Todd and Johnson win championships at Humberside Junior Open

Pontefract's James Willstrop helped Mulhouse win the French League championship last weekend.,
Pontefract's James Willstrop helped Mulhouse win the French League championship last weekend.,

THERE were two Pontefract winners at the Humberside Junior Open, a silver English squash tournament, played at Hull University and Hull and East Riding Squash Club.

Fourteen year old Sam Todd won the under 19 title, a competition in which top seed Eliot Ridge was forced to retire injured after a fall in his semi-final with Todd who then went on to beat clubmate Ben Sockett in the final.

Layla Johnson won the under 13 girls championship without being seriously challenged.

Pontefract Squash Club currently has four England junior internationals in Ridge, Todd, Sockett and Ben Beachill.

Both Asia Harris and Johnson have shown enough promise to suggest that their time will come.

Behind these more established junior players there are several younger players from the age of seven who may well have international futures.

James Willstrop, the club’s senior international with over 120 caps, was in France last weekend for the French League finals in which he played for Mulhouse.

He won the deciding match to give his team the championship when he beat Australian number one Cameron Pilley 3-0 in the final.

Mulhouse made it a double when their women’s team were also successful. The wins qualify Mulhouse for the European Team Championships later this year.

On his return, Willstrop was straight into practice for the world doubles in Manchester from August 1 to 5 when he will play in the men’s and mixed championships.

Pontefract’s international reputation is well illustrated by the fact that players from Canada, Italy, Slovenia, Switzerland, India and Ireland will arrive for training at the Stuart Road club during July and August.

Most notable of the visitors is Camille Serme, the world number three from France, who enjoyed a very successful 2016-2017.

She won the US Open in Philadelphia and the Tournament of Champions in New York,as well as the European individual title,

She will train at the club early next month.