Matthew’s class sees off Barker

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nick Matthew had to work hard last night in Manchester at the British Grand Prix before making it through to Saturday’s semi-final at the National Squash Centre.

The world number one from Sheffield knew he’d be in for a tough match against England team-mate Peter Barker as he aimed to set up a last four clash with Egypt’s Amr Shabana, and so it proved.

Matthew eventually came through 3-1 (11/5, 15/13, 8/11, 11/7) after a tense 78 minute battle. Barker had bravely saved three match balls before Matthew finished off his spirited opponent, who has won just one of 14 meetings between the two players.

The Hallamshire squash club-based Commonwealth Games champion told The Star he’ll be glad of a day’s rest before his next match.

He said: “It was very tough. I played great in the first game and then it was about as brutal a four games as it could be. It’s nice to have a day off now before another battle with Shabana.”

In the night’s other quarter final, Shabana beat England’s Adrian Grant 3-0 (11/5, 11/6, 12/10) in 46 minutes.