Glasgow glory beckons with Scotland facing England in both men’s semi-finals
By ALAN THATCHER and Special Correspondents
Glasgow glory beckons for the host nation as both of Scotland’s men’s doubles teams reached the semi-finals of the WSF World Doubles Squash Championships at Scotstoun Sports Centre.
No.5 seeds Alan Clyne and Douglas Kempsell and No.6 seeds Greg Lobban with Rory Stewart both overcame higher-seeded opponents to reach the men’s semi-finals.
Despite both Scottish teams topping their qualifying groups, each had to navigate tricky last-16 matches to reach the quarter-finals, with Clyne and Kempsell beating Australia’s Rhys Dowling and Rex Hedrick 2-1 in 79 minutes and Lobban and Stewart beating Hong Kong, China’s Tsz Kwan Lau and Henry Leung by the same scoreline in 47 minutes.
Clyne and Kempsell faced another Australian pair in the quarter-final: No.3 seeds Zac Alexander and Ryan Cuskelly. In the match of the tournament so far, the tie swung back and forth as Australia responded to Scotland’s heavy first game win with an 11-8 win in the second.
With the scores at 10-10 in the decisive third game, it was all down to the final sudden-death rally. To the joy of the home fans, Scotland held their nerve, with Kempsell finishing the match with a powerful backhand between Alexander and Cuskelly.
Speaking after the match, Clyne said: “That was an unbelievable match, the quality that Douggie produced was great and I was happy with the way I played as well. We played some great doubles, but we have to against them! They’re one of the top pairings in the world and we haven’t had an easy draw. The Australians were unbelievable and I was so pleased with us.”
Kempsell added: “A lot of things were going through my head at 10-10. That’s the first time I’ve been in that position at such a crucial point. You’re constantly thinking ‘don’t make mistakes, don’t make mistakes,’ but you still have to be positive. I think we did that, and it paid off in the end.”
Both Scottish teams will face English opponents in the semi-finals, with Clyne and Kempsell taking on No.1 seeds Declan James and James Willstrop, and Lobban and Stewart playing No.2 seeds Daryl Selby and Adrian Waller, who beat teams from Wales and Malaysia, respectively.
In the women’s event, the group stage came to an end as New Zealand’s top seeds Joelle King and Amanda Landers-Murphy and England’s No.2 seeds Sarah-Jane Perry and Alison Waters topped the two groups.
Reflecting after an impressive 2-0 win over Malaysian No.4 seeds Rachel Arnold and Sivasangari Subramaniam that ensured New Zealand would end the group stage unbeaten, King said: “I think today is the most pleased I’ve been with all my partnerships.
“Over the last couple of days with Paul [Coll, King’s mixed doubles partner], I had been a little flat and without the intensity we like to play at but we started off well today with Amanda and then got better with Paul and we finished very well.
“I’m very pleased to have topped the group, but now it’s the business end of the tournament and we just want to keep going with this momentum!”
New Zealand’s opponents in the semi-final will be No.3 seeds Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal-Karthik, the 2014 Commonwealth Games women’s doubles champions in Glasgow.
Despite a defeat to England’s Sarah-Jane Perry and Alison Waters in their final match, they were able to qualify in second place.
Pallikal-Karthik, who has returned to squash after giving birth to twins late last year, said: “It’s a nice feeling to be back in the semi-finals. The job’s not done yet, obviously, but we’re happy to be there and hope we can do well tomorrow.
“Because of Covid and me being away, Joshna and I have not had as much match-play as we would have liked, but we’re getting better with each match and hopefully we can do well tomorrow and make it to the final.”
Perry and Waters, meanwhile, will play Arnold and Subramaniam in the other semi-final.
In the mixed doubles, the group stage of which concludes today (Friday), there were wins for Scotland, Malaysia, Wales, India, Canada, New Zealand and Hong Kong-China.
WSF World Doubles Squash Championships Day Three, Scotstoun, Glasgow, Scotland.
