PONTEFRACT Squash Club’s women’s team have a record second to none in the European team club Championships but they went out in the quarter finals of this year’s event to the host club and eventual champions Belfast by the narrowest of margins.
Katie Smith put Pontefract 1-0 up by beating Tanya Owens 3-0 but veteran player Senga McPhie, the star of the whole championship, beat Kirsty McPhee to level matters.
The outcome depended on the top string match between Vanessa Atkinson and world number eight Madeline Perry.
The Irish number one prevailed narrowly winning in the fifth.
The Northern Area Junior Championships were held at Pontefract last weekend and there were some fine performances from Pontefract players.
In the under 17 division Brad Gallivan, seeded seven, put up his best tournament performance ever, reaching the final before losing to Tom Lee.
Tom Howell, from York, but coached at Pontefract, finished fourth from a seeding of 11 and both Tom Bamford and Dominic Pegg performed with credit.
James Peach and Pontefract’s Jack Cooper, both of whom have represented England this season, fought out the final of the under 15s, Cooper recovering from 2-0 down before losing in the fifth.
Toby Pratt, also from York but coached at Pontefract, confirmed his promise, ending up in fourth place.
In the under 13s Eliot Ridge beat Ben Merchant, seeded two places higher at five, 3-1 to clinch fifth place, having previously given eventual winner Yussef Forster a good run for his money before losing 3-1.
The performance of finals day though came from eight year old Sam Todd whose class was apparent when he beat the talented Will King 3-0.
Todd’s ability to read the game and his control of the ball mark him as exceptional by any standards and put him in the same category at their age as former world number one Lee Beachill and current world number four James Willstrop.
Ben Socket and Jed Nowell both did well to finish fifth and sixth.
RESULTS - Under 19: Daniel Hockborn (Durham) beat Tom Turner (Yorkshire) 11-4 11-4 11-3. Under 17: Tom Lee (Yorkshire) beat Brad Gallivan (Yorkshire) 11-2 11-9 11-5. Under 15: James Peach (Yorkshire)beat Jack Cooper (Yorkshire) 11-6 11-5 2-11 8-11 11-5. Under 13: Yussef Forster (Yorkshire) beat Mike Mattimore (Durham) 10-12 11-6 13-11 9-11 11-9. Under 11: Sam Todd (Yorkshire) beat Will King (Yorkshire) 11-5 11-4 11-4.