Leaders too good for depleted Pontefract

Lee Beachill lost to world champion Nick Matthew.
Lee Beachill lost to world champion Nick Matthew.
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LACKING James Willstrop, Saurav Ghosal and Simon Parke, Pontefract Squash Club’s National League team lost 4-1 at home to Northern Division leaders Duffield.

World champion Nick Matthew, playing number one for Duffield on his comeback from injury, beat Lee Beachill 3-0.

Duffield’s world number two Jenny Duncalf came off with a thigh injury at 1-1 against Vanessa Atkinson.

Pontefract’s promising 17-year-old Tamindar Gata-Aura played well in a 3-1 loss to Austrian number one Aqeel Rehman and Neil Cordell lost 3-1 to world universities champion Joel Hinds.

The club’s Yorkshire League Premier sides were also beaten.

The first team lost 5-0 to Phoenix, though Vanessa Atkinson and Simon Gittins both went down narrowly 3-2.

The second team lost 4-1 to Abbeydale, with Adam Taylor providing the only win with a 3-0 success.

Both teams will be stronger this week. George Wileman returns for the first team against Queen’s (Halifax) at home and England international Emma Beddoes, who had the best win of her career in the National League for Nottingham last week beating world number three Madeline Perry 3-0, returns for the second team at Barnsley.

Pontefract’s third and fourth teams made winning starts to 2012.

The third team won 4-1 at AF Squash and the young fourth team beat Rothwell 5-0. Daniel Siddall made a welcome return to action and Nathan Foster recovered from 2-0 down to win 3-2.

James Willstrop plays his first tournament as world number one when he heads for New York this week to play the glamorous Tournament of Champions on Grand Central Station.

He is seeded to meet Egypt’s Ramy Ashour in the semi-final and Nick Matthew in the final.

Willstrop won the title in 2010 when he became the first player to beat the three top world class Egyptians Amr Shabana, Ashour and Karim Darwish in a row, a record that remains intact.

Jessica Beachill, one of the club’s promising young players, combines squash and show jumping and has been selected for an England trial in March, which would mean, if selected, that she would compete in the Pony Club Mounted Games at the Royal Windsor Horse Show on her pony Inka.