Nick Matthew Defeats James Willstrop To Clinch Bundesliga Title For Worms

German No.1 Jens Schoor followed Matthew’s success to snatch a vital game in the decider against Paderborner's top-ranked national Simon Rosner to give Worms an 8-7 victory on games count back at the Pink Power Squash Centre in Boeblingen.

It took 74 long and hard-fought minutes for Worms to take the early lead when the team's revitalised No4 Tim Weber beat Paderborn opponent Norman Junge 11-8, 11-7, 8-11, 11-9.

German No2 Raphael Kandra was expected to level the tie against national team-mate Andre Haschker - but the Worms No3 thrilled his team by taking the opening game after a tie-break.

With the opening skirmish out of the way, Kandra then took control of the match to win 10-12, 11-8 11-1, 11-5 for Paderborner and leave the score poised at one-all in matches and four-all in games.

Then the teams' top strings took to the court - and the packed crowd was treated to squash excellence of the highest quality between Englishmen Nick Matthew and James Willstrop, ranked two and four, respectively, in the world.

Matthew, in his second season for Worms, was in devastating form. Despite boasting an unbeaten PSA Tour record against his rival stretching back to 2007, Matthew lost to Willstrop at the same stage of this event 12 months ago.

Firmly putting memories of this behind him, Matthew took the first two games 11-6, 11-4 and built up a 7-0 lead in the third.

Willstrop was not ready to lie down, however, and pulled back the deficit to nine-all. But Matthew maintained the pressure to close out the match 11-9.

The straight games win, however, left Paderborn needing to win the decider 3/0 - not only to retain the trophy, but to claim the title for a record tenth time.

Rosner, the seven-time German national champion who has represented Paderborn in every Bundesliga final since 2006, survived two close first games against Schoor as the packed crowd became increasingly animated as the climax approached.

Spurred on by the Worms section of the crowd, underdog Schoor raced to a 4/0 lead in the third. Rosner pulled back to draw level - but again Schoor dug deep and reeled off five points in a row before Rosner was able to reply.

Rosner reduced the deficit by a further point, but a winner from Schoor gave him the all-important game-ball - and a no let decision against Rosner that followed clinched the winner for Worms.

"This is our third title and our second German one," said Worms team manager Michael Zehe after the joyous festivities died down. "But what makes it really special is that we won it by beating our great German rivals Paderborn - something which we haven't done before.

"There were very close matches - and there was a lot of pressure on Nick to win 3/0.

"And Jens played really well too. In the past he has been very defensive but today he was much more confident in his game. But it was tough for Simon too.

"And the Worms supporters made a lot of noise!"

The outcome was clearly a blow for Rosner who has enjoyed such a distinguished career, not only for his home club Paderborn but also for the German national team.

"But Paderborn can't win everything," said the despondent German number one later.

"I had to be really focussed in that match - and it's tough to cope with the pressure.

"But he deserved to win - he played really well and that's the most important point in the end."

Event promoter Peter Schmidl was delighted with the two-day event: "We had good drama, a good final, a good crowd and a good atmosphere.

"And we had PSA SquashTV streaming all the action to squash enthusiast all over the world.

"The people who came were happy, and I was happy!"

fotobuch.de Squash Bundesliga, Boeblingen, Germany
Final:
Black & White RC Worms bt Paderborner SC 2/2 (Worms win 8-7 on games count back)
Nick Matthew bt James Willstrop 11-6, 11-4, 11-9 (49m)
Jens Schoor lost to Simon Rosner 9-11, 6-11, 11-6, ret. (52m)
Andre Haschker lost to Raphael Kandra 12-10, 8-11, 1-11, 5-11 (55m)
Tim Weber bt Norman Junge 11-8, 11-7, 8-11, 11-9 (74m)

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Nick Matthew, represented by internationalSPORTgroup, defeated arch-rival James Willstrop 11-6 11-4 11-9 to help Black & White RC Worms beat title-holders Paderborner SC in one of the most dramatic finishes to the fotobuch.de Squash Bundesliga final in Germany.