Pontefract youngsters in magnificent form

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PONTEFRACT Squash Club is the home of world number one James Willstrop (pictured right) but the club’s successes are not confined to the world professional tour.

The club can take great pride in the success of the Yorkshire under 13 team which played in the Northern Cup in Lancashire and Cheshire.

The team consisted of five Pontefract boys and Joe Twigge from York who has been extensively coached at Pontefract.

The Pontefract players were Sam Todd, Max Pugh, Tom Sockett, Oliver Brown and Ben Sockett.

Yorkshire beat Cumbria 4-1 and Debyshire 5-0 and then faced a powerful Northumbria side.

With the teams locked at 2-2, everything hinged on the game involving nine-year-old Todd who played well to win the match 3-2 for Yorkshire.

The following day Yorkshire beat Cheshire 4-1 and clinched victory with a 5-0 win over Durham and Cleveland, winning all five matches 3-0.

Individual successes came the way of Eliot Ridge and Lewis Southward. Southward won the Huddersfield Under 13 Open and Ridge won the Boston Under 15 Open.

Ridge did well to win from a seeding of three and reversed a recent loss to Yorkshire’s Nick Wall 3-0 convincingly in the semi finals before beating Milo Butler (Norfolk) who had put out the top seed to reach the final.

James Willstrop had a busy week, holding exhibitions and book signings for his book’ Shot and a Ghost’ at Leeds Metropolitan University, Northern Squash Club in Newcastle and Yarm Squash Club in Teesside.

Tour players Chris Simpson and Eddy Charlton played the supporting roles, Simpson in Leeds and Charlton in Newcastle and Yarm, all three venues playing to sold out crowds.

Willstrop goes immediately to Nurembourg, Germany, for the European Team Championships with England, adding to his 85 international caps.

Pontefract’s Tom Abbott Handicap tournament and the club championships are in full swing with the finals on May 12.