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26/08/2007
BISHOPS STORTFORD FESTIVAL
 

Selby Celebrates Home Win At Bishop's Stortford Festival

BAA Bishops Stortford Squash Festival
20-25 August 2007
Round One
22 Aug
Quarters
23 Aug
Semis
24 Aug
Final
25 Aug
[1] Daryl Selby (Eng)
11/5, 11/5, 11/8 (31m)
[Q] Robbie Temple (Eng)
Daryl Selby
11/2, 11/7, 11/2 (35m)
Jesse Engelbrecht
Daryl Selby
11/4, 11/9, 9/11, 11/9 (51m)
Luca Mastrostefano
Daryl Selby
11/9, 8/11, 13/11, 11/6 (57m)
Julien Balbo
[8] Jesse Engelbrecht (Zim)
11/5, 11/8, 11/4 (23m)
[Q] Jens Schoor (Ger)
[3] Jonathan Harford (Eng)
11/9, 12/10, 11/8 (35m)
Niels Hoevenaars (Ned)
Jonathan Harford
4/11, 11/4, 11/6, 11/2 (40m)
Luca Mastrostefano
[7] Luca Mastrostefano (Ita)
11/7, 11/4, 11/5 (32m)
Neil Hitchens (Eng)
Darren Lewis (Eng)
11/7, 11/5, 11/9 (45m)
[6] Mathieu Castagnet (Fra)
Mathieu Castagnet
11/7, 9/11, 8/11, 11/4, 11/3 (81m)
Jan Koukal
Mathieu Castagnet
11/4, 7/11, 8/11, 11/4, 11/5 (88m)
Julien Balbo
David Barnett (Eng)
8/11, 9/11, 11/7, 11/7, 11/4 (60m)
[4] Jan Koukal (Cze)
[Q] Ben Ford (Eng)
11/13, 12/10, 7/11, 11/3, 13/11 (78m)
[5] Julien Balbo (Fra)
Julien Balbo
11/9, 9/11, 11/5, 11/9 (62m)
Romain Tenant
[Q] Romain Tenant (Fra)
9/6 rtd (8m)
[2] Scott Handley (Eng)

Qualifying:

Finals, 21-Aug:
Romain Tenant (Fra) bt Ryan Thompson (Nam) 11/8, 7/11, 11/8, 11/9 (50m)
Ben Ford (Eng) bt Shaun Le Roux (Eng) 11/5, 11/6, 9/11, 13/11 (51m)
Jens Schoor (Ger) bt Arthur Gaskin (Irl) 9/11, 11/9, 8/11, 11/7, 14/12 (63m)
Robbie Temple (Eng) bt Stuart Crawford (Sco) 11/7, 8/11, 11/4, 9/11, 12/10 (61m)

First Round, 20-Aug:
Romain Tenant (Fra) bt Keith Timms (Eng) 11/8, 9/11, 11/8, 11/5 (40m)
Ryan Thompson (Nam) bt Adam Fuller (Eng) 11/7, 8/11, 11/5, 11/3 (45m)
Ben Ford (Eng) bt Rene Mijs (Bel) 11/7, 11/5, 14/12 (32m)
Shaun Le Roux (Eng) bt Rory Pennell (Eng) 11/9, 11/9, 11/3 (22m)
Jens Schoor (Ger) bt Jason Barry (Rsa) 11/9, 11/9, 15/13 (42m)
Arthur Gaskin (Irl) bt Elliott Selby (Eng) 11/1, 11/2, 11/5 (25m)
Robbie Temple (Eng) bt James Snell (Eng) 11/5, 11/6, 11/5 (27m)
Stuart Crawford (Sco) bt Tom Pashley (Eng) 6/11, 11/6, 8/11, 11/3, 11/2 (39m)

Selby Celebrates Home Win At Bishop's Stortford Festival

Top-seeded Englishman Daryl Selby (left) delighted his fans at his home club in Bishop's Stortford when he beat France's fifth seed Julien Balbo in the final of the BAA Bishop's Stortford Squash Festival to claim the fifth PSA Tour title of his career - but his first on home soil.

