Ben Ford and Charlie Johnson won through to the main qualifying competition of the SE Leisure Kent Open after a busy pre-qualifying event at The Mote Squash Club in Maidstone.
Ford, now keeping busy as a successful coach in Kent and London, won three matches in a row, taking a thoroughly professional approach as he powered past Jason Goodayle (Mote), Joe and Green (Herts) and Tom May (Kings, Canterbury) without dropping a game.
Johnson faced a more difficult route. After beating Mote pair Adrian Humphries and Ryan Duke, he had to battle all the way against Maidstone’s Josh Masters before clinching his place in today’s action.
Kent junior Masters, now 6ft 3in tall and still growing, played intelligent squash throughout and it the outcome was impossible to predict as the match went to a fifth game. The rallies were ferocious but Masters tinned a few drops at crucial stages to allow his Herts rival to win 8-11, 11-7, 11-7, 8-11, 11-8 in 61 minutes.
Johnson meets Shinnosuke Tsukue of Japan in the first qualifying round, with Ford facing Nottingham’s Chris Fuller.
Mote locals James Evans and title sponsor Jonny Powell face Hampshire’s Robbie Downer and Scotland’s Jonathan Geekie respectively.