British Open is centre of attention

Pontefract's James Willstrop beat German number one Simon Rosner.
Pontefract's James Willstrop beat German number one Simon Rosner.

The Allam British Open, one of the most coveted events in the squash calendar, played at the Sports Arena, Hull, is the centre of attention this week.

Pontefract’s Saurav Ghosal was involved in one of several tough first round matches when he faced England international and world number one Daryl Selby.

Indian number one and Asian player of the year Ghosal began in style.

He won the first game and led 8-6 in the second but Selby is renowned for his resilience and to his relief levelled the match at 1-1.

Growing in confidence Selby gradually took control, winning 3-1 after an entertaining, high quality match.

Pontefract’s James Willstrop won a difficult first round match by beating German number one Simon Rosner 5-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-9.

Willstrop plays Omar Mosaad (Egypt) in the second round today and if the seedings are borne out the Pontefract player will face Ramy Ashour (Egypt) in tomorrow’s quarter finals.

Elliot Ridge’s wonderful season continued in Prague for England in the European Under 15 Team Championships. Pontefract’s Ridge won all his matches, saving his best performance for the final against France when he won the crucial match 11-9 in the fifth.

Nine-year-old Layla Johnson, playing in the final of the Merseyside Under 13 Open, was involved in an outstanding match which produced a remarkable scoreline for such young players. The score was 11-13,10-12,11-9,11-9,10-12.

Layla continues to improve at a dramatic rate and looks sure to be Pontefract’s next junior international.

Ellen Cooper, another of the club’s junior internationals, recently represented Yorkshire at senior level and won two of her three matches at the inter county weekend to more than justify her selection.