Perry ‘ecstatic’ after her first British title success

British champion Sarah-Jane Perry celebrates with her trophy. Picture: Steve Cubbins (
British champion Sarah-Jane Perry celebrates with her trophy. Picture: Steve Cubbins (

Kenilworth’s Sarah-Jane Perry was crowned British champion last Sunday after coming through her second five-setter in three days.

Perry, who beat defending champion Alison Waters 12-10 in the fifth to reach the Manchester final, needed 80 minutes to overcome Laura Massaro and earn her first national title.

In an epic match, Perry led 2-0 before being pegged back by Massaro, forcing the game into a decider which the 24-year-old won to seven.

“I’m ecstatic,” said the new champion immediately after her victory. “I’m still in a bit of shock actually, and even if it didn’t look like it I really enjoyed the whole match.

“To beat two of the top five players in the world back to back, neither of whom I’d ever beaten before, is pretty special, and I’m quite proud of myself.

“I had a bit of a rocky start to the week but my confidence grew as the tournament went on and today I told myself I had nothing to lose, just to go out and get it.”

Successive victories over the world numbers five and three have now given Perry the belief that she can not only compete with, but beat the game’s elite.

“My short-term goal of moving up to the top ten stays the same but I will take massive confidence from this win.

“The goal now when going into tournaments won’t be to beat ‘a’ player but to win tournaments that have everyone in.”

In addition to Perry’s heroics in the main event, three other Kenilworth members impressed in the masters’ events.

Geoff Redfern lost in the quarter-finals of the men’s over 60 event to the eventual winner and top seed.

Roger More bowed out in the last eight of the over-65 event after pulling a calf muscle, while Roger’s daughter, Natalie Townsend, pulled off an amazing turnaround in her over-35s quarter-final clash, only to lose in the semi-final.