Qualifying continues at the NSC
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.
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.
- 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!"
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.
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.
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