Friday, March 1, 2024

Greg Lobban reaches Nationals semis and a battle with top seed James Willstrop

Greg Lobban is ready to pounce as Richie Fallows struggles to keep his balance

Selby survives Simpson showdown
By DONNA HELMER – Squash Mad Correspondent

Scotland’s Greg Lobban overpowered England’s Richie Fallows in straight games to become the first Scot since John White in 2007 to reach the last four of the AJ Bell British National Squash Championships in Nottingham.

It took Lobban 49 minutes to overcome Fallows 11-5, 13-11, 12-10 and set up a semi-final showdown against top seed James Willstrop.

Lobban said: “Richie’s really strong. I’ve played him a few times now. I had a game plan and I’m pleased I executed it. To reach the semis for the first time feels great. The Nationals is such a prestigious event and one I’d love to win.”

Willstrop, the Commonwealth Games gold medallist, cruised through to the semi-finals after overpowering compatriot [5/8] Nathan Lake in straight games: 11-4, 11-3, 11-8 (30m)

Meanwhile, second seed Daryl Selby survived a second successive marathon, grinding out a five-game victory over [5/8] Chris Simpson after an intense 98 minutes on court.

The 2011 champion was pushed all the way by compatriot Simpson in dramatic style – levelling after 80 minutes in the nailbiting encounter to come through 7-11, 11-8, 12-14, 11-3, 11-8.

Speaking after the match, Selby said: “Today I actually played very well. Simpo is very tenacious and an unbelievable retriever, he’s class. He doesn’t give an inch and therefore I didn’t give an inch.

“That’s what I live for, that type of battle, that gets me going and I hope you guys enjoyed it.”

Selby will lock horns with [5/8] Adrian Waller who produced the day’s only seeding upset by overcoming [3/4] Tom Richards 11-4, 7-11, 17-15 11-3.

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“It was a tight match, the first two games went one apiece quite evenly,” said Waller. “The third game took the wind out of both of us but winning it gave me more confidence going into the fourth. Really pleased to win and get through to the semis.”

In the women’s draw, defending champion Tesni Evans remains on course for a consecutive national crown after overcoming [5/8] Julianne Courtice 8-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-7 and set up an intriguing semi-final encounter with England’s Laura Massaro.

Massaro overcame a stern test from compatriot [5/8] Millie Tomlinson winning 6-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-8 (52m) to seal her last four spot.

Meanwhile, second seed and four-time champion Alison Waters dispatched fellow compatriot [5/8] Fiona Moverley in three to set up a last-four showdown with [3/4] Emily Whitlock, who enjoyed a straight games victory over Kace Bartley in under half an hour.
AJ Bell British National Championship 2019, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, England.

Men’s Quarter-finals:
[1] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [8] Nathan Lake (ENG) 11-4, 11-3, 11-8 (30m)
[5] Greg Lobban (SCO) bt Richie Fallows (ENG) 11-5, 13-11, 12-10 (49m)
[7] Adrian Waller (ENG) bt [4] Tom Richards (ENG) 11-4, 7-11, 17-15, 11-3 (57m)
[2] Daryl Selby (ENG) bt [6] Chris Simpson (ENG) 7-11, 11-8, 12-14, 11-3, 11-8 (98m)

[1] James Willstrop (ENG) v [5] Greg Lobban (SCO)
[2] Daryl Selby (ENG) v [7] Adrian Waller (ENG)

Women’s Quarter-finals:
[1] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [5] Millie Tomlinson (ENG) 6-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-8 (52m)
[3] Tesni Evans (WAL) bt [7] Julianne Courtice (ENG) 8-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-7 (48m)
[4] Emily Whitlock (ENG) bt Kace Bartley (ENG) 13-11, 11-2, 11-2 (26m)
[2] Alison Waters (ENG) bt [6] Fiona Moverley (ENG) 11-8, 11-7, 11-8 (29m)

[1] Laura Massaro (ENG) v [3] Tesni Evans (WAL)
[2] Alison Waters (ENG) v [4] Emily Whitlock (ENG)


Pictures courtesy of England Squash


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