Winners Lee Beachill and James
Willstrop kick off play today in a battle for top spot in the Harrow
group. Today it is must win for the Day 1 losers to keep their chances
alive - Power, Matthew, Palmer and Shabana.
Lee Beachill bt James Willstrop
11-7,11-10 (6-4), 11-9 (49m)
Jonathon Power bt Peter Nicol 2-4
David Palmer bt Nick
11-9, 11-10 (4-2), 11-9
Thierry Lincou bt Amr Shabana
6-11, 6-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-1.
Willstrop Misses Chances
Lee Beachill beat his Pontefract
stablemate James Willstrop convincingly enough on paper in three
straight games 11-7, 16-14, 11-9 but it could have all been so
different. He was knocked out not so much by his opponent but by a
bizarrely idiosyncratic refereeing decision from Linda Davie who awarded
Beachill a let after Willstrop had played a clear backhand drop winner
that his opponent would have struggled to get to on the third bounce. A
good call would have given Willstrop the game.
Willstrop had other chances as well. His anticipation and volleying were
superb, he constantly threatened but was just a little overeager to find
the finishing shot. Perhaps a little a bit of the old fashioned tactics
and positional play of Chris Dittmar would not have gone amiss for there
were just a few too many unforced errors on ambitious shots from
difficult positions and ambitious shot that left him out of position.
Beachill was steady and composed, his shots seemed to be always angling
into the wall and although it was close Willstrop was not able to break
through after his missed chances in the second.
"2/0 down and it is disappointing. You lose heart – you are flogging a
dead horse,” he said.
Nicol hands win to Power
Jonathon Power and Peter Nicol
had barely got underway, Power was serving at 2-4- when Nicol dived full
length into the back corner and bizarrely, for it was not obvious how he
did it, cut his little finger. In the injury break Nicol had attention,
sat with ice on his hand and it was decided to play the Matthew versus
Nicol may be able to play to play tomorrow but if he cannot Anthony
Ricketts will come in as a substitute and assume his points total.
Palmer helped to victory over Matthew
In a repeat refereeing
controversy in the Palmer versus Matthew match Matthew's challenge was
effectively terminated by referee Peter Kramer in the second game. In
tight play Matthew won game balls at 10, 11 and 12 but then was awarded
two 'no lets' on retrievable balls, unjustifiably so, that terminated his challenge
in the second game 14-12. That was it, there was no way back and Palmer
was through 11-9, 14-12, 11-9.
Matthew was angry then philosophical.
"Something has to be done," he said. "James had it as well. He hit the
best backhand drop shot I've ever seen and Lee got a let. Something has
to be done. Perhaps we need to look at getting in some ex-players who
can read the game.
Shabana lets Lincou Comeback
A brilliant start by Amr Shabana against an
underprepared Thierry Lincou had the defending champion in all sorts of
trouble. Even at the start of the third Shabana was hot playing three
outright winners but then he tinned on three shots that could have just
as easily hyave gone up and so started a spectacular slide that the
Egyptian could just not get out of. The shots did not come as easily
now, Lincou came onto his game more forcefully and in the end Shabana's
resistance was pathetic.
Lincou won 6-11, 6-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-1.
Beachill in strong position for semi-final place after 3/0 win over
Power on his preparation.
'I went to the gym for a light
workout. I've hit enough balls in my life and it is a long way to come.'
Power just gets underway before
Nicol dives and injures his hand.
Willstrop on playing Beachill
'2/0 down and it is
disappointing. You lose heart – you are flogging a dead horse.'
Willstrop hits his best backhand
drop but is KO'd by the ref.
Palmer on in over Matthew
"I'm back in the group.
When I won it in 2002 I lost my first game then as well.
Palmer put out Matthew with a
little help from the ref.