ENGLAND CROWNED EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS IN AMSTERDAM
English Squash celebrated double success in the 40th European Team Championships in Amsterdam last night, when both the men’s and women’s teams retained their titles in hard fought battles over France and Ireland respectively.
Both matches went to the wire. In the women’s best of three format, Jenny Duncalf secured a hat-trick of titles for England’s women when beating Laura Mylotte (11-4, 11-5, 11-2) in just 23 minutes. Duncalf’s success was the decider following an opening match win by world number two Laura Massaro (beat Madeline Perry 11-7, 11-5, 11-2) and a defeat for Alison Waters by Aisling Blake 5-11, 9-11, 6-11.
The men’s final against old foe’s France was predictably tense and the French looked like causing a crashing upset to England’s double title hopes when they went two-nil up in the match with surprise defeats for James Willstrop by veteran Thierry Lincou and Nick Matthew to French number one Gregory Gaultier.
However, in the four-man team system, hope remained alive with Essex pair Daryl Selby and Peter Barker both starting their matches aware that a team victory remained a possibility if they could both win their matches without dropping a game. Straight 3-0 successes for the pair eventually sealed the title for England on games count back after the tie ended all square at 2-2.
Laura Massaro (ENG) beat Madeline Perry (IRE) 11-7, 11-5, 11-2 (29 mins)
Alison Waters (ENG) lost to Aisling Blake (IRE) 5-11, 9-11, 6-11 (28 mins)
Jenny Duncalf (ENG) beat Laura Mylotte (IRE) 11-4, 11-5, 11-2 (23 mins)
James Willstrop (ENG) lost to Thierry Lincou (FRA) 11-4, 12-10, 5-11, 9-11, 5-11 (67 mins)
Nick Matthew (ENG) lost to Gregory Gaultier (FRA) 11-13, 6-11, 12-14 (82 mins)
Daryl Selby (ENG) beat Lucas Serme (FRA) 11-6, 11-4, 11-9 (48 mins)
Peter Barker (ENG) beat Gregoire Marche (FRA) 11-5, 11-8, 11-9 (53 mins)
All the players now head to the Allam British Open Championships in Hull, 20th – 26th May in the KC Stadium.