Squash: Wright battles through

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SUE WRIGHT reversed the result of the 1991 British Open final by beating Lisa Opie and also got the referee, Ken South, to reverse a disputed decision during a noisy semi-final in the British National Championships at Welwyn Garden City yesterday in which the scenes of confusion near the end overshadowed a dramatic match.

Wright, the 1992 champion beat Opie, the four-times former champion, 9-6, 9-5, 8-10, 9-4, but at 7-3 in the final game she almost lost a point she thought she had won when South appeared to change his mind three times in all.

First he called Wright's shot down, then the two assistant referees overruled him on appeal and gave the point to Wright. After three minutes of frantic arguing by Opie, who claimed she had been obliged to stop in the middle of the rally, South changed the decision to a let. This brought Wright angrily into the fracas. After briefly calling for the tournament referee, South gave the point to Wright following four minutes of debate on the overrule decision.

Opie, who had asked for the tournament referee, surprisingly agreed to go on without getting him, and lost not only the contest but an argument that may well continue.

SRA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS (Welwyn Garden City): Men's singles, quarter- finals: P Marshall (Leics) bt S Meads (Berks) 9-2 10-8 9-6; T Hands (Essex) bt S Parke (Yorks) 10-8 9-0 9-4; P Nicol (Sco) bt P Whitlock (Eng) 10-8 9-5 10-8; J Nicolle (Hants) bt C Walker (Essex) 5-9 2-9 9-4 9-3 9-1. Semi- finals: Marshall bt Hands 9-4 9-2 9-5; Nicol bt Nicolle 9-5 10-9 9-0. Women's singles, quarter-finals: S Horner (Yorks) bt L Charman (Sussex) 9-2 7-9 9-3 9-0; J Martin (Northumbria) bt C Jackman (Norfolk) 9-6 9- 10 10-9 6-9 9-5; L Opie (Notts) bt R O'Callaghan (Irl) 9-3 9-6 9-0; S Wright (Kent) bt F Geaves (Gloucs) 1-9 10-8 9-4 9-0. Semi-finals: Horner bt Martin 9-6 9-2 9-6; Wright bt L Opie 9-6 9-5 8-10 9-4.