Day FOUR : FINALS Day at the NSC
It’s Dec and SJ at the NSC
Top seed Perry maintained her unblemished record as she beat Gina Kennedy, winner of November’s AJ Bell Challenge, coming from 2-6 down in the first to complete a clean sweep of three-nil wins.
James overcame George Parker, winner of November’s men’s Challenge, four hotly contested games, none more so than the third where Parker’s reaction to a stroke that took James to 11-10 was rewarded with a conduct stroke to give James a crucial 2-1 lead.
In the earlier playoff matches, Jasmine Hutton and Richie Fallows claimed third spots.
Day THREE : Men’s semis & women’s pools
Day Three at the AJ Bell England Squash #NotTheNationals Champs saw the men’s and women’s finalists decided at the National Squash Centre in Manchester.
In two hotly-contested men’s semi-finals George Parker overcame upset hero Nick Wall in five games – all five were close, but it was Parker who overcame an early deficit in the fifth to prevail.
Declan James reached the final with a four game win over Richie Fallows, who tailed off after narrowly failing to take a fiercely fought third game.
The women’s Pools concluded with Sarah-Jane Perry making it a clean sweep of wins to top Pool A, while Gina Kennedy beat both her closest rivals to clinch top spot in Pool B.
Day TWO : Wall knocks out Willstrop as SJ takes control
In the Men’s event Richie Fallows was first through to the semis, winning his Pool C by beating Charlie Lee after the withdrawal through injury of Tom Richards. The other three pools all went down to a decisive match to decide top spot.
Top seed James Willstrop was sensationally beaten by Nick Wall in the Pool A decider, while Declan James made it two out of two as he beat Miles Jenkins to clinch a semi-final spot against Nick.
Pool B is up for grabs though, Jasmine Hutton leading with three wins after an impressive three-nil over Millie Tomlinson, but Gina Kennedy – winner of November’s Challenge event – is unbeaten on two wins so her clashes with Jazz and Millie tomorrow will be decisive.
Day ONE : Charlie wins St George’s local derby
Day One of the AJ Bell England Squash Championships (we’re tempted to cheekily tag it #NotTheNationals) began with four women’s and four men’s Pool matches at the National Squash Centre in Manchester.
Top seeds and National Champions Sarah-Jane Perry and James Willstrop both came through in straight games, Perry pulling back a first-game deficit against coaches pick Lucy Beecroft, Willstrop prevailing against Unsquashable teammate Josh Masters.
In Pool C Charlie Lee came from a game down to beat St George’s compatriot Tom Richards in the only seeding upset of the day.
Preview : Perry and Willstrop head AJ Bell England Squash Championships fields
Following the success of November’s AJ Bell England Squash Challenge, many of England’s top players – headed by National Champions James Willstrop and Sarah-Jane Perry – will be getting some much needed competitive action this week at the National Squash Centre in Manchester.
England Squash, in association with AJ Bell, Dunlop and SquashTV, will be bringing you four days of action as 12 men and 10 women battle it out for their share of the £8,000 prize fund.
The men are split into four pools of three, with the winners of each progressing to the semi-finals, while the women are split into two pools, both leading to playoffs for the top six positions.
This is the time of year that the British Nationals are usually staged, and while that’s obviously not possible this year, at least there’s some top UK quality squash to keep us all engrossed.
All glass-court and side court matches will be shown live and for free on Facebook, as well as englandsquash.tv, SquashTV and the SquashTV YouTube channel.