Seeds bow out in night of shocks

03-Mar, Round One

[1] George Parker (Eng) 3-1 Patrick Rooney (Eng) 11/7, 8/11, 11/5, 11/8
[7] Mike Harris (Eng) 3-1 David Barnett (Eng) 11/3, 11/4, 9/11, 11/9
Nick Mulvey 3-1 Adrian Ostbye [8] 12/10, 4/11, 11/6, 11/5
Tristan Eysele (Rsa) 3-1 [4] Jaako Vahamaa (Fin) 6/11, 12/10, 11/8, 11/6
[3] Dougie Kempsell 3-0 [wc] Cai Younger (Eng) 11/5, 11/5, 11/2
[5] Joe Green 3-1 [Q] Jakob Dirnberger (Aut) 11/3, 9/11, 11/5, 14/12
[6] Ben Ford (Eng) 3-1 [Q] Julian Tomlinson (Eng) 12/10, 9/11, 11/6, 11/6
[Q] Emyr Evans (Wal) 3-1 [2] Joel Hinds (Eng) 11/6, 9/11, 11/6, 11/7

Seeds bow out in night of shocks

Dylan Younger reports

SOUTH African giantkiller Tristan Eysele provided the shock on Day Three of an action-packed Northumbria Open.

The World No 197 lost the first 11-6 to fourth seed Jaakko Vahamaa, but he adjusted to a frenetic pace, edged the second 12-10, then took the last two with a to spare as he forced the fancied Finn into some uncharacteristic errors.

Eysele will face reigning Northern Open champion Nick Mulvey in the quarters, after the Hertfordshire player toppled a seed of his own – Norwegian Champion Adrian Ostbye.

Mulvey edged the opener by two clear points only to produce a few errors in the second, going down 11-4. But No 8 seed Ostbye looked to be off the pace just a touch by the end of the third, as Mulvey took it 11-6. And the fourth also went the way of the flame-haired tornado, as his quick reactions and speed around court helped him to an 11-5 win.

No 1 seed George Parker looked solid against England U19 international Patrick Rooney – in nearly 50 minutes of their first-round clash.

Parker – the reigning British Under 21 champion – took the first, but Merseysider Rooney levelled the match (11-8 in the second) before the World No 80 reasserted his dominance to win 3-1.

Qualifier Dave Barnett had the toughest of starts against seventh seed Mike Harris, who started like a steam train and played error-free squash in stretching into a seemingly-comfortable 2-0 lead.

Barnett, though – a former top-100 player – changed his game and went on the front foot in the third. Rallied by a strong home support behind the glassback, he took a superb game 11-9 and seemed set to take a compelling match to the fifth when he established an 8-5 lead.

Harris himself, though, showed what a fighter he is; the Bristol-based player stuck to a patient game to take the next five points, and although Barnett saved one match ball at 10-8 down, he couldn’t save the second.

The second North East player in the main event was wild card Cai Younger. Ranked 337 in the world – 235 places behind his third seed opponent – the 19-year-old from Northern knew he faced a massive challenge.

The unlikeliest of upsets looked possible at 4-4 in the first – but Scottish No 3 Dougie Kempsell kept the pace high and pounced on anything even semi-loose. He took the first two games 11-5 and the third 11-2 as he forced errors out of a player who was trying all he knew to reward some strong home support.

Match of the night was a humdinger on Court Two between Joe Green and Jakob Dirnberger – which included a rally which lasted four days. Five seed Green looked a class apart as he took the first 11-2. But the experienced Austrian battled back superbly to edge the second. Green went ahead again at 2-1, but a marvellous fourth game, including some mind-boggling retrieval at the business end, could have gone either way before Green took it 14-12 and two exhausted players walked off to deserved applause.

It was hard to pick a winner pre-match in an all-England clash between sixth seed Ben Ford and fast-improving qualifier Julian Tomlinson. The first two games were shared then Ford edged the second – his slightly more attacking approach eventually paying dividends.

Tomlinson’s relentless retrieval was keeping him in the rallies, but Ford’s locker was chockful of shots on the night, and he kept his patient approach to ease home 11-6 in the fourth.

Second seed Joel Hinds went down 3-1 to a very solid Emyr Evans – but it was perhaps not the shock it might have been, with Hinds just feeling his way back into tournament squash after a five-month injury break.

Fair play to Evans though, as he kept his focus to rack up a notable win against an opponent who is always dangerous, even when not quite at his sharpest.

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