Barrington Blasts Willstrop For Table-Toppers Birmingham In PSL

8 Nov 06

Less than 48 hours after reaching the semi-finals of a PSA Tour event in Pakistan, Joey Barrington led the University of Birmingham to a 4/1 home win over Pontefract in Tuesday's third round of the Premier League (PSL) after twice coming from behind to beat England No1 James Willstrop in a sensational upset in the England Squash event sponsored by Clowes Insurance.

The Birmingham team has extended its lead at the top of the Group A points table - while league newcomers Redwood Probuild Bristol crushed PSL veterans UniSport Guildford 5/0 to clinch top spot in Group B for the first time. League champions Benz-Bavarian Duffield maintained their unbeaten run this season with a 4/1 away win at Nottingham, while first-timers Luxfords St George's Hill delighted their home Surrey crowd with a 4/1 victory over Tinos Homes Chichester.

Lancashire's Laura-Jane Lengthorn set the tone for the University of Birmingham's triumphant evening by beating Pontefract's Shelley Kitchen 9-7, 9-0, 9-4 in her career-first victory over the New Zealander ranked 15 in the world.

Joel Hinds and Jaymie Haycocks continued the assault for the hosts until Pontefract struck back with an impressive display from Saurav Ghosal, the 20-year-old Indian champion who fought back from two games down to beat Jonathan Harford 5-9, 1-9, 9-7, 9-6, 9-4 to secure a consolation point for the visitors.

But the showpiece encounter rounded off the night when Barrington, the 26-year-old son of squash legend Jonah Barrington, shrugged off jet-lag to record a 7-9, 9-6, 7-9, 9-7, 9-5 win in 57 minutes over James Willstrop, the world No4.

"I should obviously spend more time eating nuts, raisons, crackers and protein shakes as I did in Pakistan," said Barrington to the delighted crowd afterwards. "I always enjoy playing James - he plays such a fair game."

The other tie in Group A saw title-holders Duffield, from Derbyshire, disappoint a packed crowd in the East Midlands derby at Nottingham. In her first match for Duffield this season, British champion Tania Bailey put the visitors into the lead with a 9-3, 9-0, 9-5 win over Sarah Kippax - and shortly afterwards Andrew Whipp and Lee Drew made certain of victory for Duffield with wins over Duncan Walsh and Jethro Binns, respectively.

But the home team scored a notable victory at the end of the evening when Malaysian star Ong Beng Hee, in his first season for Nottingham, clinched his first win over Duffield's Nick Matthew for more than two years when he beat the British champion and world No7 10-8, 13-11, 9-6.

Redwood Probuild Bristol set about the task of maintaining their unbeaten record since joining the PSL this season in quick fashion when Welsh champion Tegwen Malik despatched Guildford's last-minute replacement for England international Alison Waters - Sussex teenager Rachel Willmott - 9-2, 9-0, 9-1 in just 17 minutes.

In a performance later described by Guildford team manager Ian Robinson as "disastrous", the hosts continued to be outplayed by the rampant west country newcomers - and, after a 50-minute battle between two now retired touring professionals David Evans and Stephen Meads (in which Welshman Evans ultimately prevailed 9-4, 10-12, 9-5, 9-3), Australian Joseph Kneipp made it a Bristol whitewash when he defeated Guildford No1 Stacey Ross 9-6, 9-6, 9-4.

There was better fortune elsewhere in the county of Surrey where league newcomers Luxfords St George's Hill secured their first home win of the season, against Sussex visitors Tinos Homes Chichester. Once again, Australia's record five-times world champion Sarah Fitz-Gerald made a mockery of her retirement from full-time squash more than three years ago by despatching Chichester's Suzie Pierrepont, the world No30 from Brighton, 9-0, 9-1, 9-0 in just 14 minutes.

St George's Hill's own star-of-the-future Joe Lee, the 17-year-old reigning British U17 champion, dug deep to overcome a two-game deficit to beat the visitors' Stephen Wykes 8-10, 7-9, 9-2, 9-2, 9-4 in 42 minutes.

Chichester captain Tim Vail, the unranked 28-year-old standing in as top string in the absence of the injured Peter Genever, scored an impressive scalp at the end of the evening - and ensured at least one point on the scoreboard for the visitors - when he fought back from 1/2 down to beat France's world No33 Renan Lavigne 9-6, 4-9, 1-9, 9-7, 9-5 in 32 minutes.

3rd round, Tuesday 7 November 2006

Group A:
University of Birmingham 4 Pontefract 1
Joey Barrington bt James Willstrop 7-9, 9-6, 7-9, 9-7, 9-5 (57m)
Jonathan Harford lost to Saurav Ghosal 9-5, 9-1, 7-9, 6-9, 4-9 (44m)
Joel Hinds bt Andrew Cross 9-5, 9-6, 9-7 (29m)
Jaymie Haycocks bt Nathan Cole 9-3, 9-1, 9-4 (21m)
Laura-Jane Lengthorn bt Shelley Kitchen 9-7, 9-0, 9-4 (32m)

Nottingham 1 Benz-Bavarian Duffield 4
Ong Beng Hee bt Nick Matthew 10-8, 13-11, 9-6
Simon Parke lost to Jonathan Kemp 6-9, 8-10, 9-5, 4-9
Jethro Binns lost to Lee Drew 3-9, 7-9, 9-7, 3-9
Duncan Walsh lost to Andrew Whipp 0-9, 10-12, 3-9
Sarah Kippax lost to Tania Bailey 3-9, 0-9, 5-9

Group B:
Luxfords St George's Hill 4 Tinos Homes Chichester 1
Renan Lavigne lost to Tim Vail 6-9, 9-4, 9-1, 7-9, 5-9 (32m)
Daryl Selby bt Tom Pashley 11-9, 8-10, 9-7, 9-5 (36m)
Tom Richards bt Matt Holland 9-4, 9-1, 9-3 (14m)
Joe Lee bt Stephen Wykes 8-10, 7-9, 9-2, 9-2, 9-4 (42m)
Sarah Fitz-Gerald bt Suzie Pierrepont 9-0, 9-1, 9-0 (14m)

UniSport Guildford 0 Redwood Probuild Bristol 5
Stacey Ross lost to Joseph Kneipp 6-9, 6-9, 4-9 (28m)
Stephen Meads lost to David Evans 4-9, 12-10, 5-9, 3-9 (50m)
Jesse Engelbrecht lost to Hadrian Stiff 2-9, 4-9, 7-9
Alex Ingham lost to James Snell 6-9, 6-9, 9-5, 8-10 (50m)
Rachel Willmott lost to Tegwen Malik 2-9, 0-9, 1-9 (17m)