bt  Alison Waters
5/9, 6/9, 9/3, 9/0, 9/3 (74m)
 James Willstrop bt  John White
12/10, 11/7, 11/5 (44m)
Yorkshire double for James and Jenny
James Willstrop, the world No9 from Pontefract, and Jenny
Duncalf, the world No12 from Harrogate, produced a sensational
Yorkshire double in Manchester today by winning the men's and
women's titles, respectively, in the British National Squash
Championships at the National Squash Centre at Sportcity ...
from Howard Harding
Willstrop at Sportcity
Jenny Duncalf bt  Alison
5/9, 6/9, 9/3, 9/0, 9/3 (74m)
Duncalf comeback foils Waters
Steve Cubbins reports
"It felt like a good game, but sometimes on court you think 'I
hope people are enjoying this', said new National Champion
Jenny Duncalf after the match. She needn't have worried,
they certainly did.
full house at Sportcity witnessed a marvellous women's final
which saw Alison Waters take a two-game lead which proved to be
not quite enough as Jenny Duncalf staged a tremendous comeback
which took her to a first National title.
Alison started in the same vein as in her semi-final last night,
attacking well as she took the 12-minute first game, pulling
away after a series oh handouts at 5-4. She doubled her lead,
winning a 20-minute second game where the rallies were long,
neither player able to find the winner on the hot, bouncy court.
Again though, it was Alison who finished the better, taking four
quick points from 5-6 down in stark contrast to what had gone
But Jenny had already failed to succumb to deficits twice this
week, and she started the third as if she had confidence in her
ability to come back once again. The long, punishing rallies
continued up to 3-all, but then the dam burst. With Alison
starting to look fatigued, Jenny took six quick points to pull a
game back, and looking every inch the winner she took another
nine unanswered points to level the match. She was having no
trouble finding the winners now, leaving Alison flat-footed as
she hit three boasts to finish off the fourth.
There was no let-up in the fifth for Alison either, who never
stopped fighting, never stopped trying, but although she pulled
back a few points of Jenny's early lead, the Yorkshire girl was
soon surging ahead again, and soon placing a final delicate
dropshot that would give her the coveted National title.
It was just reward for the level she has performed to this week,
three hour-plus matches against higher-seeded opposition, coming
from behind in each case - as well as a nice 50th birthday
present for her mum!
went two nil up, but she played so well from that point on, and
I just couldn’t get in back, I was on the back foot more or less
all the time.
"I don’t think I relaxed after wining the first two games, she
is the one who picked up the pace and controlled the rallies
from then on…
"Yes I’ve been ill last week, food poisoning, but that’s not why
I lost. Jenny just played better…"
think it was very high standard squash from both, with very
extended constructive rallies.
"With Alison being ill last week, once it got to her legs, she
could never get them back, all credit to Jenny I guess for
keeping the pressure on and not letting her off the hook.
It’s nice to see two young players maturing and blossoming into
World Class squash players. This kind of result doesn’t arrive
by accident, like Jenny said, it’s a lot of work, from ES, from
the Lottery Program.
"We’ve been trying to challenge the top three girls for a few
years now with not much success. Hopefully with Alison and
Jenny, we’ll be able to do so, maybe not in the next months, but
in the next years…
And what a present for Joe, Jenny’s mother. She is 50 today…
England National Coach
wasn't envisaging this when I was 2-0 down, I felt a bit under
the cosh to start with so in the third I just told myself to
relax, to make it tougher for Alison without doing anything
stupid, I didn't think I was giving her enough of a fight up
"I got a good start in the third and my shots started coming
off. I didn't feel tired, you don't feel tired when you're
winning do you.
"Even so, you're in the fifth game in the Nationals final and
you think 'oooooh,'! I got a bit edgy in the fifth, at 3/3/5 I
felt miles away. She came back again but I knew if I stayed
focussed I could win. Alison hit a couple of tins and then
I really started to think I could win it.
"I've never won a British Open or a World Open, but this is
definitely the best for me so far, I'd much rather win this than
a normal WISPA tournament.
"Beating Tania helped a lot, I really had to concentrate in that
match and it helped me cope with being under the cosh for parts
of the match. DP always tells me there will be patches like that
in any match, you have to work on not stressing yourself out and
trying to play your way back into it.
"It feels so good, after the last few months of last year which
went so badly for me. As much as I hated losing and wasn't
enjoying playing then I did learn a lot from it. I played ok in
the US tournaments in January, making my seeding at least, and
I've been training hard since then.
"There was less pressure on me, no-one was expecting me to win,
I think the pressure of being top seed and defending champion
got to Tania a bit so that worked in my favour.
