Day 1 – Qualifying round 1 report
Kevin Moran bt Barry Talbot – 11-2, 11-5, 11-5 (24 mins)
Sutton first team player Talbot was first up on the show court tonight and was in for a tough nights work against Scottish international Kevin Moran. The match was played at a high pace and despite Talbot playing some great stuff, Moran’s quality and speed of play was just too much today.
Joeri Hapers bt Luke Parker – 11-5,11-6,11-2 (26 mins)
This match was filled with some great rallies, it was Hapers short game that proved the difference.
Jamie Henderson bt Sam Hodgkins 11-6, 11-7, 11-6 (33 mins)
Having helped Sutton to the Warwickshire league title last season, Hodgkins was keen to do well in front of a supportive crowd. This was another game played a cracking pace and the first two games saw the players level until 6-6 before Henderson managed to pull away. The hard work Hodgkins had to put in seemed to show in the third game and Henderson was always in control.
Ondrej Uherka bt Bradley Masters 12-10, 11-9, 13-11 (42 mins)
Whilst I didn’t get to watch much of this match, each game was incredibly tight and could easily have gone either way. With some quality squash and gruelling rallies, the crowd built Steadily for this match throughout.
Phil Nightingale bt Marcus Hayes 11-8, 12-10, 11-6 (36 mins)
Sutton’s last home player took on Phil Nightingale in front of a loyal crowd. Hayes led 8-6 in the first game with some trademark angles that left Nightingale floundering. Nightingale tightened up and hit back to take it 11-8. The second saw Nightingale open up a 5-1 lead with well constructed rallies and then taking advantage of the loose ball with clinical drops. Hayes rallied and mixed things up well to take the game to 10-10 but Nightingale managed to close it out. Nightingale was always slightly ahead in the third and secure a 3-0 victory.
Tristan Eyesle bt Guy Pearson 9-11, 7-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-9
What a match! Whilst Pearson is unknown to the tour he is an talented player and having improved his fitness recently has been scoring some upsets over professional players in league. The first game was tight all the way with Pearson looking to work the ball around and attack whilst Eyesle used his speed and fitness to extend the rallies. Pearson snuck the game 11-9 and was always a couple of points ahead in the second to take it 11-7. The third saw a total change of momentum with Eysele taking a 9-2 lead and winning it 11-4. Pearson seemed to get a second wind in the fourth and we were treated to some fantastic shot making matched equally by Eysele’s speed and determination. Eyesele took the game 11-8 and we were in for the first 5 setter of the evening. They were all even in the 5th to 5 all where Eysele pushed on to take a 10-6 lead, Pearson was not finished however and worked his opponent around the court patiently to claw back to 9-10. This was as close as he got as Eysele completed a remarkable comeback to win 3-2.
Patrick Rooney bt Darren Lewis 11-7, 16-14, 6-11, 11-7 (52 mins)
Having taken a 1 game lead Rooney quickly found himself 10-3 down in the second game with Lewis producing some fantastic play to build a big lead .Looking to finish the game quickly, Lewis’ lead began to disappear and Rooney played more patiently to extend the rallies. From 10 all both players had game ball opportunities before Rooney took an important second game 16-14. The audience could have been forgiven for thinking that Lewis would not recover from the second game but he kept the quality high to take the 3rd game 11-6. The fourth was even to 6 all until Rooney pulled away to take win it 11-7 and take the match 3-1.
Owain Taylor bt Steven London 8-11, 11-4, 8-11, 11-4, 12-10
A match with so many changes of momentum it was hard to keep track. The first four games were filled with one of the players finding form whilst the other looked slightly short. This changed however in a titanic fifth game battle where both players gave there all in some long rallies. Saving a match ball Taylor edged it 12-10 to seal his place in the qualifying finals.