10:24 am
24 Jul 2024

England Quartet Dominate Men's Quarter-Finals In Melbourne

17 Mar 2006

England's men celebrated a historic first in today's squash action in the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne when all four members of the squad secured berths in the quarter-finals at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre. Team England narrowly missed out on the same feat in the women's event when New Zealander Shelley Kitchen upset England's fifth seed Jenny Duncalf to take an unexpected place in the last eight.

Second-seeded Yorkshireman James Willstrop led the English rout in Melbourne, beating unseeded Welshman Gavin Jones 9-0, 9-7, 9-1 in 34 minutes. The 22-year-old world No5 from Pontefract will now face his doubles partner and fellow Yorkshireman Nick Matthew in Saturday's quarter-finals after the seventh seed from Sheffield overcame Malaysia's Asian champion Ong Beng Hee, the ninth seed, 9-4 9-2 9-7 in just over an hour.

Fourth seed Peter Nicol confidently progressed towards his third successive appearance in the men's final after a 9-2, 9-2, 9-0 third round defeat of unseeded Canadian Matthew Giuffre. For the second successive time in the event, Nicol's next opponent will be a surprise one, as Canada's Graham Ryding pulled off a shock win over eighth seed Mohd Azlan Iskandar, beating the Malaysian 9-10, 9-1, 9-0, 9-5 in 54 minutes.

Remarkably, it will be Nicol and Ryding's third meeting in a row in the Games after clashing both in Kuala Lumpur and Manchester.

Lee Beachill maintained England's lone presence in the top half of the draw after a 9-1, 9-0, 9-1 victory over Welshman Alex Gough, the 13th seed, in 39 minutes.

"This is the only competition where they use the old scoring system, so some of the score lines here are a bit misleading," said Beachill afterwards. "I felt on top throughout the match and didn't give him a chance to play his game. I was injured at the end of last year and lost to him just before Christmas. However, I have done a lot of work since then, and I feel that I am getting back to normal.

"I am playing and moving well, and when I do those things right I am pretty tough to beat," added the fifth seed.

Like Nicol, Beachill also meets a surprise opponent next after tenth seed Stewart Boswell caused the biggest shock in the men's event so far by beating fellow Aussie - and also his doubles partner - Anthony Ricketts, the No3 seed, 10-8, 9-2, 9-7 in 65 minutes.

In the women's event, the top two seeds Nicol David and Rachael Grinham made their debuts after first round byes. Favourite David, the world No1 from Malaysia, cruised to a 9-0, 9-0, 9-3 win in just 21 minutes over Canada's Runa Reta, while Grinham, the second-seeded Queenslander who leads local hopes in the women's event, beat fellow Aussie Kasey Brown 9-3, 9-1, 9-2.

Tennille Swartz, the 18-year-old South African who claimed an unexpected place in the last sixteen after upsetting New Zealand seed Tamsyn Leevey in the opening round, went down bravely to England's Vicky Botwright 9-4, 9-7, 9-7 in 43 minutes.

The No4 seed from Manchester goes on to meet Shelley Kitchen, the 26-year-old ninth seed from Auckland who secured the 9-6, 4-9, 9-6, 9-1 upset over England's Jenny Duncalf in 54 minutes.

Men's 3rd round:
[1] David Palmer (AUS) bt [14] Shahier Razik (CAN) 9-2, 9-4, 9-6 (62m)
[6] John White (SCO) bt [16] Joseph Kneipp (AUS) 9-6, 9-0, 9-2 (24m)
[10] Stewart Boswell (AUS) bt [3] Anthony Ricketts (AUS) 10-8, 9-2, 9-7 (65m)
[5] Lee Beachill (ENG) bt [13] Alex Gough (WAL) 9-1, 9-0, 9-1 (39m)
[12] Graham Ryding (CAN) bt [8] Mohd Azlan Iskandar (MAS) 9-10, 9-1, 9-0, 9-5 (54m)
[4] Peter Nicol (ENG) bt Matthew Giuffre (CAN) 9-2, 9-2, 9-0 (26m)
[7] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [9] Ong Beng Hee (MAS) 9-4, 9-2, 9-7 (62m)
[2] James Willstrop (ENG) bt Gavin Jones (WAL) 9-0, 9-7, 9-1 (34m)

Women's 2nd round:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [13] Runa Reta (CAN) 9-0, 9-0, 9-3 (21m)
[8] Tania Bailey (ENG) bt [12] Amelia Pittock (AUS) 9-2, 9-2, 9-1 (20m)
[3] Natalie Grinham (AUS) bt [16] Tricia Chuah (MAS) 7-9, 9-5, 9-3, 9-0 (39m)
[7] Madeline Perry (NIR) bt [10] Sharon Wee (MAS) 6-9, 9-3, 9-5, 6-9, 9-5 (69m)
[9] Shelley Kitchen (NZL) bt [5] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) 9-6, 4-9, 9-6, 9-1 (54m)
[4] Vicky Botwright (ENG) bt Tenille Swartz (RSA) 9-4, 9-7, 9-7 (43m)
[6] Linda Elriani (ENG) bt [11] Tegwen Malik (WAL) 9-6, 10-8, 9-3 (37m)
[2] Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt [15] Kasey Brown (AUS) 9-3, 9-1, 9-2 (33m)