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NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS 2005: Finals: Elriani and Beachill Champions

Elriani finally wins title. Beachill devastating against Willstrop.

Beachill in Devastating Win Over Willstrop.

Lee Beachill was in devastating form to take his third National title beating James Willstrop in the final 1-3, 11-6, 11-3 in just 42 minutes.

“I went on with the intention of containing him. I can’t beat him in an open game,” said Beachill.

He did that superbly hitting straight - he is the tightest player in the sport – varying the pace with his clinging lines. He varied these with hard crosscourts punched wide to the back of the service box under Willstrop's intercepting range but still requiring to be retrieved before they slide into the back corner and into oblivion. It was simple, it was relentless and it eventually prized out the openings for the attack with a straight drop, volley drop or occasional devastating boast. This was a practically error free process – Beachill made just five errors in the match, Willstrop 15.

There was a sense of inevitability about it early on. Willstrop was jaded. He likes to play an open game, to attack, but that does not really give him any recovery time and once he was a fraction slow in pushing back from his shots Beachill was able to increase the pressure patiently, force the openings, and so the vicious circle when on. Beachill scored 7 points before Willstrop was able to get on the scoreboard in the first game and was immediately ahead 3-0 in the second.

Willstrop is 21. He had a big week beating Simon Parke and John White and he was not able to get up for the final. He was jaded. Beachill survived a brilliant match against Nick Matthew and was able to build on that classy form. Beachill is 27.

“I was diabolical,” said Willstrop who was very self-critical of his performance. “It is very disappointing to put in the performance I did on a big occasion. In the end I was not even trying to attack. I was just trying to stay in but he stretched me out so well.”

“I thought I had it in me to come out another day but I didn’t.”

Beachill beats Willstrop 11-3, 11-6, 11-3 in 42 minutes.

Elriani Seizes Her Moment
On her 17th appearance in the National Championships Linda Elriani has finally won the title with a convincing win over newcomer Alison Waters 9-2, 9-4, 9-3 in 30 minutes.

Elriani dominated the game and although Waters threatened she never found a basic length or the overall consistency to close the gap. Elriani went away to a 4-0 lead in the first and 5-1 in the second, leads which Waters was not able to pull back. Part of the result was in Waters hands for she is a talented performer, fast and with a devastating volley intercept but overall she was erratic.

“I’m on top of the world,” said Elriani. “I knew I had to play tactically right otherwise I was in trouble.”

“I knew how well she has played all week and I was not taking her lightly. I knew though that I was capable of beating the other players in the draw if I played well.

“The longer the rallies went on the better because she was making mistakes. I kept her back and I had to hit wide to get it past her volley.”

“I'm over the moon to be the champion.”

It is fittingly Elriani’s moment but Waters is the talent of the future and although she will be disappointed there is much unfulfilled potential there. She has shown us a glimpse England’s future.

Women's Final:
Linda Elriani bt Alison Waters 9-2, 9-4, 9-3.

Men’s O35 Final:
Derek Ryan (Ireland) bt Gary Thwaite 9-6, 9-3, 9-3 (41 min)
Men’s O40 Final:
Colin Payne (Kent) bt Jonathon Clark (Cheshire) 0-9, 6-9, 9-2, 9-1, 9-6.
Men’s O45 Final:
Nick Gatward (Cheshire) bt Neil Harrison (D&C) 9-3, 9-3, 9-1 (26 min).
Men’s O50 Final:
Mark Cowley (Middlesex) bt David Lumsden 9-6, 5-9, 10-8, 9-0 (35 min)
Men’s O55 Final:
Howard Cherlin (Middlesex) bt Moussa Helal (Lancashire) 3-9, 9-5, 9-7, 6-9, 9-5 (62 min)
Men’s O60 Final:
John Perrott (Hampshire) bt Mike Clemson (Yorkshire) 9-3, 10-8, 9-2.
Men’s O65 Final:
Patrick Kirton (Surrey) bt Brian Phillips (Wales) 6-9, 9-6, 9-5, 6-9, 10-8.
Men’s O70 Final:
John Cox (Hertfordshire) bt Brian Sayer 9-4, 9-4, 9-2.

Women’s O35 Final:
Fiona Geaves (Gloucestershire) bt Amanda Warren (Lancashire) 9-0, 9-2, 9-0.
Women’s O40 Final:
Mandy Akin (Kent) bt Fran Wallis (Lincolnshire) 10-8, 9-4, 3-9, 9-1.
Women’s O45 Final:
Liz Brown (Staffordshie) bt Jacky Gardner (D&C) 9-4, 9-5, 9-0.
Women’s O50 Final:
Rebecca Czuczman bt Faith Sinclair (D & C) 9-5, 7-9, 9-6, 9-6.



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