Jonathon Power put in an imperious performance to put Ex-World no.4 Simon Parke to the sword in his opening match at the Nine Telecom Squash Legends at St. Georges Hill.
Looking much leaner than a year earlier, when he was struggling with injury, Power had Parke all over the CourtWall glass court. Parke is know for his great engine, and he needed it as Power worked him mercilessly in their pool match. Despite his best efforts, Parke could do little to prevent Power from winning in straight games and a big battle with big rival on Sunday is looking like being an epic.
David Palmer also looked in good nick against Tim Garner as he got off to winning start. Ex-World Champion Palmer only retired from the PSA Tour last year and is still playing his trademark high pressure squash. Garner appeared to struggle with the pace early on, but started to get into his stride having lost the first. Despite trailing all the way in the second, Like Ryan earlier Garner over-turned a 7/9 deficit in the second, eventually winning the game with a full stretch volley, which afterwards he admitted was the last shot he was playing that game whatever had happened! The effort seemed to have taken its toll as Palmer leapt to 5/0 but garner batted back to 4/6 before Palmer eased away to secure the win.
Earlier, Peter Nicol got off to a solid start to his Nine Telecom campaign, but not before Stephen Meads had shown his usual tenacity in saving four match balls in the second.
Nicol came out of the blocks the faster moving the ball round the court, and working Meads from corner to corner building up an early lead and holding it close out the game to 10/6. The second followed a similar pattern with Nicol opening up a lead and holding it to 10/6. However, Meads stuck his chin in determination and started to put Nicol under pressure with some impressive retrieving and followed by accurate drops from the back of the court. Steadily he pegged things back and a tinned back-hand drop from Nicol got Meads to parity. A Nicol winner set up another match point, which again Meads saved. However, the respite was short lived as two rallies later it was Nicol who closed things out to get a first win on the Board.
John White joined Nicol in the winners’ enclosure in his usual swash buckling style edging past Irishman Derek Ryan in three games. An entertaining first game was taken by the big hitting Scot, but Ireland’s most-capped squash player was unperturbed and turned around a 7/9 deficit in the second to level things up at one-apiece. White came firing back racing to a 7/1 lead in the decider, however, Ryan was not done stopping the rot and fighting his way back to 4/7. The next few rallies ebbed and flowed, albeit at high intensity and the sharing of the spoils gave White the points to close out the match 2-1 ahead of the mid-session break.
RESULTS: Peter Nicol beat Steve Meads 11/6 13/11
John White beat Derek Ryan 11/7 9/11 11/7
Jonathon Power beat Simon Parke 11/3 11/4
David Palmer beat Tim Garner 11/3 9/11 11/7