England, with a strong Yorkshire presence, won both the men’s and women’s European Team Squash Championships in Amsterdam.
England’s men’s team, led by Nick Matthew (Sheffield) and Pontefract’s James Willstrop (pictured), beat Switzerland, Italy and Scotland all 4-0 to face Germany in the semi finals, a match they also won 4-0.
France were England’s final opponents and when Matthew had lost 3-0 to Gregory Gailtier and Willstrop 3-2 to Thierry Lincou, having led 2-0, the pressure was on the Essex pair Peter Barker and Daryl Selby, two vastly experienced players in such situations.
They both won 3-0 which meant England retained the title on countback.
England’s powerful women’s team beat Ireland 2-1 in the final, Harrogate’s Jenny Duncalf winning 3-0.
The Allam British Open begins with the qualifying competition at Pontefract on May 18 with the first round proper at the KC Stadium, Hull, two days later.
Players from all over the world will be arriving this week at Pontefract to prepare for the open.
Sam Todd, 10, won the Surrey under 13 open from a strong field, winning both his semi final and final 3-2.
He won his first three matches 3-0 and beat Jack Turvey (Guernsey) 3-2 in the semi final and Nathan Mead (Surrey) 3-2 in the final, proving his toughness since both matches were on the same day.
Todd is currently ranked number three in the country but with recent wins over the number two and the British under 13 champion he can now claim to be the country’s leading player, a remarkable achievement considering his age.
Warrington Wolves and Wakefield Wildcats both seem to have benfited from their morning’s squash at Pontefract. Since their visits neither has lost.