English Clean Sweep In Hithercroft Qualifiers

29 May 08

There will be home interest in all but one match in the first round of the Hithercroft Open after Englishmen claimed all four qualifying places in the $10,000 PSA Tour squash event in its third year in Wallingford in the English county of Oxfordshire.

Lewis Walters survived the longest battle, beating Frenchman Joan Lezaud 11-7, 11-9, 10-11 (0-2), 11-7 in 77 minutes. The 20-year-old from Nottingham will now face Egypt's rising star Mohamed El Shorbagy, the 17-year-old second seed from Alexandria who trains in the UK under Jonah Barrington at Millfield School in Somerset.

Joe Lee became the youngest qualifier. The 18-year-old British Junior champion from Surrey beat compatriot Darren Lewis 9-11, 11-9, 11-2, 11-5 and will now line up against Welshman Rob Sutherland, the sixth seed.

The last-minute withdrawal of Dutchman Tom Hoevenaars, the fourth seed, opened the way for lucky loser Chris Truswell to claim a place in the first round. The 23-year-old from Birmingham will take on Irish international Arthur Gaskin.

Qualifying finals:
Lewis Walters (ENG) bt Joan Lezaud (FRA) 11-7, 11-9, 10-11 (0-2), 11-7 (77m)
Joe Lee (ENG) bt Darren Lewis (ENG) 9-11, 11-9, 11-2, 11-5 (44m)
Tom Pashley (ENG) bt Jason Barry (RSA) 11-6, 11-7, 7-11, 11-1 (40m)
Olivier Pett (ENG) bt Chris Truswell (ENG) 11-4, 8-11, 11-2, 11-5 (34m)