Nick Matthew powers through but James Willstrop is taken to five in Manchester
By SCARLETT SMITH – Squash Mad Correspondent in Manchester
England’s Nick Matthew has successfully started his campaign to win a record seventh national title with a victory as the National Squash Championships got underway in Manchester today.
The 17-year-old qualifier Patrick Rooney from Merseyside had a dream tie against the three-time world champion and the youngster certainly made the most of his chance on the all-glass court at the National Squash Centre.
Matthew said: “It was good to see a young player playing so well on the glass court, he’s got a good head on his shoulders. The Nationals are a great opportunity for younger players to make a name for themselves.”
Despite a strong start from Rooney the Yorkshireman capitalised on his experience and pace as he defeated the plucky teenager 11/5, 11/2, 11/2.
“Everyone saw the strength of British squash at the Commonwealth Games so I need to stay on my toes. I love the venue and court so I’m feeling good,” added Matthew.
Elsewhere, Daryl Selby and James Willstrop both survived scares from lower-ranked opposition.
Willstrop (right), who was making his first appearance in Manchester since undergoing a knee operation, squeezed past Devon’s Lyell Fuller 3-2 after a slow start.
“It was tough but I am fit to play, otherwise I wouldn’t be here,” explained Willstrop.
Scotland’s number one Alan Clyne also made it through to the second round after a close encounter against the resilient Ashley Davies, a player ranked 125 places below the Scot.
Clyne’s Scotland team-mate, Greg Lobban, also won through, beating Dave Barnett in straight games, but there were defeats for Kevin Moran and Doug Kempsell.
The event, run in conjunction with Manchester City Council, also welcomes over 1,000 of Manchester’s school children to the National Squash Centre as part of the event’s legacy programme. Children will have the chance to experience live squash, meet the players and take part in mini-squash activities.
The women’s event gets under way tomorrow with Laura Massaro and Alison Waters both in action.
National Championships, Manchester.
Round one men’s results:
 Nick Matthew (Yorks) bt [Q] Patrick Rooney (Merseyside) 11/5, 11/2, 11/2 (31m)
[9/16] Declan James (Notts) bt Douglas Kempsell (Scotland) 11/6, 11/8, 11/6 (46m)
[5/8] Alan Clyne (Scotland) bt Ashley Davies (Derbyshire) 11/4, 11/8, 7/11, 13/11 (54m)
[9/16] Peter Creed (Wales) bt Rory Stewart (Scotland) 11/6, 12/10, 11/7 (41m)
[3/4] Chris Simpson (Yorkshire) bt Steve Wykes (Sussex) 8/11, 11/4, 11/3, 11/8 (39m)
[9/16] Greg Lobban (Scotland) bt Dave Barnett (Northumbria) 11/7, 11/6, 11/4 (27m)
[5/8] Joe Lee (Surrey) bt Kevin Moran (Scotland) 11/3, 11/3, 11/1 (24m)
[9/16] Jaymie Haycocks (Warwickshire) bt Angus Gilliams (Herts) 11/9, 11/6, 12/10 (48m)
[9/16] Ben Coleman (Essex) bt Julian Tomlinson (Lancs) 11/4, 11/6, 11/7 (33m)
[5/8] Tom Richards (Surrey) bt Adam Murrills (Cheshire) 11/9, 11/2, 11/6 (27m)
[9/16] Eddie Charlton (Notts) bt Mark Fuller (Northants) 11/6, 11/8, 4/11, 9/11, 11/7 (83m)
[3/4] Daryl Selby bt Joel Hinds (Derbyshire) 11/4, 9/11, 4/11, 11/6, 11/6 (68m)
James Earles (Yorkshire) bt [9/16] Tom Ford (Glos) 11/4, 7/11, 3/11, 11/7, 11/7 (67m)
[5/8] Adrian Waller bt Will John (Wales) 11/5, 11/6, 11/2 (28m)
[9/16] Charles Sharpes (Surrey) bt Peter Billson (Lancs) 11/6, 5/11, 11/8, 14/12 (40m)
 James Willstrop (Yorks) bt Lyell Fuller [Devon] 3/11, 14/12, 11/5, 8/11, 11/6 (51m)
For more information visit: www.nationalsquashchamps.net