Pontefract maintain magnificent record

Jack Cooper is among the Pontefract players who will compete in the prestigious British Junior Open at Sheffield.
Jack Cooper is among the Pontefract players who will compete in the prestigious British Junior Open at Sheffield.

Pontefract Squash Club’s Yorkshire League second team, who play in Division One, have reached the half way stage of the season with a record of 11 wins out of 11 matches.

The vastly experienced side consists of long term Pontefract players who retain their enthusiasm and standards of play.

Simon Gittins, Stuart Hargreaves, Mark Swift and Peter Lonsdale are the four principal players and this season 17 year old Tom Bamford, much improved, has been added to their ranks at number one.

Most remarkable is Lonsdale, who lives in Guisborough, near Redcar, and who has travelled far and wide for 17 years for Pontefract.

The match play in the powerful Yorkshire League has enabled him to represent England at over 35, 40 and 45 levels.

Should they win the league, which looks more than likely, they will be promoted to the highly competitive Premier League.

Their latest victory was against a strong Hallamshire second team with Lonsdale and Swift both unavailable.

Kirsty McPhee, deputising, provided the crucial win after four hard fought games.

It may be holiday time for most people but for the world’s best juniors there is no respite. The Pontefract Junior Open begins on December 27 and has attracted 180 players including many from different parts of the world.

Former Pontefract players Andrew Cross, who coaches in Malaysia, and Lauren Siddall, who coaches in South Africa, are bringing players to take part. The Pontefract tournament leads into the prestigious British Junior Open at Sheffield which brings the very best juniors in the world together, Egypt having dominated for some years.

Pontefract juniors will be taking part in Sheffield and they include Jack Cooper, Tom Bamford, Megan Kaye, Eliot Ridge, Emma Campion, Ellen Cooper, Sam Todd and Ben Sockett.