Ollie Pett punished after mishit strikes opponent
By ALAN THATCHER – Squash Mad Editor
Daryl Selby was awarded a walkover into the quarter-finals of the AJ Bell British Nationals after suffering an accidental eye injury in his match against Ollie Pett.
With just three points on the board in the opening game at Nottingham Squash Club (2-1 to Pett), Selby is understood to have hit a shot down the middle of the court.
Pett responded by swinging his racket behind his back only for the ball to skid off at pace and strike Selby’s right eye.
The England captain was taken to hospital and later confirmed to friends that he was relieved to learn that his retina was intact.
While Selby was receiving medical attention, he was awarded the match because the injury was deemed to have been caused by his opponent. Selby is understood to have asked organisers to award the match to Pett.
There was no confirmation this morning whether Selby would be able to play today in his quarter-final tie against George Parker on the glass court at the University of Nottingham.
In the first upset of the day, Parker took nearly an hour to stun Scotland’s Greg Lobban 3-2 (6-11, 11-6, 11-4, 1-11, 11-8).
Then in the evening session, England’s Richie Fallows got the better of compatriot and 5/8 seed Tom Richards 3-0: 12-10, 11-6, 11-3 in 42 minutes.
His prize is a last-eight clash with World No.20 Adrian Waller, a 3-0 victor over fellow Englishman Nathan Lake.
Men’s top seed Joel Makin – the sole Welsh player in either draw after defending women’s champion Tesni Evans withdrew – brought his savvy best to the court as he overcame a third game scare to beat 16-year-old English talent Sam Todd 3-1: 11-4, 11-8, 9-11, 11-2.
“Sam was attacking freely and hitting some good winners, so I’m happy to get through that one,” said Makin, the World No.11.
“If I play like I can, I should get through the rounds, so I don’t really think about being top seed.”
Makin’s Friday opponent will be Scottish 5/8 seed Alan Clyne, who kept his country’s flag flying with a comfortable 3-0 defeat of qualifier Nick Wall.
Women’s top seed Sarah-Jane Perry Perry made light work of qualifier Kiera Marshall – who was making her Nationals debut – racing to a straight games victory in just 19 minutes.
“I knew she’d be nervous, I remember my first Nationals,” said Perry after her 11-4, 11-3, 11-3 victory.
“She played well, but I haven’t played on this court and we have a tough schedule coming up so I need to get as sharp and as efficient as possible.”
Second seed and four-time champion Alison Waters survived a second-game blip against qualifier Lily Taylor to win 3-1 (11-1, 9-11, 11-4, 11-4) while men’s second seed, defending champion James Willstrop, set up a quarter-final with World No.21 Declan James after his 3-0 defeat of qualifier Charlie Lee.
“I felt good on there, I may need to step it up against the big guns but I’m pleased to be winning and healthy,” said Willstrop, a three-time British National champion.
Nottingham 5/8 seed Declan James raced out the blocks against Patrick Rooney but had to face two opening game balls en route to a 3-0 triumph (13-11, 11-8, 11-5).
Women’s 5/8 seed Julianne Courtice survived a gripping first encounter of the day against fellow Englishwoman Rachael Chadwick 3-1 (12-10, 11-9, 11-13, 11-7) to face Perry on Friday.
In the first match of the evening session – another all-English duel – [5/8] Jasmine Hutton lost the second game to qualifier Alice Green but prevailed 3-1 (11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 11-6) to set up a battle with Waters.
Elsewhere [3/4] Millie Tomlinson saw off Kace Bartley 11-6, 11-4, 11-8 in 28 minutes to set up a quarter-final clash with [5/8] Lucy Turmel, who beat qualifier Alicia Mead 3-0, while [3/4] Victoria Lust was a late 3-1 winner over Scotland’s Alison Thomson to next face [5/8] Emily Whitlock, a 3-0 victor over Anna Kimberley.
AJ Bell British National Championship 2020, David Ross Sports Village, Nottingham, England.
 Joel Makin (WAL) v [5/8] Alan Clyne (SCO)
[3/4] Adrian Waller (ENG) v Richie Fallows (ENG)
[3/4] Daryl Selby (ENG) v George Parker (ENG)
 James Willstrop (ENG) v [5/8] Declan James (ENG)
Men’s First round:
 Joel Makin (WAL) bt [Q] Sam Todd (ENG) 11-4, 11-8, 9-11, 11-2 (41m)
[5/8] Alan Clyne (SCO) bt [Q] Nick Wall (ENG) 11-5, 11-7, 11-4 (33m)
Richie Fallows (ENG) bt [5/8] Tom Richards (ENG) 12-10, 11-6, 11-3 (42m)
[3/4] Adrian Waller (ENG) bt Nathan Lake (ENG) 11-6, 11-7, 13-11 (41m)
[3/4] Daryl Selby (ENG) bt [Q] Oliver Pett (ENG) 1-2 ret.
George Parker (ENG) bt [5/8] Greg Lobban (SCO) 6-11, 11-6, 11-4, 1-11, 11-8 (58m)
[5/8] Declan James (ENG) bt Patrick Rooney (ENG) 13-11, 11-8, 11-5 (40m)
 James Willstrop (ENG) bt [Q] Charlie Lee (ENG) 11-4, 11-8, 11-5 (26m)
 Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) v [5/8] Julianne Courtice (ENG)
[3/4] Millie Tomlinson (ENG) v [5/8] Lucy Turmel (ENG)
[3/4] Victoria Lust (ENG) v [5/8] Emily Whitlock (ENG)
 Alison Waters (ENG) v [5/8] Jasmine Hutton (ENG)
Women’s First round:
 Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt [Q] Kiera Marshall (ENG) 11-4, 11-3, 11-3 (19m)
[5/8] Julianne Courtice (ENG) bt Rachael Chadwick (ENG) 12-10, 11-9, 11-13, 11-7 (42m)
[5/8] Lucy Turmel (ENG) bt [Q] Alicia Mead (ENG) 14-12, 11-6, 11-7 (34m)
[3/4] Millie Tomlinson (ENG) bt Kace Bartley (ENG) 11-6, 11-4, 11-8 (28m)
[3/4] Victoria Lust (ENG) bt Alison Thomson (SCO) 11-5, 8-11, 11-5, 11-7 (35m)
[5/8] Emily Whitlock (ENG) bt Anna Kimberley (ENG) 11-6, 11-7, 11-2 (30m)
[5/8] Jasmine Hutton (ENG) bt [Q] Alice Green (ENG) 11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 11-6 (33m)
 Alison Waters (ENG) bt [Q] Lily Taylor (ENG) 11-1, 9-11, 11-4, 11-4 (27m)
For full results see www.squashinfo.com
Pictures courtesy of England Squash