Success for Pontefract squash players

Pontefract James Willstrop plays an Allam British Open first round match on Monday.
Pontefract James Willstrop plays an Allam British Open first round match on Monday.

The last few weeks have brought remarkable success to Pontefract Squash Club associated players.

Saurav Ghosal, eight years a Pontefract player, was declared India’s Sportsperson of the Year in Calcutta. World class Irish player Madeline Perry prepared at Pontefract for her final tournament before retiring from the World Tour and fittingly won the Irish Open in style in Dublin.

James Willstrop won all his four matches for England in the European Team Championships in Denmark, without being able to prevent France beating a depleted and ailing England team in the final.

On the domestic front ,Yorkshire women’s team which consisted of four Pontefract players, Lauren Siddall, Katie Smith, Hannah Shipley and young Emma Campion, beat reigning champions Cheshire 3-2 in the semi final, Campion pulling off the crucial win.

They then beat Northumberland 3-2 in the final to regain the title they last held in 2010.

The Yorkshire men’s team, which included three Pontefract players Alex Hodgetts, Lewis Doughty and Taminder Gata-Aura, almost made it double when they lost 3-2 to Sussex in the final.

Hodgetts and Doughty both represented Bologna and were unbeaten in the Italian League finals in the delightful seaside resort of Riccione.

Adding to these senior achievements came the good news that in the May ranking lists, Layla Johnson had become the fifth Pontefract junior to be ranked number one in England this season, Elliot Ridge, Ellen Cooper, Sam Todd and Ben Beachill being the other four.

Only Ridge, now out of the under 15 age group, is no longer at number one, the other four all still holding the the top spot.

The Allam British Open begins this weekend in Hull. with the qualifying competition.

All the world’s best women and men will be in action. Willstrop and Ghosal play first round matches on Monday.