James Willstrop led England to European team success in Warsaw and there is no doubt his decision to play after lengthy virus issues and a very limited preparation made the difference. England beat Netherlands 4-0, Finland 3-1 and Germany 3-1 on their way to a semi-final against Scotland. Willstrop did well in the circumstances to beat the athletic Scottish no. 1 Alan Clyne,rwhich helped England to a 3-0 victory.
So to the expected final between England and France. With England deprived of the services of Nick Matthew the task was made easier when Matthieu Castagnet withdrew from the French team, having played in the early stages of the Championship.
Chris Simpson and Tom Richards both won 3-0, so that when Willstrop won the third game off World no.2 Gregory Gaultier, the title was England's. Willstrop won two of his four matches losing only to German no.1 and World no.6 Simon Rosner 3-1 and Gautier by the same score, performances which will encourage him, now that his virus problems have been identified.
England Women's team led by Laura Massaro made it an England double, also beating France in their final.
Not only were the senior English teams successful but England's Under 17 and Under 15 teams both landed the European team titles in Belgium. Pontefract presence was there in force, too, as Ben Sockett and Sam Todd were both unbeaten throughout the event as England beat Switzerland in the Under 15 final and Elliot Ridge was in the Under 17 team which beat the Czech Republic in the final.
On the domestic scene Yorkshire Women's team narrowly failed to lift the Inter County Championship in Nottingham. The team which contained three Pontefract players in Andrea Santamaria, Katie Smith and Hannah Shipley as well as PSL player Fiona Moverley, beat Surrey and Warwickshire on the way to the final against Cheshire. Wins by Moverley and Shipley were not enough to see Yorkshire home and Cheshire won 3-2.
Amidst all the International success for Pontefract players foreign players who have been training at Pontefract also enjoyed success. Hollie Naughton won the Canadian National Championship for the first time from a strong field and New Zealander Evan Williams won the second of two PSA championships in his own country-by no means a bad week for Pontefract Squash Club!
17-12-2015 07:06 pm