#1 Laura Massaro justified her top seeded with a comprehensive
straight-game win over Alison Waters in the women's final, the
pair's fourth meeting at this stage.
A quick start saw the top seed lead 5-0 and the pattern was set,
Massaro dominating the rallies, Waters unable to make much of an
impression on the play or the scoreboard as Massaro raced to a two
The third was more competitive, but Massaro still had the edge,
closing out the match in under half an hour.
"Alison wasn't at her best today, but I thought I played well and
I'm absolutely delighted to get my name back on the trophy," said
Matthew already held the record of seven National titles and,
appearing in a recond ninth final, he extended that to eight as he
beat James Willstrop in their fifth final.
The top seed was dominant in the first game, putting Willstrop under
relentless pressure as he took the lead. Willstrop fought back well
from 2-4 in the second to level the match, but was under the cosh
once more in the final two games as Matthew regained control.
At 9-2 in the fourth there was a particularly brutal rally which
Willstrop somehow managed to win, to his own and the crowd's
delight, but it was only a short stay of execution.
"It's always tough to break James down," said Matthew, "but the
court was a bit deader than in previous days and he was maybe
feeling yesterday's five-setter by the end. I 'went to Coventry' in
the second but managed to get back on track.
"The Nationals is a great event, always improving with new things
coming along like the U21s and two glass courts, and it's
unbelievable and an absolute honour to have won it eight times."
Quotes: Laura Massaro: "Alison wasn't at her best today, but I
thought I played well and I'm absolutely delighted to get my name
back on the trophy."
Nick Matthew: "It's always tough to break James down but the
court was a bit deader than in previous days and he was maybe
feeling yesterday's five-setter by the end. I 'went to Coventry' in
the second but managed to get back on track. The Nationals is a
great event, always improving with new things coming along like the
U21s and two glass courts, and it's unbelievable and an absolute
honour to have won it eight times."
The finalists were decided on day five of the British
National Championships at the National Squash Centre in Manchester.
Alison Waters reached a ninth Nationals final as she came through a
five-setter with familiar adversary Jenny Duncalf in the first
semi-final – and their 8th Nationals meeting. She set up a fourth
Nationals final against Laura Massaro, who demolished Tesni Evans in
straight games. Dominant from the start, Evans could never get on
terms as Massaro kept a firm hold on the match and score line
Two time champion and second seed James Willstrop made it through to
an eighth Nationals final after coming through a hugely entertaining
five game battle with Chris Simpson. He faces Nick Matthew, whose
performance against Daryl Selby was almost as dominant as Massaro's.
The seven-time champion dominated the first two games and led 9-3 in
the third before Selby mounted a serious challenge. It sets up a
fifth Nationals final between the two old adversaries.
It was semi-finals day in the Masters event as an amazing thirty
finalists were decided. There were a number of shocks throughout the
In the Mens O40s, Danny Massaro, set up a final with fellow
Lancastrian, Nick Taylor after overcoming Simon Parke who retired
injured in their semi at a game down.
Lee Scott (Yorks) continued his fine run of form in the Men’s O45s
as he defeated 3/4 David Youngs (Norfolk) in the semi having earlier
ousted top seed, Yawar Abbas. He faces Nick Brown (Cambs) who saw
off the conqueror of the second seed, Stuart Summers (Hamps) in four
games to book his place in Sunday’s final.
The Men’s O60s will feature a surprise finalist, Duleep Adhihetty (Midd),
who held off 9/16 Rob Ballingall to book his place on Sunday.
The Men’s O65s served up another pair of surprises. Scotland’s Jim
Dougal booked his place in Sunday’s final after seeing off Howard
Cherlin (Midd) in four games. Cherlin had defeated the no.2 seed,
Derek Collins, in the quarter finals to set up the tie. Dougal will
be joined by Peter Smith (Bucks) who upset the seedings by defeating
the 3/4 Barry Featherstone (Hamps) in four after earlier dumping out
the top seed, Ian Graham.
Claire Roscoe (Cheshire) continued her giant killing ways in the
Women’s O40s, adding the scalp of the second seed, Amanda Warren (Lancs)
to the 3/4 and 5/8 seeds she claimed earlier in the event in four
In the Women’s O50s, Rose Bamber (Avon) shocked the second seed,
Fiona McLean (Scotland) in straight games to set up a tie with three
time champion, Mandy Akin (Kent).
