The packed spectator’s gallery at Southport & Birkdale Squash Club were treated to a feast of superb squash on Thursday when two top UK squash players showed off their supreme fitness and awesome skills. The visit to Southport’s top squash club was sold out with fans from other North West squash clubs.
World ranked number 14 and Commonwealth Games Silver medallist Daryl Selby took on the former World Number 1 and Commonwealth Games Gold medallist James Willstrop in a display of squash at the highest level.
The evening started with an hour long coaching session for ten of the region’s top upcoming junior players. It was an unforgettable experience for our local youngsters to play and receive coaching tips from two top professionals.
This was followed by them taking on two senior club players each in four best of three games match. The crowd were in great form as they cheered every point won by the amateurs. First on court, it was no surprise when new comer to squash, county tennis player, Tim Moulton and S & B first teamer Dave Porter both lost 2 -0. Then, in a shock result, visiting Northern Crosby player Andy Chanter won his match with Willstrop. James Wilson is a good runner and he had to be as Daryl had him in every corner of the court in a very entertaining 2 -0 win.
In the main event the amazing racket skills and fitness of Selby and Willstrop was displayed to the full in a best of five games match. Good friends and England International colleagues off court; once the match started there were no holds barred. With many long gruelling rallies the two pros made moving about the squash court look easy. At that level though any mistake is ruthlessly punished with unreturnable drop shots into the nick between wall and floor. James Willstrop took an early lead, winning the first game 11 / 8
Updated 13:35 - 4 Sep 2018 by Neil Crew
The second game continued with more of the same challenging rallies. It was close again but Willstrop took it 11 / 9.
With the pressure on, two nil down, Selby then resorted to some of the unconventional shots he is renowned for; with deceptive lobs, drops, boasts and wrong footing cross court drives Daryl had Willstrop scrambling to retrieve. Taking the third game 11-6.
Back in the hunt, Selby needed to keep the pressure on his opponent. But the efforts of winning the third game were beginning to show and despite a valiant fight to equal the score Willstrop took the fourth game 11 / 8 and the match by 3 games to 1.
To view the full match in HD go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDbgPbI-VDE
After a few minutes recuperation the players spent 20 minutes answering many questions from the audience.
Southport & Birkdale Squash Club have four teams competing in the North West Counties Squash League. The 1st team play in NWCSL first division with several world ranked players registered to play for them, including Daryl Selby.