Squash: Delight turns to disaster

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Delight over a first-day defeat of Pakistan in the men's world team championship turned to concern in Kuala Lumpur yesterday when England's first and second strings, Simon Parke and Peter Marshall, collapsed against Canadian opposition as England lost 2-1.

As if to compound the disaster in British terms, the second qualifying day also saw Scotland losing to Malaysia and Wales going down to Australia. Only Ireland managed a win, their second in Pool F, beating Brazil 3-0.

Scotland must be rueing again their failure to persuade the world No 2 Peter Nicol to their cause. "With Peter in the side we might have been medal contenders," Alan Thomson, the Scottish captain, said. "Instead we are fighting for survival without him because he wants to protect himself for the world circuit."

Some of Nicol's self-concern may be justified if England's performance yesterday is a guide. Marshall lost 9-2, 9-7, 9-2 in 41 minutes to Graham Ryding, the Canadian second string, looking desperately tired despite four days' rest since he lost in the semi-finals of the World Open Championship.

Parke was reduced to banging his head against the court walls between the last few points of his 58-minute 9-1, 9-5, 10-8 defeat by Jonathon Power, whom Marshall had beaten on his way to last week's semi-finals. Only Chris Walker won for England beating Gary Waite 9-2, 9-1, 9-2 in 19 minutes.

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