“It's a funny old game, Jen played really well and came back well
from two nil down. I knew I had to start the fifth well or I
wouldn't win, so I'm happy I managed to do that."
“Alison and I have grown up together playing National finals, from
Under 12 right through to this final a few times. I think we're both
better players for it, so it should be a good match ..."
"What a really enjoyable way to play squash. Really enjoyable if a
bit uncomfortable at times, all credit to Chris for making it a
really good match. It's great to be playing well and winning, I
can't wait for tomorrow now ..."
“I knew Daryl's good patch was coming," said Matthew, "I'm just glad
I'd got to 9 in the third before it came! It's a nice feeling for
James and I to get to another final, there's a lot of competition
from the younger players now who think it's their time, hopefully I
can hold them off for another year or two."
Tesni wins a thriller as top seeds
secure semi-final places
The afternoon quarter-final session saw three former champions book
their places in the semi-finals.
up was Jenny Duncalf against Sarah Campion (formerly Kippax), both
playing their 16th Nationals and meeting for the fifth time. Campion
started the better, but once Duncalf found her stride she recovered
to win in four games, making it five wins over Campion and reaching
the semi-finals for a 10th time.
"We seem to play each other every year," said Duncalf, "but when I
first saw the draw I did think 'who is that'! She came out really
well and made it hard work for me. It's great to see her back on
court but I'm happy to make it through to another semi."
opponent in the semis will be another familiar face after second
seed Alison Waters saw off the challenge of Emily Whitlock in
straight games, dominating the second half of each game to reach an
"I wasn't taking anything lightly, we have different styles of play
which always makes it interesting," said Waters., "we could both
maybe do with taking some of each other's game! I felt I played well
and I'm happy to get off in three."
Duncalf and Waters have met seven times in the Nationals, Waters
winning five with Duncalf's two both coming in the only finals
fourth and fourth seeds also made it through in the men's matches,
Chris Simpson and James Willstrop both winning in four games in just
on the hour mark. Simpson ended the run of Welsh qualifier Joel
Makin while Willstrop recovered from a game down to beat U21
finalist George Parker.
"Joel's had some great wins and when I saw his results I knew it
would be tough," said Simpson, "he was reading my shots better than
I was reading his for the first two games, it took me a while to get
Willstrop, and the large crowd, were impressed by Parker's skill and
determination. "He made me work really hard for that," admitted the
two time champion. "The atmosphere is building here already, it's
going to be buzzing at the weekend," predicted Willstrop.
In the evening quarter-final session top seeds Nick Matthew and
Laura Massaro eased through to the semis with straight game wins
over Adrian Waller and Victoria Lust, both matches taking half an
looking to extend his record haul of titles to eight, is taking it a
step at a time: "There's two matches to go and I'm not thinking past
tomorrow - ten years ago I wouldn't have believed I could win seven
times, and I'm not as quick as I was but I do have more of a brain
in me to make up for that!"
Massaro was happy with her match: "I thought I played well, getting
stronger as the match went on. Vicky's improved a lot so to win in
three is never easy. I was disappointed not to win last year as top
seed, SJ played so well, but having done so well on the PSA tour I'd
really like to get my name on the trophy again," said Massaro,
champion in 2011 and 2012.
will meet Wales' Tesni Evans, who saved a match ball in the final
game of a tremendous five-setter against Fiona Moverley to reach the
semis for the first time.
"I'd never played her before and I never want to play her again!"
joked Tesni. "It was a really good match, butI was so nervous in the
fourth and fifth I don't know how I won it," added Evans, "I just
stuck in and thankfully it came off in the end."
Matthew will face Daryl Selby, who survived a long, but thoroughly
entertaining encounter with Scotland's Greg Lobban, twice coming
back from a game behind to finally secure the win with Lobban
running on fumes at the end of the decider.
"Matches like that are the reason I started to play squash," said
Selby. "It was great fun, there was some really good quality
headless stuff in there, it makes for a good match. The battle was
good, it was fair and Greg did himself and Scotland proud.
"Playing Nick again will be tough, he's obviously playing well, but
I played pretty well there so hopefully it will be another good
men's matches started with an upset as Wales' Joel Makin,
making his first appearance in the main draw, continued his
impressive from in qualifying to beat seventh seed Declan James in
three tough games. "I was behind in all three games so I'm very
happy to win that one in three," said Makin.