10:15 (Mixed, Group C) [11/12] Ivan Yuen/Rachel Arnold (MAS) 9/11 7/11 (21mins) [13/16] Rory Stewart/Georgia Adderley (SCO)
11:00 Women’s (Group B): [5/6] Rachael Grinham/Donna Lobban (AUS) walkover to Malaysia [9/10] Ainaa Ampandi/Yiwen Chan (MAS)
11:45 Men’s (1-16) [13/15] Tsz Kwan Lau/Henry Leung (HKG) (4/11 11/6 6/11 47mins)  Greg Lobban/Rory Stewart (SCO)
12:30 Men’s (17-32) Niall Engerer/Kijan Sultana (MLT) (5/11 11/8 6/11 42 mins) [10/12] Lwamba Chileshe/Temwa Chileshe (NZL)
14:30 Mixed (Group B) [9/10] Mohammad Syafiq Kamal/Aifa Azman (MAS) (11/6 11/8 21mins) [13/16] Peter Creed/Emily Whitlock (WAL)
15:15 Women’s (Group A) [7/8] Georgia Adderley/Lisa Aitken (SCO) (11/7 3/11 11/3) 28mins) [9/10] Alex Haydon/Jessica Turnbull (AUS)
16:45 Mixed (Group D) [11/12] Max Lee/Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) (9/11 11/6 11/8 31mins) Christo Potgieter/Cheyna Wood (RSA)
18:00 Men’s quarter final  Zac Alexander/Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) (2/11 11/8 10/11 67mins)  Alan Clyne / Douglas Kempsell (SCO)
18:45 Women’s (Group B)  Sarah-Jane Perry/Alison Waters (ENG) (11/9 11/8 18mins)  Joshna Chinappa/Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND)
19:30 Mixed (Group D) [5/6] Joel Makin/Tesni Evans (WAL) (11/4 11/5 22mins) [13/16] Nick Sachvie/Hollie Naughton (CAN)
20:15 Mixed (Group C)  Zac Alexander/Donna Lobban (AUS) walkover [13/16] Rory Stewart/Georgia Adderley (SCO)
11:00 Women’s Group B)  Joshna Chinappa/Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND) (11/5 11/3 16mins) [11/12] Abbie Palmer/Kaitlyn Watts (NZL)
11:45 Women’s (Group A)  Joelle King/Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) (11/5 8/11 11/7 32mins) [7/8] Georgia Adderley/Lisa Aitken (SCO)
12:30 Men’s (17-32) [13/15] Elliot Morris/Owain Taylor (WAL) (11/4 11/5 12mins) Samuel Bonello/Duncan Stahl (MLT)
14:30 Women’s (Group A) [5/6] Georgina Kennedy/Lucy Turmel (ENG) 10/11 11/7 11/5 (38mins) [11/12] Alexandra Fuller/Cheyna Wood (RSA)
15:15 Women’s (Group B) [5/6] Rachael Grinham/Donna Lobban (AUS) walkover [11/12] Abbie Palmer/Kaitlyn Watts (NZL)
18:00 Women’s (Group A)  Joelle King/Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) (11/10 11/5 20mins)  Rachel Arnold/Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS)
18:45 Men’s quarter-final  Greg Lobban/Rory Stewart (SCO) (11/6 11/6 39mins) v  Eain Yow Ng/Ivan Yuen (MAS)
19:30 Mixed (Group B) [7/8] Greg Lobban/Lisa Aitken (SCO) (11/5 11/4 16mins) [9/10/ Mohammad Syafiq Kamal/Aifa Azman (MAS)
20:15 Mixed (Group A) [9/10] Vikram Malhotra/Joshna Chinappa (IND) 10/11 11/5 11/10 40mins [13/16] Chi Him Wong/Ka Yi Lee (HKG)
11:00 Women’s (Group A) [5/6] Georgina Kennedy/Lucy Turmel (ENG) (11/9 8/11 7/11 42mins) [9/10] Alex Haydon/Jessica Turnbull (AUS)
11:45 Men’s 1-16 [7/9] Peter Creed/Emyr Evans (WAL) (11/4 11/7 28mins) [16/18] Jean-Pierre Brits/Christo Potgieter (RSA)
12:30 Mixed (Group D) [11/12] Max Lee/Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) (8/11 2/11 21mins) [13/16] Nick Sachvie/Hollie Naughton (CAN)
14:30 Men’s (1-16) Bernat Jaume/Joel Jaume Izcara (ESP) (3/11 8/11 20mins) [13/15] Addeen Idrakie/Sai Hung Ong (MAS)
15:15 Mixed (Group A)  Paul Coll/Joelle King (NZL) (11/2 11/7 23mins) [9/10] Vikram Malhotra/Joshna Chinappa (IND)
18:00 Men’s quarter final [13/15] Addeen Idrakie/Sai Hung Ong (MAS) (7/11 5/11 23mins)  Daryl Selby/Adrian Waller (ENG)
18:45 Men’s quarter final  Declan James/James Willstrop (ENG) (11/9 11/6 28mins) [7/9] Peter Creed/Emyr Evans (WAL)
20:15 Mixed (Group B) [13/16] Peter Creed/Emily Whitlock (WAL) 7/11 11/9 (Wales retired 38mins) Evan Williams/Kaitlyn Watts (NZL)
11:45 Women’s (Group A)  Rachel Arnold/Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) (9/11 11/8 11/5 24 mins) [11/12] Alexandra Fuller/Cheyna Wood [RSA] 12:30 Mixed (Group C)  Zac Alexander/Donna Lobban (AUS) conceded; walkover to Aaron Liang/Au Yeong Wai Yhann (SGP)
14:30 Men’s (1-16)  Alan Clyne/Douglas Kempsell (11/7 5/11 11/5 79mins) [10/12] Rhys Dowling/Rex Hedrick (AUS)
15:15 Women’s (Group B)  Sarah-Jane Perry/Alison Waters (11/2 11/10 16 mins) [7/8] Tsz-Wing Tong/Ho Tze-Lok (HKG)
Pictures courtesy of World Squash and Scottish Squash