Men’s $6k PSA Challenger, 29 Jun – 02 Jul, Carlisle, England, $6k
Round One : Victoria Bell reports
Joel Ascott 3-0 Sean Conroy
Joel and Sean both played some fantastic Squash and got the night off to a great start for the crowd. The pick ups were great by both but it was never really in question who the winner would be with Joel proving to strong and storming through to a comfortable 3-0 victory.
Ivan Perez 3-0 Lewis Doughty
Three games of moving the ball around the court, using all angles and delicate drop shots. Perez covered the court so well making the Carlisle crowd wonder if we had made the court smaller. His T position allowed him to control the middle moving Doughty front to back and getting lots of work into his legs. The games were close but Perez always seemed like he had an extra gear and came away with a 3-0 win.
Owain Taylor 3-2 Finnlay Withington
Quite a few traffic problems in this hard-fought game. Withington’s ability to take the ball in early and very delicate really caused Taylor some problems and the crowd thoroughly enjoyed his style of squash. A real seesaw affair but Taylors steady hitting won through forcing errors and coming away the winner.
Ryunosuke Tsukue 3-1 Perry Malik
The crowd described this as a war of attrition. Both players again moving the ball around wonderfully but Tsukue generally came out on top when the ball went into the front corners. Shot of the night goes to Tsukue to take the first game and become a crowd favourite. The second game was taken by Malik with some quality Squash but Tsukue looked the fitter of the 2 coming back and taking a brutal 3rd game. Tsukue ran away with the 4th but it was a great fight from Malik and a brilliant match for the crowd to enjoy.
James Peach 3-0 Henrik Mustonen
Hard hitting straight lines by both players tussling for control of the T. A very close first game saw Peach sneak it. Mustonen who was playing with broken fingers (on his Squash hand!) tried his best to stay with Peach but he was forced under too much pressure and Peach was the dominant worthy winner through to the next round.
Elliott Morris Devred 3-1 Liam Marrison
A quick fire start from both players not needing any time to get into the game. Its was Marrison who took the lead and with some measured lengths and attacking short game took the first comfortably. Devred came on with a new intensity and high T position to even up the score 1-1. Devred never let up and controlled the T area working the ball well around the court and took the next 2 games along with his spot in the quarter finals.
Ben Smith 3-0 Alasdair Prott
Steady start from both players and a very hard fought first game. Prott moves the ball around the court and attacks wonderfully however with a few too many errors Smith was able to sneak the 1st. Prott had moments of brilliant but Smith was too steady and the match stayed pretty similar throughout with Smith taking the next 2 games.
Chris Binnie 3-2 Ben Hetherington
Hetherington got off to a flying start and anything loose was punished and put away much to the crowd’s delight. He took the first game with conviction and the building erupted. Binnie came back very strong in the second and punished Hetherington’s loose balls to take the game with a fantastic spiralling shot dying in the back corner. The momentum was fully with Binnie in the 3rd game and after some gruelling rallies he took the game and looked like he had put enough work into Hetherington’s legs.
Hetherington however had different ideas and after a second wind came back strong with his attacking game and taking the ball early to stretch out Binnie and level things up. The fifth game saw Hetherington take the lead but Binnie’s experience showed and he pulled through to take the 5th game and match.