"It's my mum's 50th today, I haven't got her a present yet so
that'll probably do for starters!"
the record, in PAR scoring:
10/15, 18/21, 16/9, 13/4, 15/8
James Willstrop bt  John White
12/10, 11/7, 11/5 (44m)
TAKES IT AT LAST…
boy was James happy… I saw him win a few, I was there in
Pakistan for his Open title and the World Team Title with
England, I was there in Qatar, I’ve seen him delighted. But this
title… In Manchester… Home really, with all his “family” from
Pontefract around him, Dad, David his brother… More than
And he entirely deserves this win, as he played out of this
world today. Pure and simple…
The match was very simple really. The first game was all about
John attacking from all angles, finding some superb shots that
should have been winners again and again, but that James kept on
sending back, and back, and back, putting pressure on the Tall
Man again and again, pushing him to clip the tin rally after
second was a 50/50, both attacking and retrieving incredible
shots with rallies from Hell and back, ridiculous squash as
James would call it, but with James yet again finishing on top.
And the third was all about James, as the fresher legs, the
momentum, as the lesser years finally tipped the balance towards
As ever, John gave it all, from beginning to end, but James had
all the answers tonight. After all those years looking at his
compatriots lifting the trophy, after all those years dreaming
about it, after all those years planning for it, working for it, tonight, Young Mister
Willstrop is now British National Champion.
much you can do when he plays like that.
"Before the match I had a talk with Hedley, and we decided to go
for long rallies, and that’s what I did, I played like I did
yesterday, length, but he always got those shots from the back
of the court, and there was nothing I could do. His backhand
drop shots from the back of the court were just out of this
world today…Everything I was trying, I think I played as well as
I did yesterday, but he seemed to have an answer for everything…
"The first game was crucial, 12/10, so close, and that’s why it
was so painful to lose it, and then he took an good lead in the
second, then a good lead in the third…
"He forced a few volleys on my backhand from his forehand that
found the tin three or four times, it’s just one of those
things, once again, not much I could do. And if I was playing a
shot in the middle he would punish me, or would make me work
"James always loved this event, he came so close twice, he loves
playing here, he loves playing in front of this crowd, it's fair
"A bit disappointed to lose 3/0, but there is not much to say
about losing against a player who plays so well from start to
finish, cannot complain… Well, now, back to the drawing board,
to mentally prepare for the ToC, but I’m taking a lot of
positive from this tournament…
"Today, I’ve lost against the Gentle Giant… Who I don’t like
right now, but who I will in a day or two…"
going to hurt in the morning…
I don’t like having a strict game plan, because things can
change, and although I wanted the rallies to last, I never get
on court against players like John or Shabana thinking I’m going
to play length, length, length, it would be ridiculous, if you
play too simple, it’s not going to work. So I tried to fire at
him a bit, and if I was playing length, making sure that it was
very wide, and very accurate…
"John puts you under so much pressure, the pace he plays at is
incredible, he nobody on the circuit can match his speed,
maintaining it is the problem I guess, and at 33, he is doing
"I haven’t played at this pace for quite a while. With John,
it’s always a bit frenetic, but in terms of sheer pace, he is
definitely the fastest on the circuit..
"You would always take fresher legs as to being tired, but I
didn’t want to be underdone either, as the last time I had any
kind of real physical work was what, about a week ago, I didn’t
open my lungs, so I was glad to play Saurav yesterday. And
obviously, not playing Lee made a huge difference, as we always
play very tough matches, it would have been bound to be a long
match as well…
"And when you play against John, it’s all a question of reacting
to the pace, you’ve got to be fresh to bounce back, and weather
that absolutely ridiculous blistering pace, which of course,
drops down as the match goes along. So maybe that’s why I was
able to handle his game well at the start, because I was very
fresh, and that made winning the first game all the more
my backhand drop shots were going in nicely, it was one of those
days they just go in, it’s nice when it does, but then when it
goes wrong, I remember the semi-final two years ago against Lee,
they are that high, bouncing in the middle, it was horrible…
"I’m so happy to have won this event, it’s held in such high
regard by everyone around the world, I’m not saying it’s better
than the other Nationals, it’s just huge…Along with winning the
World Open and the British Open, winning the Nationals was
definitely one of my lifetime ambitions…
"I’m over the moon, I’ve been coming to this event for so many
years, even as a Kid, I saw John win it, I saw Lee win it a
couple of times… The amount of inspiration I got from the event
"I got out of the habit of winning, I had a good run with
winning Qatar then with the World Team Title as well, but after
that, not much happened… So it’s nice to win again, and just
before the ToC, this win gives me a confidence boost…"