Ellen Cooper completed a remarkable treble for Pontefract Squash Club juniors when she was officially ranked number one at girls’ under 15 level in the country on December 1.
Before moving into the under 17 division Elliot Ridge was ranked one at under 15 and Sam Todd has held the under 13 number one ranking for a while as befits the British Under 13 Champion. He is still only 11 and Cooper is not 15 until next August.
To have three juniors, all of whom have represented England and been ranked number one is unprecedented in any club in England and a testimony to the club’s coaching systems.
The systems also produce coaches.
David Campion has just led England’s women to win the World team championship in Canada, Andrew Cross is the Malaysian national coach and Paul Hornsby is the New Zealand national coach.
Pontefract’s National League side takes on Nottingham at home this week with its strongest line up of the season.
India’s best ever player Saurav Ghosal returns to Pontefract where he was based for seven years and Austrian number one Aqeel Rehmann is also available, as is England International Sarah Kippax.
Lee Beachill and Simon Parke make up the team.
Pontefract’s 1st Yorkshire League Premier team beat Queen’s Halifax 4-1, with Ben Grindrod, Alex Hodgetts, Sam Wileman and Stuart Hargreaves all winning.
The Premier League 2nd team complete the first half of the season with an away match at Chapel Allerton.
The fourth team included a very talented Malaysian girl Min Jie for their match against Chapel Allerton fourth team.She played well in a 3-1 loss and there were wins for Harry Anderson and Ben Sockett, two thirteen year olds. They take on Ferriby on Friday and will have Sam Todd available.
The British Junior Open brings the best junior players in the world to Sheffield on January 2. Leading up to it is the Pontefract Junior Open which starts immediately after Christmas and attracts foreign opposition.
Pontefract’s James Willstrop, whose recovery from a hip operation continues to go well, was back on court for the first time last week and he remains on course for the Tournament of Champions on New York’s Grand Central Station in January. Another of the many promising Pontefract juniors, nine year old Asia Harris, played well to reach the final of the Bowden Under 13 Championship. Three convincing wins took her to the final where she acquitted herself with credit against her 12 year old opponent.