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Gerrard British U23
20-23 Nov 2003
Pontefract Squash Club,

Tel: 01977 793333
23-Nov, Final:
[2] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [1] Adrian Grant (ENG)
     12-15, 15-7, 15-9, 15-13

Willstrop takes Inaugural
Super8 U23 title
England's James Willstrop, the second seed, fought back from a game down to beat top seed Adrian Grant in the Gerrard British U23 Super 8 Championships final at Pontefract Squash Club in Yorkshire.

The first game was played at a high tempo, with Grant, the world No25 residing in nearby Halifax, playing in convincing form as he took the first game against the local favourite Willstrop, ranked nine places lower.

The Pontefract star came back with a vengeance, however, as the World Junior Champion took the upper hand to draw level, then claim the third game to take a 2/1 lead.

But Grant, originally from London, was not to be outdone - and soon forged a 12-8 lead in the fourth game. A lengthy rally seemed to sap the favourite's strength, however, and Grant made four successive backhand errors to the front
of the court to concede the advantage to Willstrop.

The tall 6' 5" 20-year-old continued to enforce his supremacy and soon celebrated a 12-15, 15-7, 15-9, 15-13 victory - much to the delight of the packed Pontefract club crowd.

"This has been a fantastic event for me and it was a thrill to win the title at my home club," said Willstrop.

Rugby League stars Ellery Hanley and Graham Steadman were amongst the various VIPs who watched the finale of the Gerrard-sponsored event. "I've been following James's career for a long time, and it was excellent to see him win such a fine match tonight," said Hanley. "We really enjoyed it - James is an incredibly talented young sportsman."

Peter Barker conceded the play-off for 3rd place to his older brother Phillip Barker after sustaining an ankle injury in the semi-final against Willstrop.


Adrian Grant
bt Phillip Barker  15-8, 15-14, 15-8
James Willstrop bt Peter Barker  15-10, 15-4, 12-1 ret.


The final of the inaugural Gerrard British U23 Super 8 Championships at Pontefract Squash Club in Yorkshire will feature the event's number one and two seeds - World No22 Adrian Grant and World Junior Champion James Willstrop.

Both players produced top class performances to dispatch their opponents in competitively-fought semi-finals, staged before a packed crowd surrounding the famous Pontefract show court, although Willstrop's progress was helped with the retirement of Peter Barker with a twisted ankle.

Willstrop produced his best squash in an enthralling first game. Barker rose to the challenge and countered his opponent's breathtaking deception with incredible court coverage, combined with quick volleys and intelligent short angles to the front corners. Despite a heavy fall in the opening rally of the second game, which resulted in Barker turning his ankle, the number three seed continued to the conclusion of the game before taking a three-minute injury

Unfortunately, Barker's injury was unable to respond to court side treatment and his lack of mobility during the third game resulted in Willstrop maintaining his unbeaten run over his arch-rival. In 2002 Willstrop established himself as the World Junior Number One, claiming European, British National, British Open and World Junior Championships, beating Barker in all four finals.

"It was our first match since the World Junior Final," said 20-year-old London-based Barker afterwards. "I was really pumped before that match and was happy with my performance in the first game, particularly with the pace at which we played. I've learnt a lot from tonight's match and I'm confident that I can match him, and hopefully beat him if I keep training at the intensity that I have since turning professional."

Barker finally retired from the match during the third game after falling heavily in the back of the court and with the match score 15-10, 15-4, 12-1.

In the first semi-final of the evening, Grant, the 22-year-old number one seed, extended his unbeaten run in the Championship with an immaculate display of controlled squash against compatriot Phillip Barker. Grant, who along with all four semi-finalists, is part of the England Squash World Class Performance Programme, was in imperious form, countering the elder Barker's determined challenge to record a score line of 15-8 15-14 15-8.

Pontefract to host
inaugural Super 8's
Preview from Malcolm Willstrop
Gerrard, the London-based management company who have sponsored a race at the world famous National Hunt Festival at Cheltenham for several years, move into squash sponsorship for the first time when they sponsor the Super 8's championship, starting at Pontefract this weekend.

Eight top under 23s, including world junior champion James Willstrop, England senior International Nick Matthew, Adrian Grant and Peter Barker make up the top event, and there are Super 8's for under-19, 17, 15 and 13 age groups. The Under 23s begin on Thursday, the younger events on Friday, with the finals on Sunday afternoon.

Local boy Willstrop is currently playing the Valid Dutch Open in Maastricht, but he comes into the event on the back of a quarter-final in the British Open and six wins out of six for England in the World Team Championships in Vienna.

Matthew was also a member of the England team, and both he and Grant reached finals of strong PSA events recently. Barker, the fourth of the leading players, arrives in Pontefract having just won a PSA title in Florida.

The Under 19, 17, 15 and 13 events include virtually all the country's leading players, and Pontefract's Kirsty McPhee, Shaun Le Roux, Neil Cordell, Adam Taylor, Sam Wileman, Deon Saffery and Andrew Cross are all likely to make an impression.

