Harrogate squash duo continue their winning form in Glasgow

TOUGH SCHEDULE: James Willstrop is through to the semi-finals of the Commonwealth Games men's doubles - but has already played 11 matches in just seven days

TOUGH SCHEDULE: James Willstrop is through to the semi-finals of the Commonwealth Games men's doubles - but has already played 11 matches in just seven days

First published in Sport The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by

HARROGATE’S James Willstrop is confident his body will hold up for the final two days of what has proved to be a marathon Commonwealth Games squash competition.

Having already claimed a silver medal in the men’s singles on Monday, Willstrop teamed up with partner Daryl Selby to make the last four of the men’s doubles yesterday.

The English duo were made to work by New Zealanders Lance Beddoes and Paul Coll, but eventually ran out 11-8, 6-11, 11-9 winners.

They will return to the court this afternoon to face a duo from either Scotland or Australia in the semi-finals, and with the other English pairing of Nick Matthew and Adrian Grant on the other side of the draw, there is a strong chance of Monday’s singles finalists meeting again in tomorrow’s doubles final.

Willstrop has already played 11 matches in seven days, but while he admits the workload has been heavy, the North Yorkshireman is confident he still has enough in the tank to produce his best form.

“There is stiffness in the body, and that was a lot harder today,” he said. “I was tested in a lot of movements, but it’s been okay. I’ve had a bit of rest and have been constantly making use of the backroom team.

“We’ve got immense support, and we need to give a shout out to Sport England and the Lottery because their help makes wins like this possible.

“It was a war of a match in all respects really. It’s just really intense and we had to hang in there, be tough, and try to play our best squash. We had to keep it together in a lot of momentum shifts.”

Willstrop is one of two Harrogate players still involved in the squash competition as Jenny Duncalf is guaranteed either a gold or silver medal in the women’s doubles after teaming up with Laura Massaro to win an all-English semi-final against Emma Beddoes and Alison Waters.

Duncalf and Massaro won 11-7, 11-8 and will take on a pairing from either India or Australia in this afternoon’s final.

“It’s always difficult to play your team-mates, but in a way we knew what to expect,” said Duncalf. “We’ve practised with them all summer, so we ended up changing our tactics because we’ve not been doing very well against them in practice and we wanted to take them by surprise.”

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