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

  2008 Finals

TODAY at the Nationals 2008

Sun 17th, FINALS:                    Masters results & Reports

[4] Alison Waters bt [3] Laura Lengthorn-Massaro              6/11, 11/7, 11/8, 11/9 (49m)

[1] James Willstrop bt [2] Lee Beachill                               11/9, 11/8, 11/4 (39m)

Third time lucky for Alison
as James retains ...

Alison Waters claimed her first senior national title, in her third time in the final, while James Willstop retained his men's title in front of a packed crowd at the National Squash Centre in Sportcity, Manchester.

Earlier in the masters finals Yawar Abbas was a popular local winner of the Men's O40 title while Peter Marshall beat local favourite Nick Taylor to claim the O35 title.

Read on ...

En Bref #4


Howard Harding

Masters Reports

[4] Alison Waters bt [3] Laura Lengthorn-Massaro
           6/11, 11/7, 11/8, 11/9 (49m)

Third time lucky for Alison
Steve reports

The women's final saw Alison Waters making her third appearance in the final, Laura Lengthorn-Massaro her first, but both were aiming for their maiden title.

It was the local girl who started better, clearly 'up for it' controlling the rallies, keeping Alison to the back and pulling clear from 7/6 to take the lead. Her "C'MON" told us what we knew already, that she really wanted this.

But Alison wanted it too - less demonstrative maybe, but equally determined, from the outset of the second she started playing more varied squash, and gradually wrested the control from her opponent's grasp.

Not that it was ever easy, but Alison worked for, and maintained leads during the second and third games, where Laura's drive seemed to be slightly down from that first game.

It was back for the fourth though, more purposeful again Laura took an early 4/0 lead and consolidated it to 8/4.

Alison fought back to level at 9-all, winning all but one of those points with her own winners, then finished the match off with a wonderful volley drop at the end of a long, hard rally and an equally good pushed dropshot to give her the title at the third attempt.


Things were getting tense out there, I’m lucky I was able to hit a few lucky shots at the end.

I’ve known Laura since we were about 12 years old, I have enormous respect for her.

"At the start, she played really well, she volleyed across the middle a lot, and I didn’t do much with the ball, just length. So in the second, I started and mix it a bit more, adding a few drop shots here and there, being patient…

At 9/9 in the third I got really tense, and thought, I really need to get this, the pressure was on me I think to win it, but luckily, I found two great shots, not sure where they came from, they were there for me to take really…!

Funny to be here again, the first time it was four years ago, when Linda desperately wanted to win it, and it was my first time, it was a bit too much, then last year, when I lost against Jen, I was so disappointed…

Celebrations? I suspect a few drinkies will be in order tonight…

Three times lucky and it feels pretty good!"

"I think she upped her game at the end and played really well.

"At the start, I was playing well, and forced a few errors out of her. Still, not too disappointed, I think I did not too bad, except being at 8/4 up in the fourth, and letting her come back and take the game and match 11/9. With that scoring, it goes so quickly…

"But I think she was a bit more adventurous than I was, at the end, when I had the opportunity to make a drop shot, I started thinking, American scoring, and held it back. She didn’t, she went for it… It’s all a question of a few errors here and there, and that make the difference between losing and winning a match…

"Oh well, better luck next time, I won the title in all junior age groups, hopefully I’ll win this one too…"

[1] James Willstrop bt [2] Lee Beachill
        11/9, 11/8, 11/4 (39m)

Framboise reports

Not many people would have bet on Lee tonight, but I thought he played bleeping well in the first game, forcing James onto the backfoot more or less the whole game, although he seemed not too happy about a no let decision at 8/9, a sentiment that seems to be shared by a few people around. I'm not sure if it had a real incidence on the outcome of the match, but it was a bit too close to the end of the game for it not to count at some level.

Still, I don’t believe that one decision makes a match, and in the second, Lee let James run away with the score 5/0, then 10/4 before clawing back to life to 10/8. But then, no patience whatsoever, and he goes for a winner after three shots. In the tin. Blast.

Coming back from 2/0 down against James was never going to be easy, and it wasn’t going to help when he saw Lee grimacing in pain at 2/0 in the third, starting to stretch his right leg. We knew then it was all over.

On a personal note, I would like to thank Mick Todd, who kindly gave me his seat to allow me to watch the men’s final in good conditions. Thanks Mick.

Since the surgery, I’m getting twinges all the time, but in the third game, there was one movement in particular that gave me a nasty twinge, on the scar…

I’m a bit annoyed with myself because I went on there expecting to be further away from him than I actually was. I was moving better than I thought I would, even with a few restrictions. And I was expecting him to come right at me, and when I realised he wasn’t, I didn’t react like I should have, more mentally than anything else really.