Makin now meets fourth seed Chris Simpson in the quarters after the
Guernsey man survived a strong comeback attempt from Ben Coleman,
winning in four games. "I played really well for two and a half
games, then took my foot off the pedal for a couple of points and he
really took advantage," said Simpson. "His shots were really going
in, and the end of the third and fourth games were tense, I was
dreading having to play a fifth."
There was another upset, another qualifier making progress in his
first main draw appearance, as George Parker came through a tough
five-setter with Joe Lee. "I played well for the most part," said
Parker, "I got dragged into his medium paced game and lost my length
in parts, but when I managed to up the pace I got the time I needed
to capitalise on any opportunities. My short game needs to be better
to worry the top guys but I'm really pleased to make the quarters."
Parker's opponent will be two-time champion and second seed James
Willstrop, who ended the run of local favourite Adam Murrills in
four games. "All credit to him in the third," said Willstrop, "he
played well and really took it to me, but I managed to get back in
control in the fourth. It's been a funny year," added Willstrop, who
missed last year's event with injury," a few steps forward then a
few back, but the Nationals are always a great event, we all want to
do well here."
were no upsets in the evening session as Nick Matthew, Adrian
Waller, Daryl Selby and Greg Lobban progressed as expected.
Matthew beat Chris Ryder - who injured himself halfway through the
third but completed the match - in straight games, the seven-time
champion expressing a desire to extend his record: "Chris a very
clever player, he's so fluid with his movement, I hope his injury
isn't bad. "It's such an honour to hold the record of titles, but 8
sounds a nicer number than 7!"
Waller came from a game down to beat Nathan Lake. "He started well
and it took me a while to get into it," admitted the fifth seeded
left-hander. "I almost came back in the first but after that I was
more comfortable, although he made it tough all the way."
Lobban became the sole Scottish representative in the last eights as
he beat Tom Ford in three, and Selby won his all-Essex match with
qualifier and U21 finalist Richie Fallows in straight games.
champion Jenny Duncalf kicked off women's proceedings on the new
show court with a straight-games win over Leonie Holt. "I've played
here so many times so I'm very relaxed here, but it's always good to
get a tournament started with a win," said Duncalf, starting her
16th straight Nationals campaign. "The venue looks great and having
two glass courts for a Nationals is special.
Another familiar Nationals face made a welcome return as Sarah
Campion (formerly Kippax) made it through to the quarters for an
eight time as she beat qualifier Rachael Chadwick in three. "It
feels GREAT to be back," said Campion, who missed last year's event
through pregnancy. "I'm absolutely loving being back on court, it's
Four-time champion Alison Waters recovered from a slow start in
which she was a game and 8-4 down to Wales' Deon Saffery, to win in
four games. "She came out firing," admitted Waters, "she's a skilful
player and was putting me under a lot of pressure. I was a bit
nervous, it took me a while to settle but I was pleased with how I
Waters will now meet Emily Whitlock, the fifth seed who beat
qualifier Julianne Courtice in straight games. "We hadn't played
each other for ages," said Whitlock, "not since junior times, so
when I saw the draw I was pleased to have the chance to play her
again. I'm looking forward to playing Alison, we have different
styles and it makes for an interesting game."
evening session started with what turned out to be the only upset of
the day, but it was a massive one as unseeded Fiona Moverley took
down defending champion Sarah-Jane Perry, the third seed, in four
Perry started well enough taking the first, but Moverley struck back
to take the lead and had two match balls at 10-8 in the fourth.
Perry dug in to save those in long rallies, but on Moverley's third
chance Perry hit the tin and her reign was over.
"I'd forgotten she was defending champion, but we had a tough five
setter here last year," said Moverley," so I wanted to see if I
could get my revenge. I tried to play safe on match ball but she
played them well, I've never been so glad to see a tin as on that
The final three matches saw comfortable wins for Laura Massaro,
Tesni Evans and Victoria Lust as the quarter-finals were settled.
Massaro beat rising junior Gina Kennedy, who struggled with her
accuracy but earned praise from the world #1: "She has real talent,
runs everything down and fights hard," said Massaro. "That got me a
long way towards the top so she's halfway there already"
Evans made it two Welsh in the quarters for possibly the first time
ever (to be checked) as she beat Millie Tomlinson in straight games.
"I'm happy with how I played and really pleased to be in the
quarters for the first time," said Evans, "Joel's win earlier gave
me a boost."
