British Junior Open – Ashley Davies

Tecnifibre British Junior Open, Sheffield, 2nd to 6th January 2012

Ashley Davies Walks Like An Egyptian.

It was January again and time for the world’s best junior squash players to descend on Sheffield en mass. 410 registered players from 43 Countries, as far away as Trinidad and Tobago, United States, Canary Islands, Egypt, New Zealand, and Malta. All with one aim; to win the biggest and most prestigious junior tournament of them all, the British Junior Open.

With 7 of the top seeds coming from Egypt, it was more like the Egyptian Junior Open, than the British. Over the last 3 years alone they have taken 20, out of a possible 24 age group titles back home to Egypt.

This year there were 13 out of 16 Egyptians in the finals. There were all Egyptian finals in the Girls under 13, 15, 17, and 19 age groups, in the Boy’s the under 13 and 15’s finals were Egypt v Pakistan, the under 19’s was an all Egyptian affair, but for the first time since Joe Lee in 2006, there was an English player, Ashley Davies, in the under 17 Boys final And what a final it turned out be. The last English player to win the BJO was no other than current World Men’s No 1 James Willstrop back in the year 2000! So no pressure then!

Ashley, the current European No 1, England No 2, and British Champion, had been seeded 5/8 behind 3 Egyptians, and a Jordanian. Which meant if it all went to seeding, which it did, he would play the Egyptian No 1 seed Osama Khali Khalifa, in the quarter finals.

Ashley beat the Egyptian, 3-1, 7/11, 11/7, 11/8, 13/11.

In the semi final he then had to meet another Egyptian, Karim El Hammamy. In one hell of a match, lasting 109 minutes, Ashley booked his first ever British Junior Open appearance with a stunning 3-2 win, 11/7, 13/15, 11/3, 3/11, 14/12.

If that wasn’t enough he would meet yet another Egyptian, this time Shehab Essam, who had beaten the Jordanian 3/4 seed Ahmad Alsaraj, in the other semi final, 3-2, in a match lasting106 minutes.

On a packed Abbeydale show court, there was hardly enough space for the players to walk on to the court, a club official estimated up to 350 people had managed to cram in to see the final.

Ashley had been in fantastic form since the summer, reaching the final of the Dutch, losing 3-2, to, yes you guessed it, an Egyptian, Self Abou El Einen, he won the Nordic, 3-1 against Martin Svec, the British Championships, against England No 1 Richie Fallows, 3-2, from 0-2 and two match balls down. Then took the Belgian Open, beating Yousef Saleh, from Kuwait, 3-2.The final saw a fantastic 5 set match, befitting a BJO final, lasting over an hour with the support of an electrifying crowd behind both players. Each player took turns to win games, at 2 games all it was impossible to see who the victor would be. Ashley took an early 4-2 lead, only to make three unforced errors in a row on the top of the tin allowing Shehab a way back in. Shehab, a quality player then eased away with a few superb shots, typical of what the Egyptians always seem to be able to pull out of the bag, and that was it, 7-11 to Essam in the 5th.

A great performance by Ashley from 5/8, a great final, a great end to an under 17 career, and a fantastic crowd the likes we might not see again, till next time!

Junior Grand Prix – Round 3 – Duffield – 4 December 2011

Group A

 

1

3

4

5

TOTAL

Grand Prix Points

Jake Brass

1

0

3

1

5

Ben Harvey

2

3

0

1

3

7

Tom Hayes

3

3

3

3

12

Joe Thomas

4

0

0

1

4

Michael Quinn

5

3

0

3

7

 

 

 

 

 

Group B

 

1

2

3

4

TOTAL

Grand Prix Points

Joshua Harbut

1

1

1

1

3

Seb Brass

2

 3

3

3

9

Kieran Shelley

3

 3

1

3

7

Henry Jacobs

4

 3  1

1

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

Group C

 

1

2

3

4

TOTAL

Grand Prix Points

Molly Tomlinson

1

0

0

3

6

Laura Jones

2

3

0

0

6

Oliver Lowe

3

3

3

3

12

Tom Blenkinsop

4

0

3

0

6

Elliot Moore

5

0

0

0

0

0

 

 

 

 

 

Group D

 

1

2

3

4

TOTAL

Grand Prix Points

Marcus Lumbard

1

1

3

0

4

Jack Kingscott

2

3

0

0

3

Ryan Laxton-Kane

3

1

3

0

4

Francesca Sulley

4

3

3

3

9

 

 

 

 

 

 

Group E

 

1

2

3

4

5

TOTAL

Grand Prix Points

Joe Wilcockson

1

3

3

3

3

12

Ryan McIntyre

2

0

0

3

3

6

Jordan Mellor

3

0

3

3

3

9

Michael Wallis

4

0

0

1

3

4

Sam McMylor

5

0

0

0

0

0

 

 

