Willstrop has difficult draw in San Francisco

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PONTEFRACT Squash Club’s James Willstrop lost to Frenchman Gregory Gaultier in the US Open semi-finals in Philadelphia.

Willstrop (pictured) beat Alister Walker (Botswana) 3-1 in 80 minutes, Daryl Selby (England) also 3-1 in similar time and Mohammed El Shorbagy 3-2 in 95 minutes.

Gaultier reached the semi finals after playing 110 minutes less than Willstrop who was always a little off the pace in the semi, losing 3-0.

Willstrop now goes to San Francisco for the Netsuke Open where he has another difficult draw. He faces legendary Egyptian Amr Shabana in the quarter finals. Shabana looked in fine form in a five set loss to Nick Matthew in Philadelphia.

The good news for Willstrop is that his book ‘Shot and a Ghost’ is one of 14 nominated for the prestigious William Hill sports book of the year 2012 which carries a first prize of £24,000.

Among other books nominated are ones by Victoria Pendleton, Johny Wilkinson and champion jockey elect Richard Hughes.

Journalist Hugh McIlvanney and broadcasterJon Inverdale are amongst the adjudicators.

The short list will be announced on October 26 and the winner in November.

‘Shot and a Ghost’ is the first squash book ever to be nominated in the 24 years of the award.

Pontefract’s Yorkshire League Premier team lost 5-0 to Heaton but the scoreline did not reflect the closeness of the match.

Sam Wileman and Taminder Gata-Aura both lost 3-2 and Alex Hodgetts, Peter Lonsdale and Jack Cooper all lost 3-1 in five well contested matches.

Pontefract second team made it three wins from four matches by beating Doncaster 4-1 and the third team defeated Chapel Allerton thirds 3-2. Ben Hodgetts recovered from 2-0 down to settle the outcome.

Indian international Harinder Pal Sandhu has arrived at Pontefract and will strengthen both the National League and Yorkshire League teams.

He will make his first appearance for AJP Pontefract in the National League match against Duffield and play for the Premier Yorkshire League side against Barnsley the following night before leaving for a PSA event in Santiago. Pontefract’s National League side is Pal Sandhu, Lee Beachill, George Wileman,Taminder Gata-Aura and Sarah Kippax who will be making her debut for the club.