Lust completed the round with a three-game win over another English
junior qualifier, Alison Thomson.
It was two more rounds of qualifying as the Under and Over 21s
battled it out for places in the main draws. That started at noon
with both Glass Courts in use for the first time.
There were a number of upsets, and some marathon matches too, in the
third qualifying rounds, then it was on to the qualifying finals in
In the women's draw there was success for Gina Kennedy, Alison
Thomson, Rachael Chadwick and Julianne Courtice, while the men's
qualifiers were Richie Fallows, Joel Makin, George Parker and Adam
They'll all be in action in the main draw tomorrow, while Fallows,
Parker, Kennedy and Thomson will all make it to the weekend when
they will play the U21 finals.
It's the opening day in
Manchester, qualifying started at noon, and the National Squash
Centre - including the two glass courts - is ready for a week of
intense squash action.
For the first time qualifying is split into two sections, Under and
Over 21, with two places in the main draw available from each - the
Under-21 draw is played out in full, with a final at the end of the
Most of the men's top seeds in both sections received byes in the
first round, and were in action this evening against the afternoon
There were no major upsets - in fact no upsets at all as all the
seeded players won through to Wednesday's third round.
In the women's qualifying there were just three preliminary matches
today, finalising the last eight in each section who will play two
Wednesday sees the start of the Masters events, and both glass
courts will be in use for the qualifying competitions.
Local Hopes Fiona Moverley &
Yusef Forster Granted Allam British Open Opportunity
With the biggest names in the world of squash set to descend on
Hull, England on March 19 for the Allam British Open, the
prestigious PSA World Series tournament dubbed the ‘Wimbledon of
Squash’, two local East Yorkshire players have been given an
unmatched opportunity by England Squash to test themselves against
the world’s best.
After returning to the PSA World Tour in 2015 after a five-year
absence Beverley-native Fiona Moverley, the World No.39 who plays at
the Hull and East Riding Squash Club, has been awarded the women’s
Wildcard which sees her granted an automatic place in the
tournament’s main draw while 17-year-old Chanterlands Avenue club
member Yusef Forster has been awarded a place in the men’s
qualifying competition - which will be played at the University of
For Moverley, who left the sport in 2010 for financial reasons
before taking up a role with the Hull School Sports Network, the
opportunity to compete on the biggest stage in squash in her
home-town is a dream come true.
“The Allam British Open is the tournament I've been looking forward
to the most this season because the opportunity to play on my
doorstep in front of friends and family is amazing,” said the
“I love being on the tour and am very positive about my game right
now. It was actually the British Open that confirmed my decision to
return to the tour so it will always hold a special place in my
“I have been performing well this season and having a home crowd is
really important to me. The British Open is the tournament that
everyone wants to win and being able to pull off a first round win
for those who support me would be very special.
“Squash is growing in the city and thanks to Dr. Allam (tournament
title sponsor) having the British Open really gives the sport a
boost. I have huge affection for my local city and the people in it
so I'll be doing it for them as much as myself and I’m hoping there
will be a lot of local support behind me.”
Joining Moverley as tournament Wildcard in the men’s draw is
Guildford’s Tom Richards, the World No.24, while for Forster,
grandson of title sponsor Dr. Allam, the opportunity to compete
against the top male players on the planet offers the next challenge
in a bourgeoning career.
“My aim is to try and get through to the second round,” said the
County U17 champion who, after beating the Dutch and Canadian number
one juniors, was the highest placed unseeded player at January's
British Junior Open.
“I think I will have a chance of getting through the first round -
I’m not sure about the second. I’ve played a few professionals
before and this year I have really focussed and made improvements in
“I’ve been playing squash since I was about six or seven and if it
wasn’t for my Grandad, my Mum and my Dad, I probably wouldn’t be
where I am now - they have always supported me in my squash.
“Playing in front of Grandad (Dr. Allam) makes it more fun as well
so I’m really looking forward to the tournament and I hope there
will be a lot of people there.
“The British Open is a huge tournament and it would be like having
Wimbledon in London and not going to watch it. This is the squash
equivalent, a sport’s biggest tournament, and it’s here in Hull.”
The 2016 Allam British Open, PSA World Series tournament, takes
place in Hull, England from Saturday March 19 - Sunday March 27.
Qualification rounds will take place at the University of Hull on
March 19-20 while the main draw action will be played at the Airco
Arena from March 21.