Monday 18 February 2008

Waters and Willstrop reign in Manchester

Alison Waters and Laura Lengthorn-Massaro in the final of the British National Championships 2008My prediction that Alison Waters was on a roll after her runner-up performance in the Harrow Greenwich Open was a rare and successful one, as the 23 year-old Londoner finally collected the British National title in her third final appearance ...

In the men's event, James Willstrop retained his crown after defeating Lee Beachill, who was - incredibly - appearing in his seventh National final since 2001.

The 11/9, 11/8, 11/4 scoreline maybe reflected the fact that Beachill is on the way back after injury, but Willstrop's increased consistency against the top ten ranked players in the world must surely mean that this is only the second in a long line of National titles.

James Willstrop and Lee Beachill in the final of the British National Championships 2008With Nick Matthew injured, Willstrop looks set to cement his position as the top Briton over the remainder of the season.

Waters - number 4 in the England rankings - looks set to rise on this position and gain on Tania Bailey and Vicky Botwright, ranked 1 and 2 respectively.

Botwright withdrew from the Nationals with injury prior to the event, with Bailey having to retire in her semi final against Laura Lengthorn-Massaro with a leg injury.

British National Squash Championships 2008

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