 

Most of the audience at the Bishop's Stortford Squash Club thought that Selby was a certainty to win following his easier passage through to the final - compared to that of his opponent, particularly following Balbo's 90-minute epic the previous evening against his compatriot Mathieu Castagnet.

 

"It was far from easy, though," said tournament official John Milton.

 

The first game was a close affair, with neither player enjoying any more than a two-point lead at any time.  Selby just managed to take it 11-9 but then Balbo came back strongly in the second, pushing hard to lead 6-2 and 10-5.  The 28-year-old Frenchman managed to close the game out to level the scores. 

 

More was to follow from Balbo, who - looking far stronger than anyone had anticipated - raced to a 9-4 lead, just two points short of a 2/1 lead.   The 24-year-old home hero had different ideas, however, reeling off five points in a row to get back to ten-all, before clinching the tie break 13-11.

 

There was no way back for Balbo after that.  It was close for the first four or five rallies in the fourth game, but Selby then pushed hard to open up a clear lead and eventually took the game and the title 11-9, 8-11, 11-10 (3-1), 11-6 after 57 minutes.

 

"It was the end to a highly successful festival week where every level of squash had been covered ranging from young schoolchildren who had never picked up a racket before, to juniors at every age level from under 11 upwards, to club players enjoying social squash activities, to some of the world's best professional players gathering together for the PSA tournament.  A true festival of squash," said Milton.

 

Selby acknowledged afterwards that it was not his best squash:  "But I did just enough, so I'm pleased to win.  It feels good to win a title in my first tournament of the season."

 

Balbo felt that the turning point was in the third game:  "The first game, I felt really good but in the second I felt okay but thought I would struggle to finish each game.  I pushed hard in the second, had a few lucky shots and he made a few mistakes.  But at 9-4 up in the third, I was so sad I couldn't win it," explained the Frenchman.

 

"Finally, I just want to say what a good tournament this has been; so well organised, anything we asked for, someone made an effort to give, plus everybody has been so friendly here.  I really hope they manage to find the money to organise another one next year.  I know I will be back and so will many other players be eager to come as everybody will hear what a good tournament it is.  Thank you Bishops Stortford!"

 

 

Selby & Balbo To Contest Bishop's Stortford Festival Final

England's top seed and local hero Daryl Selby will face Frenchman Julien Balbo (right) in the final of the BAA Bishop's Stortford Squash Festival after surviving searching semi-final battles in the inaugural PSA Tour event at the Bishop's Stortford Squash Club in the English town of Bishop's Stortford.

 

Selby comfortably took the opening game against No7 seed Luca Mastrostefano. However, the London-born Italian took a 6-1 lead in the second, but Selby struck back to forge a 2/0 lead.

 

Again Mastrostefano led in the third, and Selby drew level to nine-all, but this time the Italian forced the advantage to reduce the deficit to 2/1. After a close fourth game, it was Essex man Selby who prevailed 11-4, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9 in 51 minutes to celebrate his maiden PSA Tour final appearance on home soil. The final marks the sixth of his career - and his fourth this year.

 

The second semi final produced an epic spectacle between two Frenchmen who know each others games inside out. Julien Balbo, the fifth seed, is only ranked slightly higher than his young opponent Mathieu Castagnet - seeded six - and the difference between them was also marginal.

 

Balbo won the opening game, but Castagnet then took the upper hand to take the next two to forge a 2/1 lead. After Balbo claimed the fourth to draw level, Castagnet looked a beaten man - particularly when he went 0-6 down in the fifth. With only token resistance from his opponent, Balbo managed to push through to take the final game, and the match 11-4, 7-11, 8-11, 11-4, 11-5 to claim a place in the final after 88 long minutes.

 

The triumph marks the 28-year-old from Chambery's fourth PSA final appearance - and, like Selby, his first in England.

 

Selby Survives Amid Upsets At Bishop's Stortford Festival

Top seed and local hero Daryl Selby will be the only Englishman to compete in the semi-finals of the BAA Bishop's Stortford Squash Festival amid a series of quarter-final upsets in the inaugural PSA Tour event at the Bishop's Stortford Squash Club in Bishop's Stortford.

