Massaro stunned in National

Laura Massaro

Laura Massaro

First published in Sport

CHORLEY'S Laura Massaro missed out on National Squash Championship glory as old foe Madeline Perry finally claimed revenge in Manchester.

They pair had contested the semi-finals in each of the last three years, and last year it was 12-10 in the fifth, so a close match was to be expected.

The first game went point for point un to 6-6, then Massaro, two-time champion and top seed who plays North West Counties League squash for East Lancashire, pulled clear to take the lead 11-6.

Perry, playing in her seventh sem-final in eight years and yet to win one, did much the same from the middle of the second, couldn’t capitalise on two game balls at 10-8 but after Massaro had levelled it was the 14-time Irish champion who found two crisp winners to level 12-10.

Both players looked a little edgy, with the odd error mixed in with patient rallying, but againin the third it was Perry who finished better, taking three points in a row from 7-7. Massaro pulled two back but then hit the tin as Perry took a 2-1 advantage.

The upset – the first one of the tournament – was on the cards, even more so when Perry took a 7-0 lead in the fourth. Massaro managed to lengthen the rallies, and got back to 5-8, but a return of serve kill by Perry, a lob that drifted out from Massaro brought up five match balls.

Perry needed only two as she pulled off an upset.

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