Pontefract end Yorkshire Squash League campaign

Pontefract Squash Club's Sam Todd.
Pontefract Squash Club's Sam Todd.

Pontefract Squash Club’s final Yorkshire League match of the season was between the first and second Premier League teams.

With Patrick Rooney and Adam Taylor unavailable, visiting internationals Evan Williams (New Zealand) and Hollie Naughton (Canada) were the replacements.

Both were successful, too, Williams beating Alex Hodgetts 3-0 and Naughton, Canada’s number two woman player, surviving 3-2 against Pontefract’s 13-year-old British Open Champion Sam Todd.

Todd recovered from 10-5 down in the first to win it on a tiebreak, then went 2-1 down, levelling at 2-all before Naughton went on to win the decider 11-8 after an entertaining and quality match.

With Neil Cordell returning from studies in America and European Under 19 champion Rooney available, Pontefract will be in a strong position to challenge for the league title next season.

This season the two Premier sides were divided in strength to ensure that the second team was competitive and would stay up, which it did.

The National League team plays its final match of the season against Duffield away next Tuesday.

Injury and illness prevented James Willstrop and Saurav Ghosal from playing the previous match against Leicester, but Willstrop, Rooney, Williams and Fiona Moverley should all be available at Duffield.

Willstrop goes this week to Zurich for the Grasshopper Cup where he plays Frenchman Gregoire Marche in the first round.

Lee Beachill joins a star-studded group of six players in the Legends tournament in Bermuda this week.

Peter Nichol (England), David Palmer (Australia), Thierry Lincou (France), Jonathan Power (Canada) and John White (Scotland) are some of the most famous names in the game’s history, justifying the word legend, and Beachill’s standing in the game is such that he is the other player.

Palmer was good enough still to win a Commonwealth doubles gold medal in Glasgow, Nichol looks much the same as when he dominated the sport and Lincou still represents France, so winning in Bermuda will be no easy matter.

Promising pair, Asia Harris, 11, and Joe Royle, 10, were both successful playing up age groups at Scunthorpe.

The athletic Harris won the girls’ under 15 and Royle the under 13 boys,both giving years away to their opponents.

They are two younger players, who along with Layla Johnson, have every chance of one day representing England at junior level, to add to the Pontefract club’s recently selected internationals Elliot Ridge (under 17), Sam Todd (under 15) and Ben Sockett (under 15), all chosen for the European Team Championships.

The next internal event will be the club championships, won by several distinguished players, including two world number one’s in Beachill and Willstrop.