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  Day TWO at the Nationals: Tue 10th, Day TWO

Qualifying continues at the NSC
 
Day Two at the National Squash Centre saw two rounds of qualifying in both the men's and women's draws. For the men the final matches of the day decided who would take the eight - nine as it turned out - places in the main draw, while the women's matches decided who would play in tomorrow's qualifying finals.

The men's qualifying finals saw a mixture of new and old progress, ranging from Scottish junior Rory Stewart to almost-35 Manchester favourite Peter Billson.

Stewart first beat Danny Massaro - yes, husband of - and then Connor Sheen, both in four games.

"I'm delighted," said the young Scot. "To qualify in my first huge tournament, especially since I'm still a junior, feels great. I wasn't going to enter but the coaching persuaded me to, and I'm glad they did!"


Rory meets Welsh number one Peter creed in the main draw.

Billson - proudly wearing his new "Badger" t-shirt - survived a morning five-setter against Elliot Selby - yes, brother of - before squeezing past Wale's David Haley in the evening.

"I really can't remember how many times I've been in the main draw," admitted Billson, "but I'm pleased to get through this year as it's the last time before I hit the O35s next year!"

Three English youngsters won through - Lyell Fuller for the second time, Ashley Davies and Patrick Rooney for the first.

"I got Nick Matthew last time," said Fuller, who had a bye this morning then beat local favourite Julian Tomlinson (who took the 'lucky loser' spot after the withdrawal of Robbie Temple) "so it has to be James Willstrop this year!"

He got his wish.

Davies survived a match ball in his first match, beating James Peach in five before a more comfortable match against Emr Evans - yes, brother of. "I just didn't seem to get out of bed this morning," said Davies, "although James has improved a lot, I had to work really hard for that one.

Davies wanted a shot at one of the "top dogs", and faces Scottish number one Alan Clyne tomorrow.

Rooney, after wins over Harry Falconer and Matt Sidaway, was delighted to qualify but said he "didn't mind who I get." He got Nick Matthew.

There was Welsh success as Will John qualified for the second time in a row. "I got in as a lucky loser last year," so it's good to get there in my own right today," said John after his wins against Taminer Gata-Aura and Keith Timms.

The final spot was claimed by Northumbria's Dave Barnett, coming from 1-2 down to deny Scotland's Jamie Henderson.

"It's the fourth time I've been in the main draw," said Barnett, "but I haven't made it through qualifying in the last four or five years, so it's very pleasing to make it this year, especially in a tight match like that."

 


Gallery: day two photos

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