Strong draw in Cleethorpes tournament

Pontefract's Sam Todd is ranked number one in the boys under 13s.
Pontefract's Sam Todd is ranked number one in the boys under 13s.

Pontefract Squash Club’s James Willstrop heads to Cleethorpe’s tomorrow (Friday) for a two-day invitation tournament which is now in its 17th year.

The tournament has been won by former world number one John White, former British Open Champion David Evans and six times by Willstrop.

Interestingly he is seeded to meet Darryl Selby, his doubles partner in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, in the final.

Willstrop won a bronze medal in the men’s doubles with Selby after earning a silver medal in an epic 100 minute men’s singles final against Nick Matthew.

As always, it is a strong draw at Cleethorpes, with Harrogate’s Chris Simpson and Surrey’s Joe Lee seeded 3/4. Unusually, the semi finals and final are played on the same day, which makes the semi finals even more significant.

The tournament has often provided welcome match play as the World Tour 2014-2015 is about to start, but with the Commonwealth Games under their belts ,Willstrop, Selby and Simpson are all in shape, which should help to provide quality matches.

The PSA World Tour gets underway at the end of August in Hong Kong with the Cathay Pacific Open.

Previous winner and semi finalist last year Willstrop is seeded 3/4 with a prospective meeting with current world number one Gregory Gaultier (France), though first he will have to survive a first round meeting with the gifted Tarek Momen (Egypt).

From Hong Kong the tour proceeds immediately to Shanghai for the inaugural men’s China Open where Willstrop is seeded one with Spanish number one Borja Golan at two.

In the most recent English junior rankings Pontefract have the number ones in the boys under 15s in Elliot Ridge and under 13s in Sam Todd. Ben Sockett moves to an all time high of two at under 13, giving Pontefract the top two places in that age group.

The annual Lesley Willstrop memorial doubles will take place at Pontefract from September 11 to 13 when finals night will welcome the return of the band Lost for Words to round off proceedings. James Willstrop (singer), Alan Norrish, famous for his Elvis Presley impersonation, and Lee Beachill (guitar) are all likely to feature in the band.