Perry powers into first National final as Selby shakes off Waller
By SCARLETT SMITH – Squash Mad Correspondent in Manchester
Reigning champion Alison Waters suffered a shock defeat at the hands of world number 16 Sarah-Jane Perry in today’s semi final match at the 2015 National Squash Championships.
But, in a quick twist of fate, it was Perry who clinched the match on a stroke decision to claim her spot in her first ever National Championship final 8/11, 11/7, 13/11, 6/11, 12/10.
“It was a bit of a weird one in the end, she had match ball and then it was a bit of a harsh decision to give the stroke but I’m ecstatic to reach the final,” commented Perry.
“I played really well and I stepped it up a bit today and I think I’ll need to again tomorrow. I’ve never beaten Laura before so I will have to be on top form,” added the 24 year old.
It was a more straight forward affair for two time national champion Laura Massaro who opened proceedings at the National Squash Centre with a 11/4, 11/7, 11/8 victory over Victoria Lust.
The 31 year old said: “I don’t think Victoria played as well as she can do today. I’ve put myself in a position where I’m in another final and you never know what can happen then. There are a lot of exciting younger players coming through to keep us on our toes. I feel hungry for the title this year and I’m looking forward to finals day, it’s always a great atmosphere in Manchester.”
In the men’s event Daryl Selby blamed ‘mental weakness’ for a slow start in the first men’s semi final of the day. Adrian Waller raced to a 11/4, 11/5 lead before Selby, the 2011 champion regrouped and pulled the match back into his favour to win in five.
Speaking afterwards Selby said: “At 2-0 down it wasn’t looking good, mentally I was fragile. I haven’t seen my little boy much over the past month and spending a night at home with him seemed more appealing to be honest.
“That’s a bad thing to say as a professional squash player. My dad told me after the second game that my son Noah wouldn’t want me to lose 3-0 so I pulled myself together and started playing a lot better.
“I don’t want to take anything away from Adrian because he was awesome in the first two games, I obviously just need to go away and work on my mental side with someone!” added Selby.
Selby will meet six time national champion Nick Matthew in the men’s final after the Yorkshireman dispatched Guernsey’s Chris Simpson 11/9, 11/8, 11/6.
Results title (i.e. First Round):
Women’s semi final results:
 Laura Massaro (Lancs) bt [5/8] Victoria Lust (Bedfordshire) 11/4, 11/7, 11/8 (30m)
[3/4] Sarah-Jane Perry (Warwickshire) bt  Alison Waters (Middlesex) 8/11, 11/7, 13/11, 6/11, 12/10 (60m)
Men’s semi final results:
 Nick Matthew (Yorks) bt [3/4] Chris Simpson (Yorkshire) 11/9, 11/8, 11/6 (51m)
[3/4] Daryl Selby (Essex) bt [5/8] Adrian Waller (Herts) 4/11, 5/11, 11/5, 11/2, 11/6 (60m)
For more information visit: www.nationalsquashchamps.net
Pictures by STEVE LINE (www.squashpics.com)