 

Selby, the world No36 who is based at England's '2007 Club of the Year', gave an impressively clinical display in his match against South Africa's Jesse Engelbrecht - confirming why he is so strongly fancied to lift the title at the weekend. As gamely as Engelbrecht played, Selby had an answer for everything that the former Zimbabwean could throw at him. The 24-year-old Englishman ran out a comfortable 11-2, 11-7, 11-2 winner.

 

Selby expected to face fellow countryman Jonathan Harford in the last four. But after starting well against No7 seed Luca Mastrostefano, the No3 seed from Gloucestershire capitulated quickly, enabling the Italian to win the next three games with ease to claim a 4-11, 11-4, 11-6, 11-2 victory.

 

Not nearly so comfortable was the victory by Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet over fourth seed Jan Koukal, from the Czech Republic. In the longest match of the evening, in which each player needed an injury break, sixth seed Castagnet finally managed to win through 11-7, 9-11, 8-11, 11-4, 11-3.

 

The quarter-final clash between charismatic Frenchmen Julien Balbo and Romain Tenant thoroughly entertained the packed crowd. With three out of the four games going to 11-9, the final result was always in the balance. Fifth seed Balbo took the first 11-9, then lost the second 9-11 to qualifier Tenant. The third game was the most decisive, going 11-5 to Balbo. He finally managed to clinch an exhilarating match 11-9 in the fifth.

 

Both players heaped praise on the crowd for their squash appreciation and for providing an atmosphere that made it such an enjoyable match to play in and to watch.

 

Selby & Harford Keep England Flag Flying In Bishop's Stortford Festival

Local hero Daryl Selby and Gloucestershire's Jonathan Harford kept English hopes alive in the BAA Bishop's Stortford Squash Festival after scoring straight games wins in the first round of the inaugural PSA Tour event at the Bishop's Stortford Squash Club in Bishop's Stortford.

 

A packed house at England's '2007 Club of the Year' was treated to a feast of excellent squash on the opening day of the new event. Third seed Harford opened proceedings with an 11-9, 11-10 (2-0), 11-8 victory over Dutchman Niels Hoevenaars.

 

The Leeds-based 24-year-old will now meet Luca Mastrostefano after the seventh-seeded Italian made short work of Neil Hitchens - romping to an 11-7, 11-4, 11-5 win over the wild-carded Englishman.

 

Looking a little rusty in his first competitive match of the new season, Daryl Selby was still too strong for compatriot Robbie Temple, a slightly jaded opponent who had endured an emotive five-game epic qualifying final the previous evening. Temple often allows his emotions to boil over against what he deems as unfair decisions against him by the referee and this was the case in the second game when he received a conduct warning - and pushed his luck too far before being awarded a conduct stroke against him.

 

Showing improved maturity in the third game, the London-based 21-year-old began to play better and pushed Selby more than in the first two games. But club and event favourite Selby responded appropriately and ran out a comfortable 11-5, 11-5, 11-8 winner.

 

It was a disastrous session for home players in the bottom half of the draw where all four English players made their exits.

 

Unseeded Northumbrian David Barnett exposed the inconsistency of fourth seed Jan Koukal when he took a two-game lead over the Czech Republic number one. Barnett, who recently enjoyed success in winning the third Harrow Challenger tournament at the Broxbourne club, looked likely to go through - but Koukal finally got his game together, coming back strongly to win 8-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-4.

 

The only shock of the day took place when second seed Scott Handley was forced to retire after only half a game. 9-6 down against French qualifier Romain Tenant, the experienced Englishman from Oxfordshire decided to stop before doing too much damage to a hamstring strain that will now keep him out of the forthcoming Dutch Open.

 

The final match proved to be the most dramatic - and longest! Julien Balbo from France had the narrowest of victories against English qualifier Ben Ford. The experienced Ford was close to taking a 2/0 lead until Balbo pinched a second game tie break 12-10 to level the score. Each player then shared the spoils in the next two games only for the full drama to unfold late in the fifth game decider.

