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Monday, 29 July, 2002, 21:40 GMT 22:40 UK

Power too hot for Beachill

By Dewi Hughes
BBC Sport Online in Manchester

World number two Jonathon Power booked his men's singles semi-final place thanks to a hard-fought victory over Lee Beachill of England.

Beachill delighted the partisan home crowd by taking the opening game in comfortable fashion.

The Canadian seemed to be his own worst enemy at times as he almost constantly contested the umpire's decisions on lets and strokes.

Despite the distraction, the Englishman kept his nerve to wrap-up the game 9-3.

Power continued to direct quizzical looks towards the umpire even as they left the court for the short break, and he was duly handed a warning for time wasting before returning for the second game.

Enthralling

But any questions about Power's temperament or appetite for a fight were quickly dispelled in that next game.

A near faultless display gave him a comprehensive 9-0 game win and helped put a spring back in his step.

The advantage then swung firmly into Power's court as he took an enthralling third game 9-7.

Beachill fought for every point in the fourth, but Power's masterly touch proved too much to handle.

Stewart Boswell, the youngest competitor still in contention, now awaits Power in Tuesday's semi-final.

The 24-year-old also came from a game behind to win the all-Aussie battle against Paul Price (6-9 9-4 9-4 9-2).

Commanding

Earlier, defending champion Peter Nicol of England had continued his impressive form at the National Squash Centre in Manchester.

The world number one dropped only six points in his 3-0 quarter-final demolition of Canadian Graham Ryding.

Nicol is yet to lose a game in his three matches at the Manchester Games, and looks determined to add to the gold medal he won for Scotland four years ago in Kuala Lumpur.

But his gentle stroll towards the final should be rudely interrupted by his semi-final opponent.

Australian David Palmer also enjoyed a straightforward quarter-final victory and is sure to provide Nicol with his sternest challenge to date.

The third seed, who is also ranked third in the world, brushed aside former England captain Chris Walker 9-5 9-1 9-1 in just 47 minutes.

Walker was given a conduct warning for dissent mid-way through the second game as his frustration of not being able to cope with Palmer's pace got the better of him.


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