Five Pontefract winners at championships

Pontefract Squash Club's highly-talented young player Sam Todd.
Pontefract Squash Club's highly-talented young player Sam Todd.
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Pontefract Squash Club’s Sam Todd won the boys’ under 13 title at the West Yorkshire Junior Open Championships.

It was an appropriate triumph because the championships, for under 11 to under 19 players, were sponsored by his grandfather Mr JM Todd.

The sponsor is the father of Michael Todd, Pontefract Squash Club’s supremo, who himself is the father of 10-year-old Sam, the most exciting young squash player in the country.

In front of his grandfather and grandmother, Todd junior comfortably won the under 13 title, beating Scotland’s Chris Murphy 3-0 in the final.

Todd is Pontefract’s latest junior international, having represented England at under 13 level in France earlier this year when still only nine.

Ellen Cooper was also part of that successful team and she won the girls’ under 15 championship, though she had to battle hard to beat Eve Driver (Cumbria), having been 2-1 down.

Eliot Ridge continues in fine form and he, too, was 2-1 down before finishing strongly to beat Patrick O’Sullivan (Scotland) 11-7 in the deciding game of the boys’ under 15 championship.

Tom Bamford, seeded two in the under 19s, was another Pontefract player to win in the fifth, defeating Jamie Todd (Northumberland) - no relation - 3-2.

Todd had previously put out Nathan Kaiser, the top seed.

The fifth winner from the home club was the very promising eight year old Layla Johnson who was unbeaten in her five matches, winning her first under 11 open, having been close on several previous occasions.

Runner up Amber Copley was also from Pontefract and she performed well to win three of her five matches.

Earlier in the week, the club hosted a sportsman’s dinner to raise funding to provide local children with opportunities they might otherwise not have.

Already Airedale Junior School have had squash coaching provided on eight occasions with 40 children involved.

Salford City Reds coach Brian Noble was the guest speaker and Wakefield Wildcats coach Richard Agar was also in attendance.

Between £2,500 and £3,000 was raised and that will be used to provide transport and meet other costs.

As well as squash coaching, theatre visits are part of the future plans.