5:40 am
16 Jul 2024

Scots Rule In British Nationals Qualifiers

6 Feb 2012

There will now be Scottish interest in the British National Squash Championships, which get underway in Manchester tomorrow, after Kevin Moran and Stuart Crawford claimed dramatic successes in today's qualifying finals at the National Squash Centre.

Moran, a 21-year-old from Edinburgh who has never played in the event before, beat experienced Northumbrian David Barnett 12-10, 11-9, 11-9 - and was then drawn to face favourite James Willstrop.

Yorkshireman Willstrop had earlier revealed that a shock early exit in last year's event almost led him to quit the sport. "I felt genuinely happy to be out of the event," said the former champion after losing to a lower-ranked fellow countryman in the quarter-finals.

"At this stage I am too far gone," he continued. "Perhaps, because of my appetite for achievement, I have lost some of the love of playing that I had as a child."

Willstrop reveals these feelings in his autobiography Shot and a Ghost which will be launched this week.

Moran perhaps wishes he had quit - as Willstrop overcame his career-low and went on to win three major international events at the end of last year and begin the New Year as world number one.

Moran, ranked 180 in the world, and will now meet Willstrop at 2pm on Tuesday.

Crawford became the oldest player to qualify after surviving his second marathon of the day. The 30-year-old from Edinburgh first beat Derbyshire's 17-year-old Ashley Davies 8-11, 10-12, 11-7, 11-4, 11-4 in 56 minutes - and then battled for a further 72 minutes to see off Manchester-based Matthew Sidaway 9-11, 14-12, 11-13, 12-10, 12-10 to earn his third appearance in the championship since 2008

Crawford will face Gloucestershire left-hander Robbie Temple, the ninth seed.

Willstrop, the 28-year-old from Leeds who succeeded England team-mate Nick Matthew as world number one has now seen his Yorkshire rival reclaim pole position in the latest February list.

Matthew is expected to line up against Willstrop in Sunday's final - which would be the first ever between the top two players in the world.

Matthew also meets a qualifier in the first round - fellow Yorkshireman James Earles who beat Gloucestershire's Tom Ford 2-11, 11-2, 11-13, 11-9, 11-7 in exactly one hour. The 19-year-old from Hull is ranked 200 in the world.

Updated Men's 1st round draw:
[1] James Willstrop (Yorks) v [Q] Kevin Moran (Scotland)
[12] Andy Whipp (Cheshire) v Declan James (Notts)
[6] Chris Ryder (Herts) v [Q] Oliver Holland (Notts)
[16] Anthony Graham (Glos) v [Q] Richard Birks (Shropshire)
[4] Adrian Grant (Kent) v Neil Cordell (Yorks)
[9] Robbie Temple (Glos) v [Q] Stuart Crawford (Scotland)
[5] Tom Richards (Surrey) v [Q] Mark Fuller (Notts)
[14] Eddie Charlton (Notts) v Adam Murrills (Cheshire)
[10] Joe Lee (Surrey) v Stephen Siveter (Merseyside)
[8] Adrian Waller (Herts) v [Q] Andrew Widdison (Yorks)
[11] Joel Hinds (Derbyshire) v Jason David Pike (Wilts)
[3] Daryl Selby (Essex) v [Q] Nathan Lake (Glos)
[13] Charles Sharpes (Surrey) v Simon Parke (Yorks)
[7] Chris Simpson (Hants) v Ben Coleman (Essex)
[15] Jaymie Haycocks (Shropshire) v Alex Ingham (Surrey)
[2] Nick Matthew (Yorks) v [Q] James Earles (Yorks)

Tickets for the British National Squash Championships - Manchester 2012 can be booked online at www.isportgroup.com/ticketing, or by telephone on 0844-870 0000 - or for further help and information email: info@isportgroup.com

For more general details of the 2012 National Championships, please visit the official website: www.nationalsquashchamps.co.uk

Men's 2nd qualifying round:
Mark Fuller (Notts) bt Daniel Hockborn (D & C) 11-7, 11-7, 11-5 (30m)
Ky Hibberd (Lancs) bt Oliver Turner (Yorks) 11-5, 11-1, 11-5 (31m)
Nathan Lake (Glos) bt Liam Gutcher (Northumbria) 11-3, 11-3, 11-1 (22m)
Greg Lobban (Scotland) bt Adam Martin Auckland (Lincs) 11-9, 1-11, 6-11, 11-3, 11-7 (52m)
Oliver Holland (Notts) bt Will John (Wales) 11-3, 11-8, 11-7 (28m)
Jason David Pike (Wilts) bt Matthew Hardy (Northumbria) 12-10, 12-10, 11-7 (32m)
Richard Birks (Shropshire) bt Alex Cutts (Norfolk) 11-6, 9-11, 11-6, 11-8 (38m)
Jack Jago (Essex) bt Nick Wall (Yorks) 12-10, 11-9, 11-8 (41m)
Andrew Widdison (Yorks) bt Daniel O'Hara (Leics) 11-5, 10-12, 11-7, 11-7 (44m)
Taminder Gata-Aura (Yorks) bt Dominic Hamilton (Oxon) 6-11, 11-6, 13-11, 8-11, 13-11 (55m)
Kevin Moran (Scotland) bt Jamie Mathews (Surrey) 9-11, 11-6, 11-3, 11-6 (36m)
David Barnett (Northumbria) bt Sean Hunter (Cheshire) 11-8, 11-8, 11-8 (33m)
Tom Ford (Glos) bt Richard Shellam (Warwicks) 11-7, 11-4, 11-7 (35m)
James Earles (Yorks) bt Liam Foster (Cheshire) 11-3, 11-4, 11-3 (21m)
Matthew Sidaway (Lancs) bt Robert Dadds (Cambs) 11-8, 11-6, 10-12, 11-8 (33m)
Stuart Crawford (Scotland) bt Ashley Davies (Derbyshire) 8-11, 10-12, 11-7, 11-4, 11-4 (56m)

Qualifying finals:
Mark Fuller (Notts) bt Ky Hibberd (Lancs) 11-5, 11-5, 11-4 (30m)
Nathan Lake (Glos) bt Greg Lobban (Scotland) 11-9, 5-11, 11-8, 11-6 (50m)
Oliver Holland (Notts) bt Jason David Pike (Wilts) 11-3, 11-9, 11-5 (30m)
Richard Birks (Shropshire) bt Jack Jago (Essex) 10-12, 11-9, 11-4, 9-11, 11-2 (68m)
Andrew Widdison (Yorks) bt Taminder Gata-Aura (Yorks) 11-5, 9-11, 11-6, 11-6 (42m)
Kevin Moran (Scotland) bt David Barnett (Northumbria) 12-10, 11-9, 11-9 (41m)
James Earles (Yorks) bt Tom Ford (Glos) 2-11, 11-2, 11-13, 11-9, 11-7 (60m)
Stuart Crawford (Scotland) bt Matthew Sidaway (Lancs) 9-11, 14-12, 11-13, 12-10, 12-10 (72m)