 

An increasingly tense affair raised the temperature even more after Balbo was given a no let after slipping over when he had match ball at 10-9. Frustration boiled over and he had a conduct stroke awarded against him to dramatically go match ball down at 10-11. Impressively, the fifth seed from Chambery managed to galvanise himself and win the next three points to finally beat Ford into weary submission 10-11 (1-3), 11-10 (2-0), 7-11, 11-3, 11-10 (3-1).

 

Ford & Temple Boost English Interest In Bishop's Stortford Festival

Englishmen Ben Ford and Robbie Temple have boosted domestic interest in the BAA Bishop's Stortford Squash Festival after claiming qualifying places in the inaugural PSA Tour event at the Bishop's Stortford Squash Club in Bishop's Stortford.

 

Ford, from Welling in Kent, defeated compatriot Shaun le Roux 11-5, 11-6, 9-11, 11-10 (3-1) in the qualifying finals to set up a first round clash with Frenchman Julien Balbo, the No5 seed.

 

Robbie Temple earned his third successful PSA Tour event qualifying success after outlasting Scotland's Stuart Crawford 11-7, 8-11, 11-4, 9-11, 11-10 (3-1). The London-based 21-year-old from Gloucester now faces local hero Daryl Selby, the top seed who is based at the Bishop's Stortford club.

 

"Players from all over Europe are converging on Bishop's Stortford Squash Club to compete in this new Festival of squash, sponsored by our close neighbours BAA London Stansted Airport," said Jason Foster, manager of the host club which was officially recognised by the National body, England Squash, as '2007 Club of the Year'.

 

"I'm so proud at how the whole squash community has come together to try and promote squash within the schools and the clubs to be a part of the BAA Squash Festival," added Foster.

 

"By working with the 'UK Squash Academy', run by Paul Selby and John Milton, plus the support received by England Squash, I sincerely believe squash will become an Olympic sport in the very near future - and with the crop of youngsters coming through hope that they will be inspired with what they see at the BAA Squash Festival."

 

 

.style8 { color: #FFFFFF; } .style3 { font-size: 8pt; } -->
BAA Bishops Stortford Squash Festival
20-25 August 2007
Round One
22 Aug
Quarters
23 Aug
Semis
24 Aug
Final
25 Aug
[1] Daryl Selby (Eng)
11/5, 11/5, 11/8 (31m)
[Q] Robbie Temple (Eng)
Daryl Selby
11/2, 11/7, 11/2 (35m)
Jesse Engelbrecht
Daryl Selby
11/4, 11/9, 9/11, 11/9 (51m)
Luca Mastrostefano
Daryl Selby
11/9, 8/11, 13/11, 11/6 (57m)
Julien Balbo
[8] Jesse Engelbrecht (Zim)
11/5, 11/8, 11/4 (23m)
[Q] Jens Schoor (Ger)
[3] Jonathan Harford (Eng)
11/9, 12/10, 11/8 (35m)
Niels Hoevenaars (Ned)
Jonathan Harford
4/11, 11/4, 11/6, 11/2 (40m)
Luca Mastrostefano
[7] Luca Mastrostefano (Ita)
11/7, 11/4, 11/5 (32m)
Neil Hitchens (Eng)
Darren Lewis (Eng)
11/7, 11/5, 11/9 (45m)
[6] Mathieu Castagnet (Fra)
Mathieu Castagnet
11/7, 9/11, 8/11, 11/4, 11/3 (81m)
Jan Koukal
Mathieu Castagnet
11/4, 7/11, 8/11, 11/4, 11/5 (88m)
Julien Balbo
David Barnett (Eng)
8/11, 9/11, 11/7, 11/7, 11/4 (60m)
[4] Jan Koukal (Cze)
[Q] Ben Ford (Eng)
11/13, 12/10, 7/11, 11/3, 13/11 (78m)
[5] Julien Balbo (Fra)
Julien Balbo
11/9, 9/11, 11/5, 11/9 (62m)
Romain Tenant
[Q] Romain Tenant (Fra)
9/6 rtd (8m)
[2] Scott Handley (Eng)

