British National Squash Championships 2016  •  08-14 February  •  Manchester

  2004 Finals

TODAY at the Nationals 2004          

Men’s final:
[1] John White (Scotland) bt [3] Lee Beachill (Yorks)
         17-16, 17-14, 14-15, 15-8 (82m)

White Takes First National Title

In today’s closely-contested men’s final of the British National Squash Championships, Scotland’s John White edged out England’s two-times champion Lee Beachill to win the title for the first time at the National Squash Centre in Sportcity, Manchester.

Top seed White, the Nottingham-based world No3, had reached the final after dropping games in the previous three rounds – in the quarter-finals recording the longest match of the championships in avenging his defeat at the same stage twelve months earlier by beating Welshman Alex Gough in five games.

Beachill, however, reached his fourth successive final following straight games victories – and in the semi-finals overcame Peter Nicol when the defending champion retired with exhaustion after just two games.

Despite having game balls in the first two games, Yorkshireman Beachill went down 2-0 after 52 minutes. Favourite White then had a match ball at 14-11 in the third when Beachill, the world No4 from Pontefract, upped his game to take the match into a fourth. At 8-9, White won back the service and went through to clinch the match 17-16 17-14 14-15 15-8 in 82 minutes.

“I’m a true Brit now,” exclaimed White, who was born in Queensland, Australia, and took up Scottish nationality in 1998, based on his father’s Edinburgh birthplace.

“To play Lee in the final and take him out in four games in virtually his home court is fantastic,” said the new champion. “There was a great atmosphere in the arena, particularly thanks to the vociferous Pontefract supporters in the crowd – and that just spurred me on.”

When asked how it felt to be the British champion for the first time, after only playing in the event on two occasions before, the 30-year-old said: “It means a great deal to me – a lot comes with being British champion and it’s certainly good for Scottish squash. I’ve been involved with British squash for the last five years or so, and won the Scottish national title before, but it’s a great feeling to be amongst the boys who have won this British title.”

White gave particular credit to the help given to him by former Rugby League star Ellery Hanley. “I met Ellery last summer during the English Open in Sheffield, and have been staying with him during this event. He has helped me a lot mentally, and I have benefited from the match preparation techniques he has passed on to me.”

A dejected Beachill conceded afterwards that he had not played as well as he had in earlier rounds: “I never felt I was too far from John, but the way he played made it difficult for me. If I had won one of the first two games, the whole picture might have been quite different.

“But considering the poor preparation I was able to give for this tournament, with a poisoned blister on my foot, I guess I should be pleased to have made the final,” Beachill added.





Women’s final:
[1] Cassie Jackman (Norfolk) bt [2] Linda Charman (Sussex)
      9-3, 9-1, 9-5 (41m)

Jackman makes History

Norfolk’s Cassie Jackman wrote herself into the squash history books today at the National Squash Centre in Sportcity, Manchester, when she beat England team-mate Linda Charman in final of the British National Squash Championships to claim the title for a record sixth time.

Jackman, who only returned to the international circuit just a year ago after career-threatening back surgery for the second time in her life, was in blistering form as she overcame her close friend 9-3 9-1 9-5 in 41 minutes. Only in the third game did Jackman’s remarkable eight-year unbeaten record against Charman look threatened when the 32-year-old from Eastbourne won five points in a row from 0-6 down.

“She did to me what I’ve been doing to others all week,” said Charman afterwards. “Her length was so good she rarely let me into the game. I’ve been feeling so good all week, I was really hoping this could be my year, but Cassie was just too good,” added the England No2, now a runner-up in the event on four occasions.

Jackman was in a jubilant mood after her historic victory: “I’m never set any records before so it’s great to get into the record books with this one. Now it’s there for someone else to beat,” Cassie told the packed crowd surrounding the all-glass court on which she won two medals in the 2002 Commonwealth Games.

“I was pleased with the way I played, and with my movement,” added the 31-year-old from Norwich who reclaimed the world No1 ranking this month after winning five titles on the WISPA World Tour last year, and celebrating her 50th appearance in an international final.

“Winning this title last year gave me a great start to the year – then getting back to the top of the world rankings, and being announced onto the court as ‘world No1’, gives you a real buzz.

“I saw Linda’s match last night, and I knew I had to play well to beat her – and I did. I was concentrating on every point. The National Championships is a great event – all the players love to play here – and I am absolutely delighted to win this sixth title.”

Jackman and Charman have been staying together in Manchester with Emma Donaldson, a former Scottish international. Their perhaps less-than-conventional pre-final preparation included baby-sitting for their friend’s three children Georgie, Jessica and Charlie.

Jackman plans to celebrate her historic achievement when she returns to Norwich on Monday, then heads to Doha for next week’s Qatar Airways Challenge. She can then look forward to her next major milestone, her wedding to fiancé Matt Thomas on 12th March.

Full women's draw




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