By ALAN THATCHER – Squash Mad Editor
Georgina Kennedy claimed another important victory on day one of the AJ Bell Super 8 competition promoted by England Squash in Manchester.
Kennedy, who enjoyed phenomenal success in US college squash at Harvard before returning home to England, followed up a recent win over Sarah-Jane Perry in the Pro Series at St. George’s Hill by beating Alison Waters, another vastly experienced international campaigner.
The coronavirus pandemic halted Kennedy’s introduction to the PSA World Tour but another significant milestone result in Manchester means she can look forward with confidence to beginning her professional career on a full-time basis.
The first day of the Super 8 event got under way with all 16 players in action on the glass show court. AJ Bell England Squash Championship winners Sarah-Jane Perry and Declan James started their campaign looking to secure another title but faced stiff competition against some of England’s best talent.
The day started off with a bang as George Parker beat Richie Fallows in a tense five-game battle. It was Fallows who started the stronger of the two taking the first and third games however Parker asserted himself later in the match, taking the final two games to secure the victory.
George Parker bt Richie Fallows 3-2: 6-11, 11-5, 10-12, 11-6, 11-5 (69 min)
In the first match of the women’s draw Lucy Beecroft took a surprise victory over Jasmine Hutton. After losing the first game, Beecroft recovered in emphatic fashion taking the next three games to secure a 3-1 victory.
Lucy Beecroft bt Jasmine Hutton 3-1: 8-11, 11-9, 11-3, 11-7 (43m)
In the second game of men’s group A, Declan James survived an early scare to beat Charlie Lee by three games to one. The result leaves James on top of Group A at the end of the first day.
Declan James bt Charlie Lee 3-1: 9-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-4 (65m)
Sarah-Jane Perry started her tournament in convincing fashion with a 3-0 win over Julianne Courtice. The result puts her on top of the women’s Group A.
Sarah-Jane Perry bt Julianne Courtice 3-0: 12-10, 11-5, 11-4 (32m)
In the first match of the men’s group B, Patrick Rooney got off to a fine start, beating Josh Masters in three games. Masters made it difficult for Rooney at times, but Rooney showed a clinical edge to see out the match and boost his chances of making Friday’s final.
Patrick Rooney bt Joshua Masters 3-0: 11-9, 11-8, 11-7 (31m)
In the women’s group B opener, Lucy Turmel started her week with a win over Anna Kimberley. Turmel controlled the pace of all three games and set herself up nicely for her remaining matches in the group.
Lucy Turmel bt Anna Kimberley 3-0: 11-6, 11-6, 11-8 (35m)
In the penultimate match of the day, Nick Wall scored an impressive victory over Daryl Selby, winning by three games to one. Having already beaten James Willstrop in the AJ Bell England Squash Championships back in February, Wall added Selby to a growing list of impressive victories on his resume.
Nick Wall bt Daryl Selby 3-1: 11-9, 11-7, 9-11, 11-4 (55m)
In the final match of the day Georgina Kennedy produced an upset against second seed Alison Waters. After losing the first game, Kennedy stormed back to take the next three and is now looking in a strong position to qualify for Friday’s final.
Georgina Kennedy bt Alison Waters 3-1: 3-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-2 (41m)
Pictures courtesy of England Squash