R5: Pontefract leapfrog Leicester

Pontefract and Leicester fielded powerful teams for their meeting at Pontefract,which was sold out well in advance.

A 3-2 scoreline looked more than likely and that’s how it turned out.

Pontefract’s Fiona Moverley had chances in both the first and second games, leading 8-3 in the second, but Emily Whitlock held together well and gave Leicester a 1-0 lead, 3-0.

Patrick Rooney staved off the usual strong challenge from Mark Fuller and levelled the score with a 3-1 win,  and although Evan Williams won the second game against Alan Clyne, it was Leicester’s Scotsman who restored their lead.

Chris Simpson had lost to Nafiizwan Adnan in a 96 minute epic at the British Grand Prix, but he put matters right, convincingly winning 3-0 after a hard fought second game tiebreak which he won 15-13.

So everything was on the top string match between James Willstrop and Daryl Selby, straight from their semi finals at St.George’s Hill, Selby having beaten World no.1 Mohammed El Shorgbagy there.

They did the night justice with a quality match which thrilled the expectant crowd. Hardly a decision for the referee to make, Selby offering a let when a stroke had been awarded to him at a crucial time, a five setter, in which after the first game Willstrop seemed to have a slight edge. Selby to his credit level led at two all, but it was Willstrop who got away in the fifth to clinch the win for Pontefract.

A result which puts Pontefract joint top of the Division A table, and a night in which the game of squash was the winner.

Malcolm Willstrop

Pontefract 3-2 Everards Leicester (15-9)

James Willstrop 3-2 Daryl Selby         9-11, 11-8, 11-6, 7-11, 11-3
Chris Simpson 3-0 Nafiizwan Adnan                  11-4, 15-13, 11-3
Evan Williams 1-3 Alan Clyne                        1-11, 12-10, 2-11, 7-11
Patrick Rooney 3-1 Mark Fuller                  12-10, 11-9, 8-11, 11-4
Fiona Moverley 0-3 Emily Whitlock                     11-13, 9-11, 7-11