PONTEFRACT Squash Club’s juniors were out in force at the Technifibre English Junior championships in Surrey.
Taminder Gata-Aura, seeded 5/8 in the under 19 boys and Ellen Cooper, seeded 5/8 in the under 13 girls, both did better than their seedings indicated to reach the semi finals.
Gata Aura did particularly well, losing a tight 3-1 to the holder and eventual winner Declan James (Nottinghamshire).
Cooper reached the semi final after a hard fought 3-2 win over Laura Neal (Northumbria) in the quarters and even though she lost the third and fourth place play off, she can be very pleased with her efforts.
Ellen’s brother Jack (pictured), the British under 15 champion, in his first season at under 17 level, enjoyed a fine tournament to finish eighth.
Seeded 9/16, Jack beat 5/8 Russell Clark (Derbyshire] to reach the last eight.
Katie Smith, seeded two in the under 19 girls, led 2-1 against Georgina Ingham (Surrey) in the quarters but lost 3-2.
Unseeded Elliot Ridge finished 12th in the under 13 boys, having beaten a seeded player in the first round.
After going winless for the first half of the season when the club’s top players were not available, Pontefract Courtcraft recorded their second victory in a row, beating Birmingham 3-2.
Saurav Ghosal and Dipika Pallikal, India’s top male and female players, both won comfortably and Simon Parke provided the other win for Pontefract who will be looking to make it three in a row this week against Nottingham at home.
The Indian pair are both available and it is possible that world number one James Willstrop will play.
Included in the opposition will be Eddy Charlton and England international Emma Beddoes who, having moved from Nottingham to Leeds, now trains at Pontefract and plays for the club in the Yorkshire Premier League.
The Yorkshire Premier League first team lost 3-2 to a strong Barnsley side, Ghosal and Alan Norrish providing the wins.
Ghosal inflicted the first defeat of the season on Andy Whipp who had previously not lost in the National, Yorkshire, Midlands or North West Counties leagues all season.
Norrish has had injury problems and was returning to the Premier League for the first time in a long time and he showed much of his old ability, winning 3-0.
The first team are at Hallamshire and the second team entertain Queen’s at home.
Coaching is available to children, who are not members of the club, every Sunday morning from the age of five. The sessions, under qualified coaches, start at 10.30am.