Qualifying:

Finals, 21-Aug:
Romain Tenant (Fra) bt Ryan Thompson (Nam) 11/8, 7/11, 11/8, 11/9 (50m)
Ben Ford (Eng) bt Shaun Le Roux (Eng) 11/5, 11/6, 9/11, 13/11 (51m)
Jens Schoor (Ger) bt Arthur Gaskin (Irl) 9/11, 11/9, 8/11, 11/7, 14/12 (63m)
Robbie Temple (Eng) bt Stuart Crawford (Sco) 11/7, 8/11, 11/4, 9/11, 12/10 (61m)

First Round, 20-Aug:
Romain Tenant (Fra) bt Keith Timms (Eng) 11/8, 9/11, 11/8, 11/5 (40m)
Ryan Thompson (Nam) bt Adam Fuller (Eng) 11/7, 8/11, 11/5, 11/3 (45m)
Ben Ford (Eng) bt Rene Mijs (Bel) 11/7, 11/5, 14/12 (32m)
Shaun Le Roux (Eng) bt Rory Pennell (Eng) 11/9, 11/9, 11/3 (22m)
Jens Schoor (Ger) bt Jason Barry (Rsa) 11/9, 11/9, 15/13 (42m)
Arthur Gaskin (Irl) bt Elliott Selby (Eng) 11/1, 11/2, 11/5 (25m)
Robbie Temple (Eng) bt James Snell (Eng) 11/5, 11/6, 11/5 (27m)
Stuart Crawford (Sco) bt Tom Pashley (Eng) 6/11, 11/6, 8/11, 11/3, 11/2 (39m)

Selby Celebrates Home Win At Bishop's Stortford Festival

Top-seeded Englishman Daryl Selby (right) delighted his fans at his home club in Bishop's Stortford when he beat France's fifth seed Julien Balbo in the final of the BAA Bishop's Stortford Squash Festival to claim the fifth PSA Tour title of his career - but his first on home soil.

 

Most of the audience at the Bishop's Stortford Squash Club thought that Selby was a certainty to win following his easier passage through to the final - compared to that of his opponent, particularly following Balbo's 90-minute epic the previous evening against his compatriot Mathieu Castagnet.

 

"It was far from easy, though," said tournament official John Milton.

 

The first game was a close affair, with neither player enjoying any more than a two-point lead at any time.  Selby just managed to take it 11-9 but then Balbo came back strongly in the second, pushing hard to lead 6-2 and 10-5.  The 28-year-old Frenchman managed to close the game out to level the scores. 

 

More was to follow from Balbo, who - looking far stronger than anyone had anticipated - raced to a 9-4 lead, just two points short of a 2/1 lead.   The 24-year-old home hero had different ideas, however, reeling off five points in a row to get back to ten-all, before clinching the tie break 13-11.

 

There was no way back for Balbo after that.  It was close for the first four or five rallies in the fourth game, but Selby then pushed hard to open up a clear lead and eventually took the game and the title 11-9, 8-11, 11-10 (3-1), 11-6 after 57 minutes.

 

"It was the end to a highly successful festival week where every level of squash had been covered ranging from young schoolchildren who had never picked up a racket before, to juniors at every age level from under 11 upwards, to club players enjoying social squash activities, to some of the world's best professional players gathering together for the PSA tournament.  A true festival of squash," said Milton.

 

Selby acknowledged afterwards that it was not his best squash:  "But I did just enough, so I'm pleased to win.  It feels good to win a title in my first tournament of the season."

 

Balbo felt that the turning point was in the third game:  "The first game, I felt really good but in the second I felt okay but thought I would struggle to finish each game.  I pushed hard in the second, had a few lucky shots and he made a few mistakes.  But at 9-4 up in the third, I was so sad I couldn't win it," explained the Frenchman.

 

"Finally, I just want to say what a good tournament this has been; so well organised, anything we asked for, someone made an effort to give, plus everybody has been so friendly here.  I really hope they manage to find the money to organise another one next year.  I know I will be back and so will many other players be eager to come as everybody will hear what a good tournament it is.  Thank you Bishops Stortford!"

