Willstrop shows his class in impressive victory

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Pontefract’s James Willstrop was in impressive form as he led England to a 3-0 victory over Columbia in their first match of the World Team Squash Championships in Mulhouse, France.

Willstrop (pictured) achieved a 3-0 win over Miguel Rodriguez - South America’s best ever player - who has been training at Pontefract.

He gave the Columbian little respite in a display described as top world class.

Willstrop then beat Dane Sharp (Canada) 3-0 as England scored their second 3-0 win and with Namibia to come England look sure to top their group as over 30 countries contest the Championship.

Egypt and England are seeded to meet in the final and only France, who will enjoy partisan support, look capable of upsetting the seedings.

Pontefract’s Eliot Ridge and Sam Todd, the England under 11 champion, took the honours at the Norton Junior Open on Teesside.

The improving Ridge had to come from 2-1 down in the final against Michael Andrews, a member of the home club, a player with whom Ridge has had several close matches in the past.

He showed plenty of resolve to do so and won the match and the under 15 title 3-2.

Todd may be only just 10 years old but he can claim to be the best under 13 player in the country, having beaten the British under 13 champion recently.

He was untroubled to win the under 13 championship, beating Andrew Shipley (Durham and Cleveland) 2-0 in the final.

The Pontefract Women’s team won the European Team Championship in 2012 for a record fifth time and they have won the Wakefield and Dewsbury District Sports Awards Women’s Team of the Year.

Pupils of Airedale Junior School have had regular coaching at Pontefract and the sessions resume this week after half term.

The coaching and courts are provided free to give children an opportunity to play a game that otherwise might not be available to them.