5:25 am
14 Jun 2024

Murrills Motors On In Manchester

8 Feb 2011

Cheshire qualifier Adam Murrills pulled off the only upset on the opening day of men's main draw action in the British National Squash Championships when he beat Yorkshire's former champion Simon Parke in four games at the National Squash Centre in Manchester.

Parke, the 38-year-old 1998 champion from Pontefract, was celebrating his 51st match in the championships since making his debut in 1987 - three years before his 20-year-old opponent was born.

But after the first two games were shared, Murrills fought back from 7-9 down in the third to open up a 2/1 lead, then survived a game-ball in the fourth before going on to topple the 16th seed 11-9, 7-11, 11-9, 12-10 in 60 minutes.

"It was great to get to play Parkey - he's done so much in the game," said a jubilant Murrills, from Bowdon, afterwards. "I've always wanted to play him, but in league matches he was always a place or two above me, so it never happened.

"I was pleased when I drew him yesterday, and I'm pleased I managed to play well today. My coach Alex Stait knows him well so he gave me the lowdown on him and a few tips."

Any thoughts that this might be the last time the Manchester crowd see the popular Yorkshireman in action in the event were quickly dispelled by the 38-year-old: "I read that Stanley Matthews played top-level football until he was 50 - and that's what I aim to do ...... as long as I can stand up and walk in a straight line," quipped the former world No3.

"I was quietly confident - even though I knew he was quick," Parke said of the match. "It was close - it could have gone either way.

"Alex and I played each other countless times over the years - and there were a few 'Staity' shots in Adam's game!

"Alex said afterwards that it was the best he'd ever seen Adam play," added Parke.

Murrills, making his debut in the event, will now face top seed Nick Matthew, the 30-year-old title-holder from Sheffield who is ranked one in the world.

"Getting to play Nick in the next round was an extra motivation too," added Murrills.

Matthew, bidding to win a record-equalling fourth title, was taken to a tie-break in the first game against Neil Hitchens before easing to a 12-10, 11-4, 11-4 win over his unseeded Essex opponent in 38 minutes.

"That was quite tough," said Matthew, who only 48 hours earlier won the Swedish Open title for the third year in a row. "Neil's a good solid player, gets stuck in - and he's a nice guy, too.

"In the first game, I was a little bit slow out of the box - then I got into my stride," added England's first world champion. "It's always a bit hard getting back onto traditional courts after playing on glass."

Former full-time player Andy Whipp, making his ninth successive appearance in the event, successfully took his place in the second round after beating Telford's Richard Birks 11-8, 11-7, 11-6.

The 29-year-old from Didsbury in Manchester, who gave up playing on the PSA World Tour six years ago, seems to be playing the best squash of his life. "I used to train like an idiot - but now I've got a bit more of a brain," said the Whipp, the head coach at the Manchester Northern club for the past two years.

"I never play over the summer and then at the beginning of each new season I manage to get back into it," added Whipp. "I'm enjoying playing now more than ever."

In his bid to make the quarter-finals for the first ever time, the 15th seed now faces Hertfordshire's Chris Ryder, the No7 seed from Leamington Spa.

Ryder gave Adam Giles the 33rd birthday present he didn't want by beating the Wiltshire debutant 11-5, 11-2, 11-6 in 21 minutes.

"I've got a tough match against Chris," added Whipp. "We're pretty even in fact: If I play well, I've got a good chance."

Men's 2nd round line-up:
[1] Nick Matthew (Yorks) v [Q] Adam Murrills (Cheshire)
[8] Chris Simpson (Hants) v [12] Laurence Delasaux (Yorks)
[4] Adrian Grant (Kent) v [10] Alan Clyne (Scotland)
[6] Tom Richards (Surrey) v [14] Eddie Charlton (Notts)
[7] Chris Ryder (Herts) v [15] Andy Whipp (Cheshire)
[3] Daryl Selby (Essex) v [11] Joe Lee (Surrey)
[5] Jonathan Kemp (Shropshire) v [13] Joel Hinds (Derbyshire)
[2] James Willstrop (Yorks) v [9] Adrian Waller (Herts)

Updated women's 1st round draw:
[1] Jenny Duncalf (Yorks) v Sarah-Jane Perry (Warwicks)
[5] Emma Beddoes (Warwicks) v Emily Whitlock (Cheshire)
[4] Sarah Kippax (Cheshire) v [Q] Lisa Aitken (Scotland)
[7] Dominique Lloyd-Walter (Middx) v [Q] Fiona Moverley (Yorks)
[8] Lauren Selby (Essex) v Deon Saffery (Wales)
[3] Laura Massaro (Lancs) v [Q] Rachel Willmott (Sussex)
[6] Victoria Lust (Beds) v Kirsty McPhee (Yorks)
[2] Madeline Perry (Ireland) v [Q] Tesni Evans (Wales)

Men's 1st round:
[1] Nick Matthew (Yorks) bt Neil Hitchens (Essex) 12-10, 11-4, 11-4 (38m)
[Q] Adam Murrills (Cheshire) bt [16] Simon Parke (Yorks) 11-9, 7-11, 11-9, 12-10 (60m)
[8] Chris Simpson (Hants) bt Peter Creed (Wales) 11-6, 11-7, 9-11, 11-6 (48m)
[12] Laurence Delasaux (Yorks) bt [Q] Stephen Siveter (Merseyside) 9-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-6, 11-5 (48m)
[4] Adrian Grant (Kent) bt [Q] Andrew Birks (Shropshire) 11-4, 11-5, 9-11, 11-7 (49m)
[10] Alan Clyne (Scotland) bt Liam Foster (Cheshire) 14-12, 11-8, 11-1 (25m)
[6] Tom Richards (Surrey) bt Anthony Graham (Glos) 11-8, 11-5, 11-8 (26m)
[14] Eddie Charlton (Notts) bt [Q] Andrew Widdison (Yorks) 12-10, 11-5, 11-1 (29m)
[15] Andy Whipp (Cheshire) bt Richard Birks (Shropshire) 11-8, 11-7, 11-6 (34m)
[7] Chris Ryder (Herts) bt Adam Giles (Wilts) 11-5, 11-2, 11-6 (21m)
[11] Joe Lee (Surrey) bt [Q] James Earles (Yorks) 11-9, 11-3, 11-6 (32m)
[3] Daryl Selby (Essex) bt [Q] Phil Rushworth (Yorks) 11-3, 11-8, 4-11, 11-8 (39m)
[13] Joel Hinds (Derbyshire) bt Chris Fuller (Northants) 11-8, 12-10, 12-10 (54m)
[5] Jonathan Kemp (Shropshire) bt Tom Pashley (Sussex) 12-10, 11-4, 15-13 (38m)
[9] Adrian Waller (Herts) bt [Q] Declan James (Notts) 16-14, 11-4, 11-4 (31m)
[2] James Willstrop (Yorks) bt [Q] Charles Sharpes (Surrey) 11-6, 11-6, 11-5 (25m)

Women's Qualifying finals:
Rachel Willmott (Sussex) bt Zephanie Curgenven (Hants) 11-3, 13-11, 5-11, 15-13 (38m)
Fiona Moverley (Yorks) bt Sarah Bowles (Northumbria) 2-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-4 (27m)
Lisa Aitken (Scotland) bt Selina Sinclair (D & C) 11-5, 11-2, 11-6 (22m)
Tesni Evans (Wales) bt Lauren Gray (Scotland) 8-11, 12-10, 11-6, 6-11, 11-3 (38m)