The Super 8 Championships are the brainchild of Steve Evans, the former Great Britain Rugby League International who works for Gerrard as Sponsorship Director, and Paul Walters, the Marketing Director for Dunlop.

Squash Legend Sarah Fitz-Gerald will be in attendance throughout the Championships and she will present her unique view of the game to the spectators.

Boys U23 Event

5th - 8th place play-offs:
Stuart Crawford bt Chris Gordon 15-13, 15-6, 15-10
Ashley Flathers bt Rob Sutherland 10-15, 15-3, 15-14, 15-14

3rd Qualifying Round:
Hi-Tec Group:

Adrian Grant bt Stuart Crawford 15-8, 15-14, 15-8
Peter Barker bt Rob Sutherland 15-12, 15-7, 15-12
Dunlop Group:
James Willstrop bt Chris Gordon 15-6, 15-2, 15-10
Phillip Barker bt Ashley Flathers  13-15, 15-7, 15-3, 15-6

2nd Qualifying Round:
Hi-Tec Group:
Adrian Grant bt Peter Barker  15-12, 14-15, 15-6, 15-12
Stuart Crawford  bt Rob Sutherland 10-15, 11-15, 15-7, 15-13, 15-10
Dunlop Group:
James Willstrop bt  Phillip Barker 15-6, 13-15, 15-7, 15-10
Ashley Flathers  bt Chris Gordon   15-7, 15-6, 15-11

1st qualifying round:
Dunlop group
James Willstrop bt Ashley Flathers  15-6, 15-7, 15-11
Phillip Barker bt Chris Gordon  15-7, 15-8, 15-12
Hi-Tec group
Adrian Grant bt Rob Sutherland  15-6, 15-11, 15-5
Peter Barker bt Stuart Crawford  15-12, 15-10, 15-11

Boys U19 final:
Laurence Delasaux bt Chris Simpson 7-9, 9-3, 9-2, 9-6
Final positions:
1 Laurence Delasaux; 2 Chris Simpson; 3 Shaun Le Roux; 4 Chris Hall; 5 Thomas Javanaud; 6 Andrew Cross; 7 Lewys Hurst; 8 James Wright (retired hurt)

Girls U19 final:
Suzie Pierrepont bt Kirsty McPhee 1-9, 9-4, 9-3, 9-3
Final positions:
1 Suzie Pierrepont; 2 Kirsty McPhee; 3 Sarah Bowles; 4 Georgina Stoker; 5 Jenna Gates; 6 Amie Cronin; 7 Leonie Holt; 8 Susie King

Boys U17 final:
Peter Creed bt Nathan Langley 9-6, 9-6, 9-4
Final positions:
1 Peter Creed; 2 Nathan Langley; 3 Nicholas Bradley; 4 Chris Tasker-Grindley; 5 James Snell; 6 Adam Taylor; 7 Tom Pashley; 8 Daniel Siddall

Girls U17 final:
Rachel Willmott bt Jessica Bevan 9-1, 7-9, 9-1, 9-3
Final positions:
1 Rachel Willmott; 2 Jessica Bevan; 3 Deon Saffery; 4 Emma Chorley; 5 Sara Matharu; 6 Marie Rose; 7 Sapphire Sutcliffe; 8 Fiona Moverley

Boys U15 final:
Petrr Martin bt Neil Cordell 5-9, 8-10, 9-4, 9-2, 9-1
Final positions:
1 Petr Martin; 2 Neil Cordell; 3 Tom Marley; 4 Sam Wileman; 5 Michael Harris; 6 Oliver Wildig; 7 James Rushton; 8 Curtis Tomlinson

Girls U15 final:
Victoria Lust bt Natalie Pritchard 9-3, 9-6, 9-10, 3-9, 9-7
Final positions:
1 Victoria Lust; 2 Natalie Pritchard; 3 Victoria Bell; 4 Scarlet Sutcliffe; 5 Sarah Jane-Perry; 6 Bethan Williams; 7 Holly Cox; 8 Henrietta Ball

Boys U13 final:
Chris Fuller bt Sam Cantle 9-5, 9-3, 9-3
Final positions:
1 Chris Fuller; 2 Sam Cantle; 3 Simon Haigh; 4 Sammy Chambers; 5 Ben Rodgers; 6 Nicholas Thompson; 7 Alex Bowden; 8 James Earls

Girls U13 final:
Kimberly Hay bt Hannah Dean 6-9, 9-4, 9-4, 9-2
Final positions:
1 Kimberly Hay; 2 Hannah Dean; 3 Carrie Ramsey; 4 Natalie Dodd; 5 Grace Smith; 6 Emily Whitlock; 7 Katie Smith; 8 Charlotte Kirkwood

The British Junior scene appears to be on a high, with the Super8 joining two major events already added this year ...

Also see:

James Willstrop collected
the Millfield Partnership
British U23 trophy in April

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