Jenny Duncalf eyes third National squash crown

hsb  Jenny Duncalf.  (140110M3c)
hsb Jenny Duncalf. (140110M3c)

Harrogate squash ace Jenny Duncalf has targeted a third British title at the National Championships in Manchester this week.

Duncalf, eased through her first round contest against qualifier Julianne Couticce on Thursday.

The 31-year-old advanced in straight games 11-4, 11-5, 11-3 to win in just 25 minutes.

She will play Sarah Kippax in the quarter finals after Chester player beat Deon Saffery 8-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-5 also in Thursday.

Duncalf last won the national title in 2009, two years after her first triumph.

The top four seeds in Mancheser are all in the world’s top ten. And Duncalf, who could meet world number four Alison Waters in the semi-finals, is expecting competition to be stiff.

“Whoever wins it will have to play well for the four matches,” she said.

“It’s a big tournament. There’s no ranking points on offer but to be national champion is a great title to have.

“To be best in the country is the one we all love.”

Fellow Harrogate-based elite players Chris Simpson and James Willstrop will go for gold in the men’s singles event.

Simpson battled past Robbie Temple 11-6, 11-9, 13-15, 11-9 (72m) on Wednesday to make round two. Second-seed Willstrop also progressed as he comfortably beat Kevin Moran 11-2, 11-5, 11-1 (23m) in round one on Thursday night.

Simpson, 26, has also been selected to represent Guernsey at this year’s Commonwealth Games.

The Games will be his fourth since marking his debut as a 15-year-old in Manchester in 2002.

Simpson said: “In the past I have been going to the Games hoping to gain experience. This year I feel I’m in with a shout for a medal.

“Guernsey hasn’t won many Commonwealth medals. If I could, it would be a big thing to the island.”