SQUASH : Horner corners Tranfield

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Suzanne Horner began the defence of her British national title with a 24-minute 9-4, 9-0, 9-0 second-round dismissal of the local girl, Jenny Tranfield, at the Abbeydale Club in Sheffield yesterday.

Tranfield, a 20-year-old Loughborough student, was a leading England junior and still has a national ranking of 11. But she was no match for the vastly experienced world No 2 from Wakefield, whose own background includes long stints on the Abbeydale courts where Tranfield learned her game.

"It's a bit like coming home," Horner said of the tournament that has now returned to the game's roots. Horner tomorrow faces a quarter-final against the seventh seed, the deaf Rebecca Macree.

The semi-finals and the final will present opponents tougher than Macree, who fought back determinedly from 2-1 down against Donia Leeves, of Sussex, to win 10-8, 2-9, 4-9, 9-5, 9-3 in 53 minutes.

Financial considerations seem to have swayed most of the top British men, who have chosen to play in the Super League play-offs in Bristol rather than the poorly funded national championships.

Stephen Meads, the England No 11 from Berkshire, and Jason Nicolle, the No 8 from Nottingham, are the only top 20 players in the men's second round.

Yesterday Meads defeated Derbyshire's 19-year-old Paul Hargrave to book a quarter-final against Clive Leach of Warwickshire, who defeated Oxford's Scott Handley.