Rory Roars Into Jersey Quarters

England's Rory Pennell became the only qualifier to make the quarter-finals of the Jersey Squash Classic after upsetting fellow countryman Alex Ingham in the opening round of the inaugural PSA World Tour Challenger 10 event at the Jersey Squash & Racketball Club in St Clement, Jersey.

Ingham led throughout the first game but failed to capitalise on two game balls as Pennell got the better of the end-game to take the lead after 16 minutes of solid play. Ingham raced through the second, but despite making his opponent work hard he couldn't shake off Pennell, who stuck with him and regained the lead after the third game.

It was Essex man Pennell who dominated the fourth, his extra reach paying dividends and he finished it off with a flamboyant winner to the delight of the crowd.

"That's three tough matches I've had already, all against left-handers too," said the tired but delighted Pennell after his 14-12, 4-11, 12-10, 11-4 upset in 58 minutes.

"I didn't really come here with any expectations but sometimes that works in your favour," added the 27-year-old from Chelmsford. "At the moment I'm not looking forward to another match, but that will probably change in an hour or so!"
Pennell now faces top seed Chris Simpson, also an Englishman, after the Guernsey-born world No26 beat compatriot Nathan Lake 11-5, 11-4, 13-11.

"In the first two games I got good starts and some good runs of points - and he was always chasing," said Simpson. "But in the third the ball softened up a bit and he adapted better, using height very well. I had to try to adjust my tactics and do it back to him, and that was a really tough game to win.

"I don't come back to the Channel Islands enough, so it's great to be playing a PSA event here, and really encouraging to see the job Nick (Taylor) is doing with so many juniors all as keen as mustard."

Third-seeded Englishman Charles Sharpes came through a seesaw encounter with Scotland's Kevin Moran, who was reprieved from the qualifying competition by a late withdrawal. It was a match that was fiercely contested from start to finish, each of them taking turns to forge ahead as the first four games were shared.

The final swing went the Englishman's way, and he was never going to let an 8-0 lead in the decider slip away, despite a spirited late effort from Moran.

"That was so tough," said Sharpes after his 11-5, 8-11, 11-4, 5-11, 11-3 win in 64 minutes. "The court is pretty bouncy and it makes it so hard to win every point."

Quarter-final line-up:
[1] Chris Simpson (ENG) v [Q] Rory Pennell (ENG)
[4] Steven Finitsis (AUS) v Johan Bouquet (FRA)
[3] Charles Sharpes (ENG) v Aqeel Rehman (AUT)
[2] Omar Abdel Aziz (EGY) v Arthur Gaskin (IRL)
RESULTS: PSA Challenger 10 Jersey Classic, St Clement, Jersey

1st round:
[1] Chris Simpson (ENG) bt Nathan Lake (ENG) 11-5, 11-4, 13-11 (41m)
[Q] Rory Pennell (ENG) bt Alex Ingham (ENG) 14-12, 4-11, 12-10, 11-4 (58m)
Johan Bouquet (FRA) bt [Q] Youssef Abdalla (ENG) 11-13, 12-10, 11-2, 11-13, 11-6 (70m)
[4] Steven Finitsis (AUS) bt [Q] David Haley (WAL) 11-7, 11-5, 11-7 (38m)
[3] Charles Sharpes (ENG) bt Kevin Moran (SCO) 11-5, 8-11, 11-4, 5-11, 11-3 (64m)
Aqeel Rehman (AUT) bt [Q] Douglas Leslie Kempsell (SCO) 8-11, 11-2, 11-5, 11-7 (58m)
Arthur Gaskin (IRL) bt [WC] Matthew Sidaway (ENG) 12-10, 11-4, 11-9 (41m)
[2] Omar Abdel Aziz (EGY) bt Alex Phillips (ENG) 13-11, 7-11, 11-4, 11-4 (36m)
 
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