Mixed fortunes for locals at Canary Wharf Classic

PUBLISHED: 13:00 25 March 2015

Upminster's Peter Barker in action against Mohamed Abouelghar at the Canary Wharf Classic (pic: Steve Line/

Upminster's Peter Barker in action against Mohamed Abouelghar at the Canary Wharf Classic (pic: Steve Line/


Fallows falls, but Barker and Selby progress

Upminster's Peter Barker celebrates (pic: Steve Line/'s Peter Barker celebrates (pic: Steve Line/

Essex squash ace Richie Fallows lost in the qualifying competition for the Canary Wharf Classic, but another Redbridge club member did manage to make his way on to the spectacular glass court.

The 19-year-old Fallows won the first game 15-13 against experienced Egyptian Omar Meguid and battled hard for the rest of the match before bowing out 3-1.

Paul Dowdall meets Nick Matthew (pic: Steve Line/ Dowdall meets Nick Matthew (pic: Steve Line/

He said: “I love this tournament so much and it would be a massive thrill to make it through to the glass court at Canary Wharf. As a local boy, it would mean so much.

“It would be a huge experience to play on that court, with packed crowds every day, the TV cameras and the amazing atmosphere at the East Wintergarden.”

Fellow Redbridge member Paul Dowdall was a surprise guest on court to meet the reigning champion Nick Matthew.

Three years ago, one of Matthew’s matches was interrupted by an emergency appeal for Dowdall, who had been waiting three years for a kidney operation. A donor had been found, but Dowdall had turned his phone off to watch the squash!

Fortunately, he was in the front row and was able to make a speedy exit to head to the Royal London Hospital for his operation. The procedure was a success and this week he was back in the crowd to watch.

As a nice gesture from the tournament, he was invited on to court to meet Matthew after the three-times world champion had won his first-round match.

Matthew powered past wild card Eddie Charlton to meet young Egyptian Fares Dessouki in the quarter-finals.

Matthew’s Yorkshire rival, James Willstrop, made an emotional return to Canary Wharf after several months out of the game recovering from a hip operation.

He celebrated in style with a “bagel” in his opening game, beating Egyptian Omar Meguid 11-0 with a display of dominance rarely seen at the top level of the game.

Willstrop went on to win 3-0 to book a last-eight clash with Germany’s Simon Rosner.

Essex aces Peter Barker and Daryl Selby also made the quarter-finals, facing Max Lee (Hong Kong) and Spain’s No.3 seed Borja Golan respectively.

Upminster’s Barker beat young Egyptian Mohamed Abouelghar and said: “Sorry for making it a boring match. But Mohamed is such an amazing player, who can hit winners from anywhere, I had keep it tight and under control.”

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