Todd lifts British title in great style

Pontefract Squash Club's Sam Todd.
Pontefract Squash Club's Sam Todd.
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Sam Todd, Pontefract Squash Club’s and England’s outstanding 11-year-old player, lifted the British Under 13 Championship in Manchester, winning all his five matches 3-0.

Already an England under13 junior international at the age of nine and unbeaten in two years of international competition, England under 11 and under 13 champion Todd added a British Championship to his impressive collection, with the prospect of many more titles to come for the highly talented youngster.

Such are his achievements that he has a realistic chance of winning the British Junior Open under 13 title in January at Abbeydale Park, Sheffield, which would establish him as the best player of his age anywhere.

Since those championships attract 500 players from all over the world, Ackworth School pupil Todd has two opportunities to succeed and was a quarter finalist last year.

He renews normal activity this week when he plays for Pontefract’s fourth senior Yorkshire League team against Wakefield.

Pontefract were well represented in Manchester and Ellen Cooper came close to reaching the final of the girls’ under 15 championship.

She lost 3-1 in the semi finals, having looked the more likely winner for a game and a half when she appeared to tire, perhaps the product of a tough quarter final earlier in the day.

Ben Sockett, newly into the under 15 age group, won the plate competition and Elliot Ridge and Harry Anderson acquitted themselves well.

Younger players Laura Longfield, Amber Copley, Ben Beachill, Jordan Stewart, Layla Johnson and Asia Harris all showed promise for the future at this elevated level.

Pontefract’s National League team take on London’s Coolhurst Club this week at Pontefract but injuries to James Willstrop, Laurens Anjema and Simon Parke mean they will be forced to field an understrength side.

Willstrop, recovering from a hip operation, retains his ranking of number six in November’s world list, thanks to his win in the China Open.

Pontefract’s Yorkshire League’s first team recorded their first win of the season with a 4-1 success over Abbeydale and go to Barnsley with the same team this week.

The Premier League second team are at home to Hull and East Riding.