Willstrop sets up final against arch-rival Matthew

James Willstrop.

James Willstrop.

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Pontefract’s James Willstrop set up an all-England final against arch-rival Nick Matthew in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last night.

Yorkshire Evening Post columnist Willstrop, saw off India’s Saurav Ghosal in convincing fashion – 11-8, 11-8, 11-5 to set up a repeat of the 2010 Commonwealth final.

Sheffield’s Matthew is enjoying a Glasgow 2014 campaign that has exceeded his “wildest dreams” and it can get better still for the man who barely a month ago was told he needed a knee operation.

Three-time former world champion Matthew moved one step away from retaining his gold medal yesterday as he powered past England team-mate Peter Barker at Scotstoun to reach the singles final.

The 34-year-old will be bidding for another title to add to his collection today, just five weeks after undergoing surgery that cast doubt over whether he would be fit to compete.

He fended off Barker 11-3 13-11 11-6 to guarantee at least silver.

“I couldn’t have wished for any more, to be honest.

“A few weeks ago I would have signed a million pieces of paper for that. I need to enjoy it and then really refocus ahead of the final,” said Matthew.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would feel as good as I do with the knee, and I can’t get carried away.

“I feel as good as I ever have, which is testament to the guys that work with me.

“I said to them to keep me fit and my squash will come back quick and it seems that way.

“I am conscious I don’t want to fall short of the line – I want to run through that tape,” Matthew added.

James Willstrop, on his way to a memorable - and overdue - victory against long-time rival and fellow Yorkshireman, Nick Matthew. Picture: PSA.

Just grand: Joy for James Willstrop as he ends 10-year wait for sweet taste of victory over rival Nick Matthew