TRAC North of Scotland – Qualifying Finals Complete
By David Ireson – Squash Mad Reporter
Local and Edinburgh “hero” Rory Stewart upsets seedings to earn place in the main draw of the TRAC North of Scotland Championships
Day 2 from qualifying of the TRAC North of Scotland Championships concluded today with some hard fought battles – all players having to earn their place in the main draw.
Home interest came from several locals as well as a number of Scots in the draw. Robyn Young was the first local up first against Cindy Merlo of Switzerland. A really tight match with two very contrasting styles of play. Robyn was unlucky not to get a result here as Cindy really struggled to find her rhythm against Robyn.
At the same time over on court 2 Edinburgh “hero” Rory Stewart played the gutsy Joe Green. The referee was required to make a lot of decisions in the match, and Rory managed to keep his cool slightly better than his opponent and edged through in three tight games to play No1 seed Joshua Masters.
The other two local ladies that were left in the qualifying draws were unable to progress further, with Carrie Hallam losing out in 4 tight games to Celine Walser, and Morven White losing out to Alicia Mead 3-0.
Results title (i.e. First Round):
 Cindy Merlo 3-1 [L] Robyn Young (44m)
11-8, 12-10, 11-13, 17-15
As the scoreline will read, this match could have gone either way. Tense, tense stuff and a real test of nerves for both. Cindy plays Colette Sultana.
Rory Stewart 3-0  Joe Green (46m)
11-6, 11-8, 11-8
Contrasting styles. Rory very attacking, tall and rangey. Joe more compact, very physically strong, relentless hitting. The match got feisty with both players complaining about the movement of the other, though it didn’t appear anyone was really at fault or acting deliberately. Rory kept his head better this time. Rory plays Josh Masters.
 Celine Walser 3-1 [L] Carrie Hallam (37m)
11-6, 11-3, 9-11, 11-4
Fantastic match between these two. Celine is brilliant playing into the front, boasts and drops galore. Carrie is a great mover and counters very well. Carrie put in a very gutsy performance, but Celine’s attacks were too much today. Celine plays Cristina Gomez.
 Mark Fuller 3-1  Miles Jenkins (50m)
7-11, 11-2, 12-10, 11-8
This was all about concentration levels from Mark. Lost the first, didn’t seem to do much wrong in the second. He then went 8-1 down in the third and brought it back. Miles got some decisions he certainly disagreed with, and that seemed to affect his quality of play. Mark plays Mohammad Alsarraj.
 Alicia Mead 3-0 [L] Morven White (17m)
11-3, 11-5, 11-3
Morven’s unexpected (by her) success came to an end at the hands of Edgbaston’s Alicia Mead. Alicia has a very polished style – clean, accurate hitting, smooth movement. Morven, although she played well in patches, wasn’t allowed to sink her teeth into the game. Alicia plays Kace Bartley.
 Brian Byrne 3-1  Jami Aijanen (50m)
11-8, 11-9, 8-11, 12-10
We expected a battle here and it definitely turned out to be. Both players are very attritional, however Brian attacked more and at the right times despite the hot court. Brian plays Patrick Rooney.
 Amy Jones 3-0  Emilia Korhonen (19m)
11-2, 11-7, 11-8
Amy played very very well tonight. She was rapid and suited the warm conditions. Emilia not able to live with her speed and quality of hitting. Amy plays Lucy Turmel.
 Connor Sheen 3-1  Abhay Singh (42m)
6-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-7
Not sure about this match. Connor took a minute to get going and it cost him the first game. Abhay seemed to take well into the fourth to get going and it cost him the match. Abhay took loads of shots short on his backhand. Connor started to read him then countered and especially lobbed to brilliant effect. Connor plays Kristian Frost.