Pontefract’s talented youngsters warm up well for British Championships

Top junior: Asia Harris.
Top junior: Asia Harris.

Pontefract’s outstanding crop of juniors were shown to good effect when they won all five girls’ titles at under 19, 17, 15, 13 and 11 at the Hallamshire Open, in Sheffield.

Amber Copley, Asia Harris, Layla Johnson, Katherine Jarvis and Fearne Copley were the winners.

Michael Hillary also won the boys’ under 13 championship to make it six titles all together.

They will be put to the test this weekend at the British Junior Championships in Manchester.

Sam Todd, seeded one, looks certain, barring accidents, to win the under 15 title, since he would have a major chance in the under 17 championship.

However, he has not won at British under 15 level, so needs to add that to his list of successes.

Asia Harris is seeded one in the girls’ under 13s and her athleticism will make her hard to beat.

Other Pontefract players seeded high are Ben Sockett (under 17 no,2), just recovered from a hamstring injury; Harry Anderson, 6 in the same age group; and Eliot Ridge, seeded 5 at under 19 level.

Several others will be also looking to make their presence felt.

Pontefract’s depleted Yorkshire Premier League side managed to stay unbeaten with their third win over Abbeydale Park, beating them 3-2.

Former world number one Lee Beachill returned to action with a 3-0 success and Alex Hodgetts clinched the match with a 3-2 win.

They go to Hallamshire this week with both Patrick Rooney and Tamindar Gata-Aura both available.

The second Premier side beat Barnsley 3-2 with wins from Sam Todd, Matt Godson and Harry Anderson. They take on Queen’s Halifax this week at home.

Former long time Pontefract player and Leeds graduate Saurav Ghosal, India’s best ever player, has been in outstanding form recently.

He beat German number one Simon Rosner to reach the final of the Macau Open and followed up by beating world number six Marwan El Shorbagy and the talented Mohammed Abouelghar to make the semi-finals of the Channel Vas Open in Surrey before losing in three tight games to the eventual champion Mohammed El Shorbagy in the semi-finals.

He will be available for Pontefract’s National League team in December.

James Willstrop was the Squash Player Magazine’s player of the month after he beat world number one Gregory Gaultier to become European Champion and he heads for Doha this week for the long established Qatar Open. That will be followed in November by the Hong Kong Cathay Pacific Open and the World Team Championships in Marseilles, when Egypt England and France will be the main contenders.