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Day 2

PREVIEW

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.

5pm  Lee Beachill bt James Willstrop
11-7,11-10 (6-4), 11-9 (49m)
6pm Jonathon Power bt Peter Nicol 2-4 ret'd
7pm  David Palmer  bt Nick Matthew
11-9, 11-10 (4-2), 11-9
8pm 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 Palmer match.

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 Willstrop.


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.