Mike
Black, Gavin Sutherland, Calum Johnston and
Scottish U19 National and Junior Open Champ Richard Hollins.
The event will be supported by a large graded tournament which
will inspire participation at all ability levels.