Yow wins 92-minute marathon
By DAVE IRESON – Squash Mad Correspondent in Aberdeen
The semi-finalists were decided last night at the TRAC North of Scotland Open Championships with some high class squash on show. Douglas Kempsell, the last remaining Scot in action, narrowly lost to Malaysia’s world junior champion Eain Yow Ng in a thriller lasting 92 minutes.
The first match of the day had No.1 seed Richie Fallows against Malaysian qualifier Addeen Idrakie. The ridiculous speed and retrieval of Idrakie caused problems for Fallows, but in the end Fallows’ solid base game was enough to overcome the Malaysian.
Mahesh Mangaonkar started faster today, and play only got quicker the more the match went on. The tempo was high throughout and the ball was being played into every corner of the court. It was also great to see some real sportsmanship from both players – calling their own double bounces and tins throughout the match.
The third match of the evening saw the last remaining Scot, Kempsell, against the talented young Malaysian Eain Yow Ng. An absolutely brutal encounter, providing 92 minutes of end to end stuff, so much so that Dougie played half of the last game with cramp!
Kempsell went 2-0 up, and was playing some of his best squash, but the steady Yow dug deep and eventually ground out the match in five tough games.
Finally on ASRC’s show court was No 2 seed Vikram Malhotra from India, playing Kiwi Evan Williams. Malhotra plays at a ridiculous pace and tonight was no exception. Williams retrieved well, but didn’t really seem to have an answer for the relentless onslaught. Malhotra will be tough to beat if he keeps playing like this.
Play continues at 3pm today (Saturday) at Aberdeen Squash and Racketball Club for the Men’s Semi Finals, the second round of the PSA Women’s Closed Satellite and the Tony Squash Graded Event.
 Evan Williams (Nzl) vs  Vikram Malhotra (Ind)
Malhotra started where he left off last night. High tempo, spanking the ball with low kills, ridiculous volleying. Williams really struggling with the pace of this game. 11-5 to Malhotra.
The second was no different; it didn’t matter what Williams tried, Malhotra had all the answers, ridiculous pace, and some deft touches at the front sending Williams the wrong way. Game to Malhotra 11-5.
Williams does a bit better in this one in containing the onslaught from Malhotra, but basically it was all over in minutes. Game to Malhotra 11-8. He’s going to be tough to beat this week playing like that.
Malhotra won 3-0: 11-5, 11-5, 11-8 (27 mins)
Douglas Kempsell (Sco) vs  Eain Yow Ng (Mas)
The last remaining Scot in the draw, Douglas Kempsell, started well, playing some tight straight attacks at the front that the yong Malaysian couldn’t scrape up. Kempsell took an early 6-2 lead. His holds were working well, but some loose cross courts gave the Malaysian a few cheap points. His early lead was enough to earn him five game balls. Straight volley winner, and Kempsell takes the game 11-5.
Massive tempo increase from Kempsell in the second game, really looking to stretch Yow deep into the backhand then move him around, looking to expose the slightly weaker backhand side of the Malaysian. The almost robot-like arm of Yow is highly accurate at a sombre pace, but his lack of wrist strength and dexterity really shows under time pressure.
The Malaysian looked to switch play to the forehand several times and lobbed the ball straight out of court. Kempsell goes 8-5 up but then seems to loose focus and Eain wins a string of points to take the game to 9-9. Two standard blood injury stoppages for Dougie, and when he comes back on he seems to have lost focus. Game to Yow 12-10.
Kempsell is back playing more like he did in the first half of the second. Good tempo, and looking to exploit the weaker parts of the Malaysian’s game, and once again goes a few points ahead. Will he be able to maintain focus in this game? Much better than last game. Earns 3 game balls. Converts on second attempt!
Dougie has the Malaysian on a string at the start of the second game, moving him all over the court and in places looks like he is deliberately extending the rallies to put some work into his opponent. Yow is hanging in the rallies though.
Some monumental rallies now, end to end stuff; diving; court cleaning. It’s all happening. A few errors from Dougie and a few winners from Yow are the difference in this one – its going to five… game to Eain 11-6.
Dougie starts well in the last game, but then gets cramp at 3-3. Yow senses blood and starts hitting to the front with every shot. Dougie is hobbling with every movement, but still hanging in the game, looking to just hit winners. More dives, more court cleaning, but the inevitable follows. Yow takes the fifth game 11-5.