I feel that at 8/10 down in the 3rd, I let myself down. I guess that yesterday’s match took more than me than I realised, and I probably have been a bit too casual about it.... Also, in the first game, I get a terrible decision at 9/8, that probably change the course of the game, and you don’t know, I’m not saying that I would have won the match, but I would have been able to put much more pressure on him...

But nobody wins against James by flashing shots, I should have been able to play a more lengthen game, but to play length, you’ve got to be fit, and I didn’t feel like playing one hour and twenty minutes today….

But to be honest, once I sit back and reflect, I’ll realise probably that I did a very good match yesterday, that I did back it up not too badly, and if that’s word standard, I’m not too far away…

It’s such an honour to get back to back titles, it’s such a brutal tournament to win, and that’s without Nick in it, it will be even more difficult when he gets back… It’s such a fantastic event and a real pleasure to play here.

It’s so difficult to play against Lee, you can’t give anything away, it’s always going to come back… I was expecting him to go for it, because I really didn’t think he would like to trade… (not sure what he meant..) I didn’t expect anything less than the hardest of matches, and maybe I was a bit too cautious. But I know that I just can’t just flash about, he is too accurate, so I had to approach the game carefully, and if it meant that it was a tough match, well so be it.

But squash is made of fine lines, the first game was so close, I’m not sure what would have happen if he had taken the first game, then, the pressure would have been on me…

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the people behind the scene, all the people that are making this event possible, and of course, all the people that are helping this event financially, Hi Tech, Manchester City Council and all the others. The refs of course, who are supporting us day in day out, the audience, it’s such a treat to play here, and of course, a few people, Malc, David, Damon (in America), and this week Sylvan, Graham and Cheryl on the physio side of things, you have been able to see that our bodies are breaking down, Lee’s more than mine. And of course, I would like to thank everybody at Pontefract, and Mick my manager.

Now, it’s off to Virginia, a Super Series event, then in Boston, and of course Canary Wharf, a title I would like very much to retain. Also, my main focus this year, the British Open and of course, the World Open, especially as it will be played here, in Manchester, in front on my home crowd…



M40  Yawar Abbas bt Jonathan Clark                   9/7, 9/0, 9/8
M70  Pat Kirton bt John Woodlife                          9/1, 9/1, 9/2
W45  Fran Wallis bt Victoria King                   6/9, 9/5, 9/1, 9/7
M60  Philip Ayton bt Barry Featherstone               9/6, 9/4, 9/1
W35 Jeannine Cowie bt Claire Walker           9/2, 3/9, 9/2, 9/6

W50  Helen Gould bt Juliet O'Neill         9/1, 8/10, 5/9, 9/5, 9/4
M65  Adrian Wright bt Len Froggitt                      9/1, 9/4, 9/3
M55  Howard Cherlin bt David Lumsden 4/9, 9/5, 9/1, 2/9, 9/5
W50  Carole Page bt Claire Kluyver      8/10, 5/9, 9/4, 9/5, 9/0
M35  Peter Marshall bt Nick Taylor         9/7, 4/9, 0/9, 9/4, 9/0

Men's O55

"That's my second O55 National title, I'll be 60 next month so I'll be challenging Mr Ayton next year.

"I'm known for being a bit flamboyant and unconventional with my shots, nothing too sensible. I'm pleased with how I played today, I changed my game back to my old style, lobbing a lot and slowing it down, because he was having trouble with it.

"He was having trouble with his feet, wasn't as mobile as he usually is, but I'm delighted to win."

Women's O50

"We're from the same county [Avon] but we've never played because she ran away when she was 21, didn't come back until her 40s, so we play on the county team together rather than against each other.

"It was a good game, I'm glad it went to five and we both enjoyed it.

"I won the British Open O45 three years ago, but this is my first National title.

"She didn't want to play this because she didn't want to admit to being Over 50 to anyone !  Good game, I really enjoyed it."

Women's O35

"It's really different on that court! It wasn't great squash, but I managed to win it and I'm delighted.

"After I finished playing on the tour I got married, had three children and didn't play for 12 years. Then when my kids started playing I thought I'd give it another go.

"I'm having some coaching from Nick here in Manchester and I'm really enjoying it.

(formerly Leatherbarrow)

M40  Yawar Abbas bt Jonathan Clark             9/7, 9/0, 9/8

Framboise reports

What a strange match that was. Two players that know each other since school days, who’ve been playing each other throughout the juniors, who know each other’s game inside out…

And it starts very well for Yawar. More secure on the glass court, more fluid with his movement, his length and width well in place, he is totally dominating his opponent, who seems a bit lost at see.

