Squash: Marshall's floor show has Rennie with his back to the wall

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The Independent Online
PETER MARSHALL, the favourite to regain the title, makes short work - 35 minutes - of beating Justin Rennie 9-4, 9- 1, 9-2 in the first round of the British National Championships yesterday in Welwyn Garden City, writes Richard Eaton.

Rennie, the former British Junior Open champion, won only seven points against the World Open semi-finalist while four former champions were beaten on the opening day.

Del Harris, the youngest winner at the age of 17, was defeated in a high-quality match but acquitted himself well in a 8-10, 9-2, 9-6, 9-6 loss to another former world junior champion, Simon Parke.

There were signs of a revival from the player once regarded as the greatest hope of the British game. Harris, who was the world No 7 three years ago, was omitted from England's squad this season but led 6-5 in the third game and was still in contention until 6-6 in the fourth.

Harris played with guts and patience and patches of skill with volleyed nicks and drives that suggested, at the age of 24, he may still have an international future.

Bryan Beeson, Paul Carter and Paul Gregory, champions in 1986, 1988 and 1991 respectively, managed only one game between them, but none were seeded and all past their best.

(Photograph omitted)