5:17 pm
19 May 2024

Local Hero Murrills Makes Main Draw In Manchester

7 Feb 2011

Cheshire squash star Adam Murrills battled to two straight games victories at the National Squash Centre in Manchester today to earn a place in the main draw of the British National Championships for the first time.

But it was sixth-time lucky for the 20-year-old from Manchester, who despatched Oxford's Kristen Johnson 11-9, 16-14, 11-3 in the qualifying finals to earn a place in the first round against 16th seed Simon Parke.

Yorkshireman Parke, a 38-year-old former world No3 who won the title in 1998, will be playing his 51st championship match since making his debut in 1987 - three years before Murrills was born!

Telford twins Andrew and Richard Birks, aged 23, also made the main draw - but in differing circumstances. Andrew Birks saw off Hertfordshire opponent Adam Fuller 11-6, 11-9, 11-7 to win a qualifying place against Adrian Grant, the fourth seed from London who was runner-up two years ago.

But, after crashing out in the final qualifying round to Surrey's Charles Sharpes, brother Richard Birks won a 'lucky loser' slot in the draw - and will line up against Stockport's 15th seed Andrew Whipp, the only local player who is seeded.

A day after his 19th birthday, Charles Sharpes extended his unbeaten record as a senior to earn a main draw clash with James Willstrop, the second seed and twice champion from Leeds who has reached the final four times since 2005.

Nottingham's Declan James became the youngest player to make the main draw. The 17-year-old took just 25 minutes to overcome Wiltshire 32-year-old Adam Giles 11-9, 11-5, 11-6.

James will face Adrian Waller, the ninth seed from Enfield. But Giles, from Swindon, will also be in action on Tuesday after winning a 'lucky loser' slot - against seventh seed Chris Ryder, a former World University Champion from Leamington Spa.

A pair of Yorkshiremen will also boost the first round: Bradford-born Phil Rushworth defeated Rory Pennell of Essex 11-5, 11-7, 11-6 to make his third first round appearance since 2006, while 21-year-old Andrew Widdison, from Wetherby, will earn his maiden appearance in the championship after beating Kent's Steven London 11-6, 6-11, 11-1, 11-4.

Merseyside's Stephen Siveter completed the qualifying winners line-up with an 11-7, 7-11, 11-6, 11-6 defeat of Gloucestershire's Birmingham-based Chris Tasker-Grindley. In his fourth appearance in the event, the 35-year-old from Stafford will face Yorkshire's 12th seed Laurence Delasaux.

Updated men's 1st round draw:
[1] Nick Matthew (Yorks) v Neil Hitchens (Essex)
[16] Simon Parke (Yorks) v [Q] Adam Murrills (Cheshire)
[8] Chris Simpson (Hants) v Peter Creed (Wales)
[12] Laurence Delasaux (Yorks) v [Q] Stephen Siveter (Merseyside)
[4] Adrian Grant (Kent) v [Q] Andrew Birks (Shropshire)
[10] Alan Clyne (Scotland) v [LL] Liam Foster (Cheshire)
[6] Tom Richards (Surrey) v Anthony Graham (Glos)
[14] Eddie Charlton (Notts) v [Q] Andrew Widdison (Yorks)
[15] Andrew Whipp (Cheshire) v [LL] Richard Birks (Shropshire)
[7] Chris Ryder (Herts) v [LL] Adam Giles (Wilts)
[11] Joe Lee (Surrey) v [Q] James Earles (Yorks)
[3] Daryl Selby (Essex) v [Q] Phil Rushworth (Yorks)
[13] Joel Hinds (Derbyshire) v Chris Fuller (Northants)
[5] Jonathan Kemp (Shropshire) v Tom Pashley (Sussex)
[9] Adrian Waller (Herts) v [Q] Declan James (Notts)
[2] James Willstrop (Yorks) v [Q] Charles Sharpes (Surrey)

