Pontefract squash star Grindrod shows his class

James Willstrop is continuing his recovery from hip surgery.
James Willstrop is continuing his recovery from hip surgery.
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The feature of Pontefract Squash Club’s Yorkshire League Premier match against Chapel Allerton was an outstanding win by New Zealander Ben Grindrod who is based at Pontefract for the entire season.

Playing at number one, Grindrod beat one of England’s best young prospects Declan James who recently defeated New Zealand number one Martin Knight in a PSA tournament.

Grindrod has shaped promisingly against Australian number one Cameron Pilley and world number 26 Chris Simpson but this was his best performance since arriving at Pontefract.

It was not enough, however, to give his team a win.

Alex Hodgetts also won but Sam Wileman, having looked the likely winner for much of the time, lost 3-2 as Pontefract were beaten.

They go to Dunnington this week and the club’s second team are at home to Heaton.

Pontefract’s National League team travel to Birmingham next week for the third match of the season and will be strengthened by the inclusion of Aqeel Rehmann, the Austrian number one.

Training at Pontefract this week have been five world class women players who are preparing for the World Team Championships in Canada at the beginning of December.

The players training are Madeline Perry (Northern Ireland), Emma Beddoes and Sarah Kippax (England), Amanda Landers-Murphy(New Zealand) and former Pontefract player Deon Saffery (Wales). It provides ample proof of the club’s international reputation.

Saurav Ghosal has reached the last 16 of the World Championships in Qatar with wins over Steve Finitis (Australia) and Asif Iqbal (Pakistan).

He now plays current world champion Nick Matthew for a place in the quarter finals.

James Willstrop continues his recovery from hip surgery and with everything going according to plan he continues to target the Tournament of Champions in New York in January.

He recently visited Ampleforth College to talk to the squash players there and took with him 11 year old Sam Todd who demonstrated his ability against the 17 and 18 year olds at the school.