Sheffielder Matthew’s bid to win a record-equalling fourth domestic title was thwarted by Daryl Selby when the Essex outsider beat the world champion in a marathon 84-minute final.
Earlier third seed Laura Massaro celebrated the biggest success of her career when she upset Harrogate’s Duncalf, the world No 2, 11-7, 9-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-2 to become the first Lancashire winner of the women’s title in the event’s 36-year-history.
After being dominated by the Yorkshireman in the opening game of the men’s final, world No 10 Selby fought back to draw level as Matthew dropped his first game of the tournament. The packed crowd, expecting a Matthew win, watched in amazement as the evenly-contested match moved into a fifth game.
Both players had leads in the decider, but an uncharacteristic series of errors by the defending champion saw Selby pull away from 6-7 down to win 7-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-9, 11-7 – with Matthew calling his final ball down and shaking Selby’s hand.
“I feel I played really well – but I had to play really well against the world number one,” said the 28-year-old from Witham.
“I knew I had a chance. I feel I raised my game to his level.
“In fact I feel I played a phenomenal match. I’m 10 in the world, and results like this show that I can go higher.
“Hopefully this can be a catalyst to move on.
A downcast Matthew acknowledged that his opponent had been the better player: “He didn’t give me anything – it was almost error-free squash. I had my chances – but when he came back he took his chances better than I did. He played better than me.
“I wanted so much to win that fourth title.”
Massaro added: “It feels really good to have won it at last. My England team-mates Jenny and Alison (Waters) have both done it – and I wanted to be a member of that club.”