Pontefract ace in strong England side

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YORKSHIRE squash players feature strongly in the England senior teams to play in the European team Championships in Germany next week.

The powerful men’s team, probably the strongest side in the world at present, will be led by Pontefract’s James Willstrop (pictured), the world number one, and Sheffield’s Nick Matthew, the world champion.

The women’s team is led by world number two Jenny Duncalf, from Harrogate, who has been training at Pontefract recently. It also includes Sarah Kippax who is based in Halifax.

It would be a major surprise if either team were to lose, especially as the supporting players are world class.

After the European team championships the world tour players will go to London for the Allam British Open at the spectacular O2 arena.

Willstrop is seeded one and Matthew, who is in the opposite half, is seeded 3/4.

With Yorkshire League and Leeds Metro seasons complete, Pontefract Squash Club moves to internal competitions, with club championships for all age groups and the popular Tom Abbot handicap which has attracted its usual large entry.

The men’s club championship, which has been won by two players who have become world number one, has an open look with several players with a chance.

Two Indian under 17 international boys are training at Pontefract and they will be joined soon by two Ukranians, proof of Pontefract’s standing in the world game.

The visit by Wakefield Wildcats RL team to Pontefract for a morning’s squash as a break from their usual training, which many Super League clubs have done, did them no harm because they ended their losing run by beating Salford on Saturday.

Wildcats coach Richard Agar, who was put through his paces by 12 year old Eliot Ridge during the session, was understandably reluctant to admit that the squash session had influenced his team’s performance.