Familiar faces ready for Manchester showdowns
By DONNA HELMER in Manchester
The finals of the British National Championships will have a familiar feel, with Nick Matthew once again facing long-time adversary James Willstrop, and Laura Massaro meeting Alison Waters in a career-long rivalry going back to their under-12 days.
On day five of the action at the National Squash Centre in Manchester, Waters reached a ninth Nationals final as she came through a five-setter with familiar foe Jenny Duncalf in the first semi-final – and their eighth Nationals meeting.
She set up a fourth Nationals final against Massaro, who demolished Tesni Evans in straight games. Dominant from the start, Massaro did not allow Evans kept a firm hold on the match and scoreline throughout.
Twotime champion and second seed Willstrop made it through to an eighth Nationals final after coming through a hugely entertaining five-game battle with Chris Simpson. He now faces another Manchester battle with Matthew, whose performance against Daryl Selby was almost as dominant as Massaro’s.
The seven-time champion dominated the first two games and led 9-3 in the third before Selby mounted a serious challenge. It sets up a fifth Nationals final between the two old adversaries.
It was semi-finals day in the Masters event as an amazing thirty finalists were decided. There were a number of shocks throughout the 15 semis.
In the Mens Over-40s, Danny Massaro, husband of Laura, set up a final with fellow Lancastrian Nick Taylor after overcoming Simon Parke, who retired injured in their semi at a game down.
Lee Scott (Yorks) continued his fine run of form in the Men’s O45s as he defeated 3/4 David Youngs (Norfolk) in the semi having earlier ousted top seed, Yawar Abbas. He faces Nick Brown (Cambs) who saw off the conqueror of the second seed, Stuart Summers (Hants) in four games to book his place in Sunday’s final.
The Men’s O60s will feature a surprise finalist, Duleep Adhihetty (Midd), who held off 9/16 Rob Ballingall to book his place on Sunday.
The Men’s O65s served up another pair of surprises. Scotland’s Jim Dougal booked his place in Sunday’s final after seeing off Howard Cherlin (Midd) in four games. Cherlin had defeated the no.2 seed, Derek Collins, in the quarter finals to set up the tie. Dougal will be joined by Peter Smith (Bucks) who upset the seedings by defeating the 3/4 Barry Featherstone (Hamps) in four after earlier dumping out the top seed, Ian Graham.
Claire Roscoe (Cheshire) continued her giant killing ways in the Women’s O40s, adding the scalp of the second seed, Amanda Warren (Lancs) to the 3/4 and 5/8 seeds she claimed earlier in the event in four games.
In the Women’s O50s, Rose Bamber (Avon) shocked the second seed, Fiona McLean (Scotland) in straight games to set up a tie with three time champion, Mandy Akin (Kent).
What They Said:
“It’s a funny old game. Jen played really well and came back well from two nil down. I knew I had to start the fifth well or I wouldn’t win, so I’m happy I managed to do that.”
“Alison and I have grown up together playing National finals, from Under 12 right through to this final a few times. I think we’re both better players for it, so it should be a good match …”
“What a really enjoyable way to play squash. Really enjoyable if a bit uncomfortable at times, all credit to Chris for making it a really good match. It’s great to be playing well and winning, I can’t wait for tomorrow now …”
“I knew Daryl’s good patch was coming,” said Matthew. “I’m just glad I had got to nine in the third before it came! It’s a nice feeling for James and I to get to another final. There’s a lot of competition from the younger players now who think it’s their time. Hopefully I can hold them off for another year or two.”
British National Championship 2016, National Squash Centre, Manchester, England
 Nick Matthew (Yorks) v  James Willstrop (Yorks)
 Nick Matthew (Yorks) bt  Daryl Selby (Essex) 11-4, 11-4, 11-7 (40m)
 James Willstrop (Yorks) bt  Chris Simpson (Yorks) 11-5, 8-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-8 (82m)
 Nick Matthew (Yorks) bt  Adrian Waller (Herts) 11-6, 11-6, 11-4 (32m)
 Daryl Selby (Essex) bt  Greg Lobban (Scotland) 9-11, 11-7, 11-13, 11-4, 11-8 (78m)
 Chris Simpson (Yorks) bt [Q] Joel Makin (Wales) 11-7, 7-11, 11-5, 11-5 (61m)
 James Willstrop (Yorks) bt [Q] George Parker (Leics) 7-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-7 (59m)
 Nick Matthew (Yorks) bt Chris Ryder (Herts) 11-6, 11-9, 11-4 (32m)
 Adrian Waller (Herts) bt Nathan Lake (Glos) 8-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-6 (52m)
 Daryl Selby (Essex) bt [Q] Richie Fallows (Essex) 11-6, 12-10, 11-6 (41m)
 Greg Lobban (Scotland) bt Tom Ford (Glos) 11-2, 11-8, 11-2 (30m)
[Q] Joel Makin (Wales) bt  Declan James (Notts) 11-9, 13-11, 11-9 (46m)
 Chris Simpson (Yorks) bt Ben Coleman (Essex) 11-7, 11-3, 9-11, 13-11 (72m)
[Q] George Parker (Leics) bt  Joe Lee (Surrey) 11-6, 9-11, 11-5, 12-14, 11-6 (68m)
 James Willstrop (Yorks) bt [Q] Adam Murrills (Cheshire) 11-9, 11-6, 1-11, 11-8 (39m)
 Laura Massaro (Lancs) v  Alison Waters (Middx)
 Laura Massaro (Lancs) bt  Tesni Evans (Wales) 11-4, 11-2, 11-3 (30m)
 Alison Waters (Middx) bt  Jenny Duncalf (Yorks) 13-11, 11-7, 8-11, 5-11, 11-9 (56m)
 Laura Massaro (Lancs) bt  Victoria Lust (Beds) 11-5, 11-4, 11-3 (30m)
 Tesni Evans (Wales) bt Fiona Moverley (Yorks) 11-8, 9-11, 11-6, 5-11, 12-10 (58m)
 Jenny Duncalf (Yorks) bt  Sarah Campion (Cheshire) 9-11, 11-4, 11-4, 11-7 (37m)
 Alison Waters (Middx) bt  Emily Whitlock (Cheshire) 11-4, 11-6, 11-4 (33m)
 Laura Massaro (Lancs) bt [Q] Georgina Kennedy (Kent) 11-3, 11-2, 11-6 (23m)
 Victoria Lust (Beds) bt [Q] Alison Thomson (Surrey) 11-5, 11-2, 11-9 (29m)
Fiona Moverley (Yorks) bt  Sarah-Jane Perry (Warwicks) 5-11, 11-6, 11-7, 12-10 (40m)
 Tesni Evans (Wales) bt Millie Tomlinson (Derbyshire) 11-4, 11-4, 11-6 (37m)
 Sarah Campion (Cheshire) bt [Q] Rachael Chadwick (Cheshire) 11-9, 11-8, 11-6 (23m)
 Jenny Duncalf (Yorks) bt Leonie Holt (Warwicks) 11-4, 11-3, 11-3 (22m)
 Emily Whitlock (Cheshire) bt [Q] Julianne Courtice (Glos) 11-7, 11-7, 11-2 (29m)
 Alison Waters (Middx) bt Deon Saffery (Wales) 8-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-9 (43m)
Pictures by STEVE CUBBINS (SquashSite.co.uk) courtesy of England Squash