 

 

Group F

 

1

2

3

4

5

TOTAL

Grand Prix Points

Fraser Martin

1

0

3

0

0

3

Oliver Johnston

2

3

1

0

0

4

Harry Salisbury

3

1

3

1

0

5

Frazer Moore

4

3

3

3

1

10

Rebekah King

5

3

3

3

3

12

 

 

 

 

Group G

 

1

2

3

4

5

TOTAL

Grand Prix Points

Isabelle Kenworthy

1

3

3

3

3

12

Finlay Moore

2

0

0

0

1

0

Lucy Kenworthy

3

0

3

3

3

9

George Salisbury

4

0

3

0

3

6

Will Gilbert

5

0

3

0

0

3

 

 

Belgian Junior Open – Ashley Davies

Sweet Taste Of Success For Irresistible Ashley

The weekend of 6th November saw Chesterfield squash supremo Ashley Davies return home from Belgium with his second successive European Junior U17 title. Having already posted victories in his previous three competitions, this fourth win on the bounce has given him his best ever start to a season.

To win the Belgian competition Ashley needed to see off the cream of Europe’s domestic players and did so with what is becoming his customary aplomb. Indeed, in his opening four matches he conceded a paltry 4 points per game on average, leaving the No.1 players from Spain and Israel trailing in his wake.

Said Ash of his opponents: “All players at this level are top quality so I was pleased to get through the early rounds without expending too much energy. I fully expected the semi-final to be a tough match but didn’t do myself any favours by losing concentration and allowing the third game to go to15-13”.

Ashley’s opponent in the final, Kuwait’s Yousef Saleh was “the quickest player I’ve ever seen. His racket seemed magnetic at times”.

And in what turned out to be another ding-dong battle, Ashley came out on top in a five game thriller, but by having to bag 11 points or more in every single game.

Having got off to a great start, taking the first game 12-10, Ashley was then pegged back, losing the next two games 11-13 and 12-14. Again Ash needed to dig deep and rescue the match by winning the last two games to return home with a victory – not a situation with which he is entirely unfamiliar!

Game four saw Ashley prevail 12-10 in another closely fought encounter, before finishing the job off 11-6 in the fifth.

Ashley paid respect to his fellow finalist saying: “I got a message from him the day after the tournament, congratulating me and looking forward to seeing me in January.”

Following the Belgian victory, Ashley now enters a period of intensive training at his home club, Brampton Manor, as he starts his build up to the British Junior Open, held in Sheffield in early January.

Junior Grand Prix – Round 2 – Ilkeston Manor – 16 October 2011

Group A

 

1

2

3

4

5

TOTAL

Grand Prix Points

 

 

Jake Brass

 

1

3

1

0

3

7

Matt Logan

2

1

0

0

3

4

Tom Hayes

3

3

3

3

3

12

Joe Thomas

4

3

3

0

3

9

Henry Jacobs

5

1

1

1

0

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

Group B

 

1

2

3

4

5

TOTAL

Grand Prix Points

Michael Quinn

1

3

3

3

3

12

Joshua Harbut

2

0

0

3

3

6

Seb Brass

3

0

3

3

3

9

Kieran Shelley

4

0

1

0

3

4

Alex Ford

5

0

0

1

0

1

Group C

 

1

2

3

4

5

TOTAL

Grand Prix Points

 

Molly Tomlinson

1

0

3

3

0

6

Laura Jones

2

3

3

3

0

9

Ryan Laxton-Kane

 

3

1

0

0

0

1

Gabby Barton

4

0

0

3

0

3

Callan Harvey

5

3

3

3

3

12

 

 

 

 

 

Group D

 

1

2

3

4

5

TOTAL

Grand Prix Points

Tom Blenkinsop

1

3

3

3

3

12

Daniel Harrison

2

1

3

0

0

4

Ryan McIntyre

3

0

0

3

0

3

Jordan Mellor

4

0

3

0

0

3

Isabel Favell

5

0

3

3

3

9

 

 

Group E

1

2

3

4

5

6

TOTAL

Grand Prix Points

Joe Wilcockson

1

 

3

3

3

0

0

      9

 

Michael Wallis

2

1

1

3

3

0

      8  

Fraser Martin

3

1

3

3

0

0

7

Libby Leivers

4

0

0

1

1

0

2

Joe Kinirons

5

3

1

3

3

0

10

Francesca Sulley

6

3

3

3

3

3

15

 

 

Group F

1

2

3

4

5

6

TOTAL

Grand Prix Points

Adam Brass

1

 

1

3

3

3

3

13

 

Sam McMylor

2

3

3

3

3

3

15

Rebecca Cosgrove

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

Isabelle Kenworthy

4

0

0

3

0

0

3

Hannah Hicken

5

1

1

3

3

1

9

Luca Mainiero

6

0

0

3

3

3

9