Daryl Selby meets Shaun Le Roux in Edinburgh showdown after bruising day of battles
By Squash Mad Reporter in Edinburgh
Scottish trio Kevin Moran, Greg Lobban and Dougie Kempsell all fell in the quarter-finals of the Edinburgh Open on a busy day of action with Daryl Selby and Shaun Le Roux forcing their way through to the final.
Le Roux took out Eddie Charlton in straight games in the semi-finals, but Selby was kept on court for 81 minutes by Jaymie Haycocks before winning 11-6 in the fifth.
In the quarters, Moran lost 3-1 to Selby, with Lobban and Kempsell both on court for more than 80 minutes before going out to Haycocks and Charlton respectively.
The women’s final will be between England’s Fiona Moverley, who beat Czech top seed Lucie Fialova, and Belgium’s Nele Gilis, who overcame Gina Kennedy in four games. The Kent teenager Kennedy had earlier beaten No.2 seed Birgit Coufal of Austria on a day of surprise results.
Fiona Moverley (Eng) 3-1  Lucie Fialova (Cze) 11/4, 11/7, 6/11, 11/2 (34m)
 Nele Gilis (Bel) 3-1  Georgina Kennedy (Eng) 11/3, 6/11, 11/9, 12/10 (47m)
 Shaun Le Roux (Rsa) 3-0 [3/4] Eddie Charlton (Eng) 11/7, 11/5, 11/7 (38m)
 Daryl Selby (Eng) 3-2 [3/4] Jaymie Haycocks (Eng) 11/8, 8/11, 11/7, 11/13, 11/6 (81m)
Semi-finals: Fiona’s a great mover as Nele squeezes past Gina
While the men’s BSPA final will be as predicted by the seedings, the women’s WSA event is sure to produce an unexpected champion in Edinburgh.
Unseeded Fiona Moverley continued her giant-killing run with a 3-1 win over top seed Lucie Fialova. The Englishwoman capitalised on a good 4-0 start in each of the first two games, taking the first comfortably 11-4 and forging ahead in the second after Fialova had closed the gap to 7-8, inishing it 11-8.
The Czech was quickly out of the blocks in the third though, forcing the pace and making Moverley work harder, then pulling clear from 6-all to reduce the deficit 11-6.
“She dragged me into her game in the third,” admitted Moverley afterwards, “but once I managed to slow it down again in the fourth it was much more comfortable.”
So it was, and a 6-1 lead became 9-1 as Fialova realised she wasn’t winning this, Moverley taking it 11-2 to reach the final.
The second semi was a really tough battle for two of its four games. Nele Gilis looked in control in the first as she recovered from 1-3 to take the game 11-3 in fairly quick time. But Gina Kennedy is nothing if not a battler, and she battled mightily to force her way back into the match, racing to a 9-2 lead in the second before levelling 11-6.
For the next two games the pair slugged it out with hardly a point between them, tough rallies, tremendous retrieving and great entertainment for the crowd. Gilis found two lovely winners from 9-all in the third to regain the lead, spurned match ball at 10-9 in the fourth with a tin, but forced two final errors out of Kennedy to close out the match after 47 minutes.
“If I hadn’t won that game I would have lost the match,” said a relieved Gilis, “she was fitter than me today.I just had to try to keep it tight, she’s a real tough cookie!”
Selby’s hard graft against Haycocks
The first men’s semi was shorter than that at 38 minutes – Shaun Le Roux taking advantage of his [much] easier afternoon match than Eddie Charlton. “I knew he’d had a long match this afternoon, so I wanted to make it as tough as possible at the start,” said Le Roux, who took the first 11-7 and effectively sealed the second going 6-1 up before taking it 11-5.
“Eddie found something extra in the third, and his shots started going in, it sometimes happens like that you’re often more dangerous when you’re tired!”
Charlton’s surge of energy provided some entertaining rallies as he took the lead 7-4 in that third, but Le Roux kept making him work hard and it told as the South African closed out the match 11-7 to reach his second Edinburgh final.
His opponent in the final will be appearing there for the third year in a row, but defending champion Darly Selby certainly had his work cut out to keep that run going.
Jaymie Haycocks also had a tough match in the afternoon, but as Selby said afterwards, “I kept expecting him to get tired and slow down, but he never did!”
It was a brutal match, both players being patient when required, and rapid in running down the other’s attacks when they came. After three tough games Selby led two-one and looked to be closing in on the final as he edged ahead 10-9 in a fourth game that had gone point for point.
At this point two no lets, two lets he thought should be strokes, and a final no let left Selby feeling hard done by five times, and Haycocks walking off having levelled the match 13-11.