Eain Yow Ng won 3-2: 5-11, 12-10, 8-11, 11-6, 11-5 (92 mins)
 Jan van den Herrewegen (Bel) vs  Mahesh Mangaonkar (Ind)
First game was a display of player honesty. Each player was calling double bounces or scoops and there was nice determination to just play every ball. Mangaonkar opened an early lead thanks to some solid driving. Herrewegen got back into the game thanks to some similarly well placed length.
Mangaonkar seemed to get very frustrated by the referee’s refusal to call balls down and he lost several points in a row. However, he regained control to close out the game 11-6.
The tempo went up from Mangaonkar in the second game, taking the ball as early as possible. Herrewegen looked ragged and struggled to play at this tempo. Mangaonkar powered through to win it 11-3.
Herrewegen took advantage of some loose play by Mangaonkar and went 5-0 up in the third. Greater variation from Herrewegen made Mangaonkar do a lot of work and Herrewegen won it 11-4.
So into the fourth, and we think we’ve invented a new phrase… Mangaonkar sends Herrewegen on not just a “taxi”, but a “pre-paid Uber”. Herrewegen went so far the wrong way he almost ended up on the court next door. Mangaonkar kept looking to play faster and faster. “Play should be continuous” noted the referee as Herrewegen looked totally burst.
At match ball up Mangaonkar played a winning drop, the referees thought it was up, the crowd thought it was up, but fair play, Mangaonkar called it down. Anyway, the damage was done, and Mangaonkar soon won through to the next round.
Mangaonkar won 3-1: 11-6, 11-3, 4-11,11-6 (58 mins)
 Richie Fallows (Eng) vs [Q] Addeen Idrakie (Mas)
There’s always a bit of nervous tension in the air for the first match of the evening from both crowd and players, and as such there was a typically nervy start. Fallows’ length and width was very good at the start, forcing his (much smaller) opponent deep into the back corners of the court.
This allowed Fallows to get on the ball early, but he made a few errors that kept Idrakie in the first game, the Malaysian’s retrieval once again was on point to keep the ball alive.
However at the mid-stages of the game Fallows showed some class by hitting a series of winners to gain three game balls. However, the agile Malaysian would not go away! His never say die attitude helped him win five rallies outright to take the game 12-10.
The second game started much the same way the first game had ended, it was difficult to know what Fallows needed to do to win a rally. Idrakie was getting every single shot back that Fallows could throw at him; some absolutely unreal gets! Fallows managed to hit some dead length to take the lead and he closed out the game 11-7.
When Fallows’ length is working he is causing all sorts of trouble for Idrakie, but every so often a careless loose shot down the middle and the occasional tin is keeping Idrakie in this one! Fallows starts to hit straighter in this game, and this more patient style allows him to get up on the volley and keep his opponent pinned in the back.
Some tight work down the backhand forces several errors from Idrakie and Fallows closes out the game 11-6.
More tight stuff from Fallows in the fourth as he starts to dominate his opponent. Then, at 7-4 up, a cheap stroke to Idrakie seems to unsettle Fallows and he hits several tins in a row to let the Malaysian back in the game.
A brief stoppage to clean the court seemed to reset Fallows and he went back to dominating again. And a lovely hold drop winner gave him the match 11-7.
Fallows won 3-1: 10-12, 11-7, 11-6, 11-7 (55 mins)
PSA M10 TRAC Oil & Gas North of Scotland Open 2017, Aberdeen Squash & Racketball Club, Aberdeen, Scotland.
 Richie Fallows (ENG) v  Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND)
 Vikram Malhotra (IND) v  Eain Yow Ng (MAS)
 Richie Fallows (ENG) bt [Q] Addeen Idrakie (MAS) 10-12, 11-7, 11-6, 11-7 (55m)
 Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) bt  Jan van den Herrewegen (BEL) 11-6, 11-3, 4-11, 11-6 (58m)
 Eain Yow Ng (MAS) bt Douglas Kempsell (SCO) 5-11, 12-10, 8-11, 11-6, 11-5 (92m)
 Vikram Malhotra (IND) bt  Evan Williams (NZL) 11-5, 11-5, 11-8 (27m)
Pictures by ASRC