 

 

Selby & Balbo To Contest Bishop's Stortford Festival Final

England's top seed and local hero Daryl Selby will face Frenchman Julien Balbo (left) in the final of the BAA Bishop's Stortford Squash Festival after surviving searching semi-final battles in the inaugural PSA Tour event at the Bishop's Stortford Squash Club in the English town of Bishop's Stortford.

 

Selby comfortably took the opening game against No7 seed Luca Mastrostefano. However, the London-born Italian took a 6-1 lead in the second, but Selby struck back to forge a 2/0 lead.

 

Again Mastrostefano led in the third, and Selby drew level to nine-all, but this time the Italian forced the advantage to reduce the deficit to 2/1. After a close fourth game, it was Essex man Selby who prevailed 11-4, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9 in 51 minutes to celebrate his maiden PSA Tour final appearance on home soil. The final marks the sixth of his career - and his fourth this year.

 

The second semi final produced an epic spectacle between two Frenchmen who know each others games inside out. Julien Balbo, the fifth seed, is only ranked slightly higher than his young opponent Mathieu Castagnet - seeded six - and the difference between them was also marginal.

 

Balbo won the opening game, but Castagnet then took the upper hand to take the next two to forge a 2/1 lead. After Balbo claimed the fourth to draw level, Castagnet looked a beaten man - particularly when he went 0-6 down in the fifth. With only token resistance from his opponent, Balbo managed to push through to take the final game, and the match 11-4, 7-11, 8-11, 11-4, 11-5 to claim a place in the final after 88 long minutes.

 

The triumph marks the 28-year-old from Chambery's fourth PSA final appearance - and, like Selby, his first in England.

 

Selby Survives Amid Upsets At Bishop's Stortford Festival

Top seed and local hero Daryl Selby will be the only Englishman to compete in the semi-finals of the BAA Bishop's Stortford Squash Festival amid a series of quarter-final upsets in the inaugural PSA Tour event at the Bishop's Stortford Squash Club in Bishop's Stortford.

 

Selby, the world No36 who is based at England's '2007 Club of the Year', gave an impressively clinical display in his match against South Africa's Jesse Engelbrecht - confirming why he is so strongly fancied to lift the title at the weekend. As gamely as Engelbrecht played, Selby had an answer for everything that the former Zimbabwean could throw at him. The 24-year-old Englishman ran out a comfortable 11-2, 11-7, 11-2 winner.

 

Selby expected to face fellow countryman Jonathan Harford in the last four. But after starting well against No7 seed Luca Mastrostefano, the No3 seed from Gloucestershire capitulated quickly, enabling the Italian to win the next three games with ease to claim a 4-11, 11-4, 11-6, 11-2 victory.

 

Not nearly so comfortable was the victory by Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet over fourth seed Jan Koukal, from the Czech Republic. In the longest match of the evening, in which each player needed an injury break, sixth seed Castagnet finally managed to win through 11-7, 9-11, 8-11, 11-4, 11-3.

 

The quarter-final clash between charismatic Frenchmen Julien Balbo and Romain Tenant thoroughly entertained the packed crowd. With three out of the four games going to 11-9, the final result was always in the balance. Fifth seed Balbo took the first 11-9, then lost the second 9-11 to qualifier Tenant. The third game was the most decisive, going 11-5 to Balbo. He finally managed to clinch an exhilarating match 11-9 in the fifth.

 

Both players heaped praise on the crowd for their squash appreciation and for providing an atmosphere that made it such an enjoyable match to play in and to watch.

 

Selby & Harford Keep England Flag Flying In Bishop's Stortford Festival

Local hero Daryl Selby and Gloucestershire's Jonathan Harford kept English hopes alive in the BAA Bishop's Stortford Squash Festival after scoring straight games wins in the first round of the inaugural PSA Tour event at the Bishop's Stortford Squash Club in Bishop's Stortford.

