Top seed Coleman wins PSA title at Pontefract

Pontefract's James Willstrop is in Hong Kong for the Cathay Pacific Open.
Pontefract's James Willstrop is in Hong Kong for the Cathay Pacific Open.

Pontefract Squash Club’s first PSA tournament - the Courtcare Open - attracted players from eight countries.

There was a shock in the first round proper when second seeded Eddy Charlton lost 3-2 to unseeded Mark Fuller who then went out himself to unseeded Australian Matthew Hopkin who came from 2-0 down to win.

The top half of the draw also lost third seeded Tom Ford in the first round but number one seed Ben Coleman survived without undue difficulty.

He beat Czech Ondrej Uherka and wildcard Patrick Rooney, both 3-0, and unfortunately, his semi-final opponent Chris Fuller had to withdraw, having turned his ankle in his quarter-final win over Ashley Davies.

It left just one semi-final in which last year’s world junior champion Karim el Hammamy withstood a strong challenge from Hopkin to win 3-1.

In an England-Egypt final, el Hammamy made several unforced errors in the first game, losing it easily.

Although he contested better in the second and third games he could not break down Coleman’s accuracy, consistency and athletic movement.

Coleman, who has a world ranking of 53, took the title in just over an hour.

RESULTS - Quarter-finals: Ben Coleman beat Patrick Rooney 11-5, 11-9, 11-6; Chris Fuller beat Ashley Davies 10-12, 11-9, 11-8, 11-9; Karim el Hammamy (Egypt) beatJan Van den Herrewegen (Belgium) 11-8, 11-9, 12-10; Mathew Hopkin (Australia) beat Mark Fuller 8-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11 -9, 11-1. Semi-finals: Coleman walk-over; El Hammamy beat Hopkin 11-7, 11-6, 7-11, 11-5. Final: Coleman beat el Hammamy 11-5 11-8 11-9.

Richard Ingle, Courtcare owner, made the presentation to the finalists.

He had also made an earlier presentation with his wife Sarah to the winners at the Courtcare Junior Open (under 11 to under 17) which ran alongside the PSA event on finals day.

There were four Pontefract winners - Ben Sockett (under 17), Lara Longfield (under 17), Amy Royle (under 15) and Joe Royle (under 11).

It also saw the welcome return to competitive action of several players just back from holiday.

The World Professional tour opens in earnest this week with the long established Cathay Pacific Open in Hong Kong.

Pontefract’s James Willstrop has a first round match against fellow England international Tom Richards and Saurav Ghosal faces legendary Ramy Ashour.

Pontefract Squash Club stages another major event in September, the European Team Club Championships which will bring a host of international players to the club.

Pontefract, as the host club, will have both a women’s and men’s team competing.

Andrew Cross, long term Pontefract member and Malaysian junior national coach, has given great service to Malaysian squash and he was mightly rewarded when his player Eain Yow Ng won the World Junior Championship in Poland recently.