The holiday period has been an intensely active time not only for Pontefract Squash Club’s junior players but also for the club itself.
A 17 strong contingent of Malaysia’s best, led and coached by long time Pontefract player and now Malaysian national coach Andrew Cross, came for the Dunlop Pontefract Junior Open and they won six of the eight titles.
The outstanding Eain Yow Ng, a winner of British junior opens, was one of them and he took the Under 17 Championship. There were, though, two English winners in Oliver Harris (under 19 boys) and Pontefract’s outstanding 11 year old British Under 13 Champion Sam Todd who gave a remarkable display in the final of the under 13 boys, beating Kiven Shanmugan (Malaysia) 3-0. Both Harry Anderson and Ben Sockett performed with credit and they played each other in the 3/4 play off in the under 15 boys, Anderson winning 3-2.
The Pontefract tournament provides high class match play prior to the most prestigious junior event in the world, the British Junior Open in Sheffield, which attracts 500 players from all over the world. Todd went to Sheffield and with another year in the event he played exceptionally to reach the semi finals after a 45 minute 3-2 win in the quarter finals over Marwan Reda (Egypt), coming from 1-0 and 2-1 down to win convincingly 11-7 in the fifth.
He played number one seed and clear favourite Yehia Elnawasany (Egypt) in the semi fnal but although he competed well the strength of the year older Egyptian proved too much.
Todd can feel more than happy with his current standing in the world and his displays in the last two weeks.
Meanwhile, Pontefract staged the Pontefract Masters Championships for age groups 35 to 75, men and women.
Julie Field won the women’s over 55 and Andrea Santamaria came close to making it a Pontefract double when she went down 13-11 in the fourth to Isabelle Tweedle.
Jonathan Lilley, a former England under 19 international when coached by Pontefract’s head coach Malcolm Willstrop, recently returned to his long time coach for preparation for the Masters Championship and he was rewarded by comfortably winning the over 45 men’s title.