Despite a couple of miracle lobs from Haycocks that rolled along the back wall, Selby always had the slight edge in the decider, and after 81 minutes reached the final again 11-6.
“That was a good day,” said a relieved winner, “I’m just glad I’ve only got one match tomorrow!”
 Lucie Fialova (Cze) 3-1 Lucy Beecroft (Eng) 11/3, 11/5, 9/11, 11/7 (35m)
Fiona Moverley (Eng) 3-2  Tamika Saxby (Aus) 10/12, 8/11, 11/9, 11/4, 11/3 (55m)
 Nele Gilis (Bel) 3-0 [7 Leonie Holt (Eng) 11/7, 11/5, 11/8 (35m)
 Georgina Kennedy (Eng) 3-0  Birgit Coufal (Aut) 11/8, 11/3, 11/3 (21m)
 Shaun Le Roux (Rsa) 3-0 [5/8] Richie Fallows (Eng) 11/6, 11/4 rtd (14m)
[3/4] Eddie Charlton (Eng) 3-1 [5/8] Dougie Kempsell (Sco) 11/7, 10/12, 11/9, 11/7 (81m)
[3/4] Jaymie Haycocks (Eng) 3-2 [5/8] Greg Lobban (Sco) 6/11, 12/10, 11/9, 4/11, 12/10 (87m)
 Daryl Selby (Eng) 3-1 [5/8] Kevin Moran (Sco) 12/10, 9/11, 11/4, 11/5 (54m)
Upsets continue in WSA quarters
The upsets continued in the WSA Edinburgh Open quarter-finals, with English players gatecrashing both semi-finals.
Top seeded Czech Lucie Fialova started stongly but then had to hold off a determined fightback from English teenager Lucy Beecroft, who took the third game and ran Fialova close in the fourth.
“I’d never played her beore but I knew she’d be good, after her win yesterday,” said Fialova. “I started well but she was helping me with some mistakes. She stopped making them and it was very tough in the third and fourth, I’m glad she made a couple of mistakes at the end!”
Fialova faces Fiona Moverley for a place in the final, after the unseeded Englishwoman came from two games down to beat Edinburgh-based Aussie Tamika Saxby, the third seed. In truth Moverley had chances to win the first two games, but having edged the third she took the last two with some comfort.
“I just couldn’t relax at all,” admitted Moverley, “I was nervous and got dragged into her game. Once I started to slow it down it all just seemed to click in place.
Second seed Birgit Coufal came unstuck against the fast, attacking style of British U19 champion Gina Kennedy, the English girl winning in straight games with the Austrian number one falling away after a close first game.
“That’s my best win so far,” said a delighted Kennedy. “The roofa are low here so my coach told me I had to keep attacking and volleying everything, and it worked! I played here last year and didn’t get past the first round, so to make the semis is great!”
Kennedy will face Nele Gilis, the 3/4 seed from Belgium in the semis, after Gilis beat Leonie Holt in three well-contested games.
“Happy to be through, but I can play better that that,” admitted Gilis. “I was moving ok but wasn’t really feeling the ball and gave her too many chances. Things to work on for tonight!”
Home hopes bow out
The Men’s quarter-finals saw the end of Scottish hopes as the top four seeds won through to tonight’s semi-finals.
Second seed Shaun Le Roux had the easiest time, taking two games from an injured Richie Fallows before the youngster succumbed to his groin strain after just 14 minutes.
It took Eddie Charlton considerably longer – 81 minutes – to subdue a fired up Dougie Kempsell (above) in four games that all could have gone either way.
“He was very solid, not giving me anything,” said Charlton. “I was moving well and felt fine physically, but I don’t think I played my best tactically, I’ll have to work on that for tonight.”
Top seed Daryl Selby continued his habit of saving game balls as he came from 6-10 to take the lead against Kevin Moran, and although the Scot levelled, the defending champion took the next two games with something to spare.
That left home hopes resting on Greg Lobban, who took a fierce opening game against Jaymie Haycocks (right, in green). The Englishman fought back to take the lead but Lobban levelled strongly, and at 7-4 in the decider a Scottish win looked on the cards.
Six points in a row gave Haycocks three match balls, and although a determined Lobban forced extra points, a Haycocks high ball that rolled out of the back wall nick at 11-10 put paid to that. At 87 minutes we had a new longest match, but no Scots left.
“Very satisfying,” said Haycocks. “I’ve had a few tough losses in some bizarre fifth games recently, so I just decided to keep it simple, play lengths and make him win it.”
Pictures by STEVE CUBBINS