PONTEFRACT Squash Club’s teams have continued their excellent form.
In an outstanding National League match, Pontefract defeated previously unbeaten Chapel Allerton 3-2.
Although the match was played in Leeds in front of a sell-out crowd, Pontefract had such great support that it must have seemed like a home match.
The quality of the sides was reflected in the fact that all 10 competing players, from five different countries, had played internationally, eight at senior level. There were two former world number ones, two world number twos and a world number three in action.
Current world number two Jenny Duncalf gave Chapel Allerton a 1-0 lead, beating Vanessa Atkinson 3-1.
Much hinged on Lee Beachill’s match with former European and British under 19 number one Anthony Graham.
Despite being short of practice and matchplay Beachill (pictured) eked out a 13-11 win in the fifth.
Simon Parke gave his usual wholehearted performance before going down 3-2, having led 2-0 and it was left to James Willstrop and Saurav Ghosal to win the match for Pontefract.
Ghosal beat Australian international Aaron Francomb 3-1 and Willstrop defeated French stalwart Renan Lavigne by the same score.
It was Pontefract’s third successive National League victory and the club’s Yorkshire League Premier side also made it three wins in a row by beating Huddersfield 3-2.
James Earles won the crucial match 3-2, adding to more comfortable successes for Vanessa Atkinson and Tamindar Gata-Aura.
In the derby between Pontefract’s second and third Yorkshire League teams, the second team consolidated their lead at the top of the division by winning 5-0.
Young Brad Gallivan played well in defeat, losing 3-2 to Simon Gittins.
Pontefract players featured strongly in the English Championships played in Surrey.
Katie Smith reached the final of the girls under 19s, losing to the world class Emily Whitlock, and James Earles, Tamindar Gata Aura and Jack Cooper all reached the semi-finals.
The World Cup begins in Chennai this week and the England team, led by James Willstrop, were fortunate enough to have tickets for the England v South Africa cricket match.
Saurav Ghosal will lead India and their first match is against England.
Hull, coached by squash enthusiast Richard Agar who is no mean performer, are the latest Super League club to enjoy a morning’s squash at Pontefract as a break from training. Leeds, Castleford, Hull and Warrington have all visited Pontefract for that purpose and it is no coincidence that coaches Tony Smith, Richard Agar and Terry Matterson are all keen squash players.