Yorkshire Premier League challengers Pontefract in second place at midway stage

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Pontefract 1 are sitting nicely in second place at the halfway stage and break point in the Yorkshire Squash Premier League.

A winning run has seen the ​Ponte team make steady progress and the latest victory saw them sneak above Dunnington on points difference to claim second spot with the league now about to take its mid-season break.

Ponte were, however, pushed all the way by dogged Harrogate in a see-saw encounter.

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The night's opening exchanges were shared as Harrogate's Ross Kneller kept up his 100 per cent record this season by beating Chris Gillespie in five, only for Ponte skipper Matt Godson to grind out his own five-game win against youngster Gabriel Cox.

Omar El Torkey clinched victory for Pontefract 1 against Harrogate.Omar El Torkey clinched victory for Pontefract 1 against Harrogate.
Omar El Torkey clinched victory for Pontefract 1 against Harrogate.

On came the numbers two and three, but these too were shared – Ponte's Adam Taylor getting the better of Lewis Harding, but Declan Christie responding for Harrogate with a straight-games triumph.

That set up a winner takes all top string affair between the home side's Egyptian 22-year-old Omar El Torkey and Harrogate's Kiwi giant Lwamba Chileshe.

The decider was a bit of a damp squib, however, with El Torkey taking it at a canter to seal a 16-9 Ponte victory.

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Pontefract keep pressure on leaders in Yorkshire Premier Squash League

Queens went top for the first time this season after thrashing Pontefract 2 to secure a slender advantage over the chasing pack.

The top four – Queens, Pontefract 1, Dunnington and Doncaster – are separated by a tantalising three points at the season's midway point, setting up a thrilling second half when the campaign resumes in mid-January.

Round nine saw 2021/22 champions Queens, of Halifax, cruise to a dominant 20-3 home victory over Pontefract 2 with Danny Bray and Kuwaiti national champion Bader Almagrebhi both winning in four games to get the hosts off to a strong start.

Queens' experienced middle order duo of James Earles and Josh Taylor, both former pros, conquered Connor Sheen and Chester Dockray respectively in quick time.

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That left former British Junior Open champion Finnlay Withington to complete the whitewash by taking care of Ponte's Kiwi debutant Anthony Lepper in four.

Only one of the tightly-packed top four lost on Wednesday night – that was long-time leaders Doncaster. Without their big names Greg Lobban, Simon Herbert and captain Joel Arscott, they went down 19-6 at Abbeydale.

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