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THE GAME OF SQUASH • View topic - ENGLAND RETAIN WOMEN'S TITLE BUT LOSE MEN'S

ENGLAND RETAIN WOMEN'S TITLE BUT LOSE MEN'S

Discussions about Squash tournaments - current tournaments, running them, how to manage them etc., etc.

ENGLAND RETAIN WOMEN'S TITLE BUT LOSE MEN'S

Postby BarryG » Mon May 04, 2015 4:08 am



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England won the European Women’s Team Squash Championship for the fifth consecutive year today by beating France 2-1 in a hard-fought final in Denmark, but they were beaten 9-6 on games by the French in the men’s decider.

Despite missing world no.4 Laura Massaro, who is taking a break from competitive squash, England underlined their strength in depth by claiming the women’s title for an incredible 37th time in 38 attempts.

However, it was a different story for the men, who were without the injured Nick Matthew, as their 22-year stranglehold on the trophy was ended by the second seeds, who lifted it for the first time after seven successive final defeats.

England received the perfect start in the women’s final when Warwickshire’s Sarah-Jane Perry defeated Coline Aumard, the world no.43, in the second string match 3/1 – 11-4 11-6 2-11 11-6 – in 36 minutes.

However, France levelled when Camille Serme, the world no.6, repeated her recent Windy City open victory over Middlesex’s Alison Waters in four games in 45 minutes at the top of the order.

The world no.3’s 7-11 4-11 11-9 5-11 defeat was England’s first lost rubber in this year’s championship.

It then all came down to the no.3s and Warwickshire’s Emma Beddoes proved too strong for world no.56 Laura Pomportes as she powered home in straight games – 11-5 11-5 11-4 – in 29 minutes.

England Assistant National Coach David Campion said: “The ladies once again defended their title successfully, which is always harder than it may appear. They are true professionals.”

In the men’s final it was France who were quickest out of the blocks, with world no.3 Gregory Gaultier thwarting a brave four-game effort from Essex’s Peter Barker with a 12-10, 11-8, 10-12, 11-3 win in 64 minutes.

Mathieu Castagnet then put France 2-0 up by also beating Essex’s Daryl Selby in four games – 6-11, 11-9, 11-4, 14-12 – but he was helped by an injury to Selby at 1/1 which delayed the match by 15 minutes.

However, Yorkshire’s James Willstrop gave England a glimmer of hope of keeping the title when he pipped Gregoire Marche 11-5 7-11 6-11 11-8 11-8 in an 89-minute thriller to reduce the deficit to 2-1.

That meant Yorkshire’s Chris Simpson had to beat Lucas Serme 3/0 and by 13 points to keep the trophy in English hands.

The rubber began so well for the England debutant when he won the first game 11-5, but Serme fought back superbly to claim the second 11-7 and the title – at which point the match was halted after 53 minutes.

Campion said: "Congratulations to France on a superb team performance. It had to happen at some point.

“We’ve had some immense battles over the years and this one was possibly the closest of them all. Our boys fought bravely and left everything out on the court. You can’t ask for any more than that.

“I was delighted when James won his match to take it to the final string, not only to give the team a fighting chance of winning, but to give Chris in his debut final the opportunity to experience the occasion.”
Cheers!
BarryG
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