But then, at 5/1 in the first, John obviously suffers from a sharp pain in the left leg groin. Limping a bit, he’ll finish the game on one leg… The physio is called, but nothing can be done really in such a short period of time, and our John gets back on court, only a shadow of himself, obviously in pain every time he tries to lounge on that leg – not that we are doing much of that in a squash match!!!! The game is over in a flash, John limping, not moving, and obviously in excruciating pain.

At that point, we all think he is going to retire, but the man sticks in, and goes to go back on court, when he suddenly notices that his son in the first row is in tears… He quickly goes off court to console his child, who is desperate to see him in so much pain…

And my theory is that was gave John wings. Suddenly, he forgets about the pain, he forgets about the leg, and started running, and finding some great shots and lenghts, and retrieving like a lunatic…

Yawar must have been a bit of a turmoil, as one minute his opponent isn’t moving, the next one he is covering twice the court surface, as if they were two of him.

The Manchester Event Man eventually got the better today, but one can only salute the gutsy and emotional performance of John Clark, who came back at 8/8, set 1, match ball for Yawar and although a let was awarded after a bit of confusion at the front of the court, graciously conceded defeat and didn’t ask for the let to be replayed…

Two great sportsmen on court today for the over 40’s.

The final shot ...

For the past 5 years, I’ve been too busy with running the event I couldn’t possibly play in the age groups. But this year, we’ve appointed Isport Marketing and Paul Walters to run the event, and that freed a lot of my time!

The sort of rallies you saw in the third is normally how our matches start, so you can see an indication of our style of matches! So I was pretty happy to get a good start this time, and get to 2/0 fast…

Playing on that glass court is a totally different game, the rallies are shorter, it’s taking the shots better, completely different game. And if we were playing on a traditional court, we would still be on it…

John and I we grew up together, he is two years older than me, and he was getting to County Championships always two years ahead of me… We know each other so well..

At some point in the second, I thought he was going to retire, but I would have refused to shake his hand, I didn’t want it to finish it like that. But when at match ball, 8/8, so close, he shook my hand, I accepted it, it was too close for comfort…

M35  Peter Marshall bt Nick Taylor 
         9/7, 4/9, 0/9, 9/4, 9/0 (89m)

Framboise reports

I was astonished today with the quality of sportsmanship of both players, Marsh asking for lets, and never expecting a stroke, and Nick correcting several calls from the ref in favour of his opponent, once in particular in the marathon first game (31mn), at 5/6 for him, with a “Sorry, I can’t…. speak… it’s only a let, not a stroke”, but most important, in the fifth, when being led 2/0, awarding a let after Peter got a (in my eyes) unfair no let…

Throughout the match, Nick kept his sense of humour at all times (“He would have got there if it wasn't for you and the interference” says the ref, “are you calling me fat????” stances Nick) and showed immense respect for his opponent.

Nope, not too much, as he still made the poor man run all over the court backwards and forward. What’s really impressive with Nick’s game is his racquet skills, honestly, you give him an Egyptian name, and trust me, he can get away with it. Also, his retrieving, astonishing. And his tactical logic.

What a combination especially on a court like that which is so rewarding…

Marsh is less of a shot player, his strength resides in his length and width, and his anticipation skills. His fitness was the big factor of this match. Was he going to be able to sustain Nick’s relentless volley drop shots and accelerations at the back of the court?

The answer is no. He couldn’t. And in the middle of the second, Marsh was dead. Absolutely knackered. The third was a formality, but instead of turning the screw of exhaustion on poor Marsh in the fourth, after a few change of hands at 3/2 for Peter, Nick just made unforced error after unforced error, allowing his opponent to catch his breath…

Breath and confidence back, it was now Marsh’s turn to get the rewards from that court, and his short game started to get it like a knife spreading butter.

Frustrated at himself, Nick just couldn’t get back mentally in the fifth, made five unforced errors, could only get the serve back on one occasion, and just couldn’t stop Peter Marshall from getting his first title since…. the National Championship he won against David Evans in 2000. 

"I got him where I wanted him, but I let him off the hook, I didn’t make him work hard enough in the fourth, so I’m pretty annoyed right now!

"But I played him in September, he has improved immensely. Still, I got him where I needed him…"

Nick Taylor

"It took me a while to get to see the ball on there, I don’t play on that court anymore, so I really struggled and didn’t have much confidence to play short game. It’s only at the end, in the fifth, that I started to really get used to the court, used to the light, and that’s when I was able to go for shots. By then, I feel that he got tired, he made a couple of errors, and it went away pretty quickly after that…

"In the fourth he let me back in, his movement seemed to slow down a bit too, but during the match, we had a few hard rallies, and if I got him on the end of one I would score a few points in a row, and it was the same for him.

"I’m really happy, but a bit surprised, because I didn’t think I was going to come back in that one…"


[HOME] [Today] [Info] [News] [Draws] [Gallery] [History] [Masters 2016]

SquashSite | England Squash | Allam British Open