Women's 2nd qualifying round line-up:
Rachel Willmott (Sussex) v Katie Smith (Yorks)
Zephanie Curgenven (Hants) v Kirsty West (Cheshire)
Fiona Moverley (Yorks) v Heidi Walters (Notts)
Sarah Bowles (Northumbria) v Lucy Townley (Cheshire)
Lauren Tamilla (Lancs) v Selina Sinclair (D & C)
Lisa Aitken (Scotland) v Julianne Courtice (Glos)
Katherine Quarterman (Oxon) v Lauren Gray (Scotland)
Tesni Evans (Wales) v Rachel Cooper (Wales)

Men's 2nd qualifying round:
Phil Rushworth (Yorks) bt Jason Pike (Wilts) 11-3, 11-7, 11-5 (29m)
Rory Pennell (Essex) bt Oliver Wildig (Cheshire) 11-6, 11-4 ret. (13m)
Charles Sharpes (Surrey) bt Kevin Moran (Scotland) 11-4, 11-2, 7-11, 11-5 (35m)
Richard Birks (Shropshire) bt Richard Shellam (Northumbria) 11-9, 11-4, 11-3 (29m)
Steven London (Kent) bt Dominic Hamilton (Oxon) 11-5, 5-11, 12-10, 9-11, 11-7 (60m)
Andrew Widdison (Yorks) bt Morgan Hibberd (Lancs) 11-7, 11-6, 6-11, 15-13 (64m)
Stephen Siveter (Merseyside) bt Keith Timms (Herts) 11-3, 13-11, 9-11, 11-2 (48m)
Chris Tasker-Grindley (Glos) bt Ollie Holland (Notts) 11-5, 11-8, 11-9 (29m)
Kristen Johnson (Oxon) bt Michael Potter (Cheshire) 11-5, 11-5, 11-5 (35m)
Adam Murrills (Cheshire) bt Alex Cutts (Norfolk) 11-9, 11-7, 11-6 (30m)
Adam Fuller (Herts) bt Matthew Sidaway (Lancs) 6-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-8 (46m)
Andrew Birks (Shropshire) bt Theo Woodward (Dorset) 11-2, 6-11, 11-6, 16-14 (46m)
Declan James (Notts) bt Matthew Sampson (Northumbria) 11-1, 11-3, 11-6 (25m)
Adam Giles (Wilts) bt Simon White (Wilts) 11-7, 6-11, 11-7, 4-11, 11-6 (49m)
James Earles (Yorks) bt Robert Taylor (Cheshire) 11-1, 11-6, 11-8 (27m)
Liam Foster (Cheshire) bt David Barnett (Northumbria) w/o
Qualifying finals:
Phil Rushworth (Yorks) bt Rory Pennell (Essex) 11-5, 11-7, 11-6 (25m)
Charles Sharpes (Surrey) bt Richard Birks (Shropshire) 11-7, 11-6, 5-11, 11-9 (44m)
Andrew Widdison (Yorks) bt Steven London (Kent) 11-6, 6-11, 11-1, 11-4 (47m)
Stephen Siveter (Merseyside) bt Chris Tasker-Grindley (Glos) 11-7, 7-11, 11-6, 11-6 (46m)
Adam Murrills (Cheshire) bt Kristen Johnson (Oxon) 11-9, 16-14, 11-3 (43m)
Andrew Birks (Shropshire) bt Adam Fuller (Herts) 11-6, 11-9, 11-7 (25m)
Declan James (Notts) bt Adam Giles (Wilts) 11-9, 11-5, 11-6 (25m)
James Earles (Yorks) bt Liam Foster (Cheshire) 11-7, 11-3, 11-5 (22m)

Women's 1st qualifying round:
Kirsty West (Cheshire) bt Victoria Temple-Murray (Devon) 11-6, 4-11, 4-11, 11-8, 11-8 (39m)
Lauren Gray (Scotland) bt Brogan Lane (Herts) 11-5, 6-11, 11-3, 11-2 (24m)