KENT JUNIOR JAMES SHINES IN PSA DEBUT
James Evans, at 14 years and six months one of the youngest players ever to appear in a PSA World Tour event, came close to recording a shock victory in the qualifying round of the Kent Open.
Before a packed gallery at his home club, The Mote Squash Club in Maidstone, Evans showed flashes of attacking genius as he made Issa Kamara fight all the way to book a place in the qualifying finals of this new One Star event on the PSA calendar.
Kamara, the 31-year-old from Sierra Leone, was relieved to win 11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 11-8 in four close games and paid tribute to his young opponent.
He said: “I played James in the Kent Closed back in January and was happy to win 3-1 that day as well. He has come on so much since then and I was surprised at how much his attacking game has developed. He was hitting nicks from all over the court.”
Evans, who recently made a winning debut for the England Under-15 squad, trains at The Mote with some bloke whose name escapes me at the moment. The youngster was delighted to play in a major world-ranking event and said: “It was a great experience to play in my first PSA tournament and I was very happy with how I played. I didn’t make too many mistakes. I was away at an outward bound camp all last week with my school and because of a hamstring injury I haven’t picked up a racket for two weeks so I know I can do a little bit better than that.”
Kamara, who is now based in Turkey, faces England’s Chris Truswell in today’s qualifying finals. The Leeds-based Truswell took 55 minutes to beat Namibia’s Ryan Thompson in the longest match of the evening, his 11-13, 11-8, 11-8, 11-5 victory lasting 55 minutes.
Top qualifying seed Tom Pashley, another Yorkshire-based player from Halifax, beat 19-year-old Ben Coleman from Essex in straight games to clinch a qualifying final berth against Mark Fuller. The 25-year-old from Nottingham beat the higher-ranked Neil Cordell from York in just 25 minutes.
There were quick wins for Egypt’s Wael Farag and Ireland’s Arthur Gaskin against Kent
players Jonny Powell and Neil Baker.
Both local boys made nervous starts before finding some kind of rhythm against their amazingly talented opponents and Jonny almost sneaked the third game tiebreak as he and Wael exchanged outrageous winners.
Farag meets Phil Nightingale, the former Biggin Hill player who overpowered Russian No.1 Sergey Severinov.
Gaskin faces Jonny Harford, who squeezed home 11-9 in the first game against Holland’s Bart Ravelli before powering through the next two games for the loss of just three points.
RESULTS Kent Open Qualifying first round:
Tom Pashley (Eng) beat Ben Coleman (Eng) 11-4, 11-4, 11-9 (38 mins)
Mark Fuller (Eng) beat Neil Cordell (Eng) 11-9, 11-9, 11-4 (29 mins)
Chris Truswell (Eng) beat Ryan Thompson (Namibia) 11-13, 11-8, 11-8, 11-5 (55 mins)
Issa Kamara (Sierra Leone) beat James Evans (England) 11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 11-8 (36 mins)
Wael Farag (Egypt) beat Jonny Powell (England) 11-2, 11-7, 15-13 (22 mins)
Phil Nightingale (Eng) beat Alexey Severinov (Russia) 11-1, 11-7, 11-5 (24 mins)
Jonny Harford (Eng) beat Bart Ravelli (Netherlands) 11-9, 11-0, 11-3 (31 mins)
Arthur Gaskin (Ireland) beat Neil Baker (England)
11-1, 11-6, 11-8 (23 mins)
5.30pm: Gaskin v Harford
6.30pm: Farag v Nightingale
7.30pm: Truswell v Kamara
8.30pm: Pashley v Fuller
Posted by Alan Thatcher on June 1, 2010 at 22:30