Lonsdale clinches win in opening match

James Willstrop beat fellow Pontefract professional Saurav Ghosal 3-1 at Tring in Hertfordshire when they officially opened the club's new glass back court.
James Willstrop beat fellow Pontefract professional Saurav Ghosal 3-1 at Tring in Hertfordshire when they officially opened the club's new glass back court.

PONTEFRACT Squash Club’s Yorkshire Premier League first team made a fine start to the season with a 3-2 home win over Bradford team Heaton.

George Wileman and Alex Hodgetts, the latter making his debut for the club, both had comfortable 3-0 wins and Andrew Cross, reared at Pontefract, but now coaching in Malaysia at the highest levels, played outstandingly well only to lose 11-9 in the fifth to England under 19 international Ollie Holland.

Former world number three Simon Parke, whose enthusiasm for the game is undiminished, brushed aside Neil Cordell and Peter Lonsdale’s 3-2 win clinched the match for Pontefract.

Lonsdale lives in Guisborough, North Yorkshire, but has played for many years for the club, representing England at over 35 and over 40 levels.

Having lost the first two games narrowly he fought back with trademark resilience and eventually lowered his opponent’s resistance until he won 3-2.

The first team will play the newly promoted second team this week.

The third and fourth teams also made winning starts to the season.

A strong looking third team beat AF Squash 5-0 and the fourth team defeated Wakefield 4-1, Brad Gallivan winning 15-13 in the fifth in a match where every game remarkably went to a tiebreak.

With youngsters Gallivan, Dominic Pegg and Jack Cooper in the fourth team and Tom Bamford in the third, all winning, it made for a promising start to the season.

James Willstrop (pictured) and Saurav Ghosal travelled to Tring in Hertfordshire to perform the official opening of the club’s new glass back court and a capacity crowd were regally entertained by the Pontefract professionals, who played a serious match, using it in preparation for this week’s British Grand Prix in Manchester. Willstrop prevailed 3-1.

The Tring crowd were so impressed they gave the pair a prolonged standing ovation.