Pontefract stage PSA event for first time

Pontefract's James Willstrop is in Hong Kong. Picture: Steve Line/SquashPics.com
Pontefract's James Willstrop is in Hong Kong. Picture: Steve Line/SquashPics.com

Pontefract has one of best known squash clubs in the world and this week it stages a PSA event for the first time, the Courtcare Open.

Players from Holland, Egypt, Belguim, Kuwait and Australia feature in the main draw which is headed by two Englishmen, Ben Coleman and Eddie Charlton, the latter until recently a Leeds resident and now living in Chicago.

The qualifying event, which begins on Tuesday, features three Pontefract players- Taminder Gata-Aura, Lewis Doughty and Matt Sidaway, all of whom will be seeking to reach the first round proper.

The Indian champion Saurav Ghosal, who has been training at Pontefract, heads to Darwin, Australia for the world doubles, and James Willstrop goes to Hong Kong for the Cathay Pacific Open in which he faces fellow England international Tom Richards in the first round.

Pontefract’s National League team for 2016-17 has been much strengthened by the addition of world number two Laura Massaro, England international Chris Simpson and New Zealand international Evan Williams, as well as Miaki Kobayashi, the Japanese number one, both of whom will be based at Pontefract for the whole of the season.

With such a talented array, Pontefract will be able to mount a serious challenge for the National League title.

Next Tuesday Matt Godson and Adam Taylor, two of Pontefract’s Yorkshire Premier League players, will attempt a world record for the longest squash marathon, looking to play for 40 hours.

The two players are allowed a 90 second beak between each game and five minutes after an hour’s play. Part of the purpose is to raise funds - one third to Mind, the mental health charity, one third to the Wakefield Hospice and one third will assist in the running of the Eurpean Club Team Championsips to be held in September at Pontefract.

Besides any personal achievement and raising of funds, the players hope that it will increase media coverage and interest in the sport.