 

A packed house at England's '2007 Club of the Year' was treated to a feast of excellent squash on the opening day of the new event. Third seed Harford opened proceedings with an 11-9, 11-10 (2-0), 11-8 victory over Dutchman Niels Hoevenaars.

 

The Leeds-based 24-year-old will now meet Luca Mastrostefano after the seventh-seeded Italian made short work of Neil Hitchens - romping to an 11-7, 11-4, 11-5 win over the wild-carded Englishman.

 

Looking a little rusty in his first competitive match of the new season, Daryl Selby was still too strong for compatriot Robbie Temple, a slightly jaded opponent who had endured an emotive five-game epic qualifying final the previous evening. Temple often allows his emotions to boil over against what he deems as unfair decisions against him by the referee and this was the case in the second game when he received a conduct warning - and pushed his luck too far before being awarded a conduct stroke against him.

 

Showing improved maturity in the third game, the London-based 21-year-old began to play better and pushed Selby more than in the first two games. But club and event favourite Selby responded appropriately and ran out a comfortable 11-5, 11-5, 11-8 winner.

 

It was a disastrous session for home players in the bottom half of the draw where all four English players made their exits.

 

Unseeded Northumbrian David Barnett exposed the inconsistency of fourth seed Jan Koukal when he took a two-game lead over the Czech Republic number one. Barnett, who recently enjoyed success in winning the third Harrow Challenger tournament at the Broxbourne club, looked likely to go through - but Koukal finally got his game together, coming back strongly to win 8-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-4.

 

The only shock of the day took place when second seed Scott Handley was forced to retire after only half a game. 9-6 down against French qualifier Romain Tenant, the experienced Englishman from Oxfordshire decided to stop before doing too much damage to a hamstring strain that will now keep him out of the forthcoming Dutch Open.

 

The final match proved to be the most dramatic - and longest! Julien Balbo from France had the narrowest of victories against English qualifier Ben Ford. The experienced Ford was close to taking a 2/0 lead until Balbo pinched a second game tie break 12-10 to level the score. Each player then shared the spoils in the next two games only for the full drama to unfold late in the fifth game decider.

 

An increasingly tense affair raised the temperature even more after Balbo was given a no let after slipping over when he had match ball at 10-9. Frustration boiled over and he had a conduct stroke awarded against him to dramatically go match ball down at 10-11. Impressively, the fifth seed from Chambery managed to galvanise himself and win the next three points to finally beat Ford into weary submission 10-11 (1-3), 11-10 (2-0), 7-11, 11-3, 11-10 (3-1).

 

Ford & Temple Boost English Interest In Bishop's Stortford Festival

Englishmen Ben Ford and Robbie Temple have boosted domestic interest in the BAA Bishop's Stortford Squash Festival after claiming qualifying places in the inaugural PSA Tour event at the Bishop's Stortford Squash Club in Bishop's Stortford.

 

Ford, from Welling in Kent, defeated compatriot Shaun le Roux 11-5, 11-6, 9-11, 11-10 (3-1) in the qualifying finals to set up a first round clash with Frenchman Julien Balbo, the No5 seed.

 

Robbie Temple earned his third successful PSA Tour event qualifying success after outlasting Scotland's Stuart Crawford 11-7, 8-11, 11-4, 9-11, 11-10 (3-1). The London-based 21-year-old from Gloucester now faces local hero Daryl Selby, the top seed who is based at the Bishop's Stortford club.

 

"Players from all over Europe are converging on Bishop's Stortford Squash Club to compete in this new Festival of squash, sponsored by our close neighbours BAA London Stansted Airport," said Jason Foster, manager of the host club which was officially recognised by the National body, England Squash, as '2007 Club of the Year'.

 

"I'm so proud at how the whole squash community has come together to try and promote squash within the schools and the clubs to be a part of the BAA Squash Festival," added Foster.

 

"By working with the 'UK Squash Academy', run by Paul Selby and John Milton, plus the support received by England Squash, I sincerely believe squash will become an Olympic sport in the very near future - and with the crop of youngsters coming through hope that they will be inspired with what they see at the BAA Squash Festival."