[last update was 25-nov-00 ]
England brings home title defeating Australia for the title...
Squashtalk News © 2000
11.25.00 by Colin McQuillan
Eye Group Women's World Open Squash Championship, Sheffield, UK
ENGLAND BACK IN CHARGE by Colin McQuillan England reclaimed the Women's World Team Squash Championship today, defeating Australia , the second seeded defending champions, 2-1 in the Eye Group sponsored final at The Hallamshire Club in Sheffield, England.
Canada's campaign for fifth place failed at the semi-final stage, but wins from Carolyn Russell and Lauren Wagner against France today put them into seventh place today which at least satisfied their ambitions for immediate return to the top eight.
The USA, playing without the Khan sisters in this event, dropped from ninth to 18th when they lost the last play-off in the pool for 17th place 3-0 to Spain today after leading the group all the way through the final phase.
As with a narrow victory over New Zealand in the semi-finals, England depended on their new recruits to clinch their first title for a decade. They last won in Sydney in 1990, also beating the Australians who took it from them in 1992 and held through three successive defences. This year Australia lost the services of world champion Carol Owens, former world junior champion Rachael Grinham and veteran Liz Irving to internal disputes even before they got down to squad selection.
Cassie Jackman and Sue Wright were in the original England line-up for this event but, when they withdrew with injuries, Brind was drafted in with Rebecca Macree of Essex behind world number three Linda Charman and world number six Tania Bailey. Only Charman, a 29-year-old from Sussex, had represented England before at world level. She battled well at first string on Saturday but was never really in touch with the former world champion, Sarah Fitz-Gerald, who needed just 31 minutes to win 9-5 9-0 9-4.
It fell to Tania Bailey, a 21-year-old former world junior champion from Lincoln, to set the winning tone for the top seeded home country. She commanded the court with notable authority dismissing Natalie Grinham 9-1 9-0 9-0 in 22 minutes.
It was Brind, an often unpredictable 23-year-old from Bexley in Kent, ranked 13 in the world, who was required to clinch the final, however. In the semi-finals she rose to the occasion with a four game win over Sarah Cook, a 25-year-old combative New Zealander whose form was unknown after a year out for childbirth.
This time she was facing Robyn Cooper, a 28-yearold racket technician of some renown, who was world number 12 in 1996 but withdrew into coaching two years ago. It took the English third string 41 minutes to defeat her 9-6 9-4 0-9 9-3.
"I lost the plot a bit in the third game, but I calculated that Robyn would not like to rally too long after such an extended break from the international game," Brind said. "By keeping the play running I was able to clean up a bit in the late part of each game."
England Team Manager Matt Hammond insisted this should be regarded as the Squash Olympics. "We have taken back a world title we owned in the late 1980s and we have done it with a young squad given the best backing we have ever managed under the new lottery funding," he said.
Certainly Brind, who is an inspirational strokeplayer with an alarmingly late racket preparation and an occasional tendency to wander away from the script, applied herself with notable concentration apart from a third game which she allowed Cooper to take with determinedly applied racket skill in just four minutes.
After the 15 minute opening game which Brind took from 6-6, Cooper entered each game with the obvious intent of finishing quickly. Only in that third game did the plan carry through in four hands. In the second game the quick precise Australian reached 4-1 but lost from there in a single hand. In the fourth she reached 3-0 and was beaten off court with increasing ease as her ability to stay with Brind's demanding rallying drained away.
Third place went to New Zealand from a 2-1 win over Egypt, fifth place to South Africa 2-1 over Germany, and seventh to Canada 2-1 over France. Wales took the wooden spoon losing 1-2 to Italy in the last round of the pool play-off for 17th place.
For the latest results go to www.squashtalk.com/womensworld
Eye Group Women's World Team Squash Championship At The Hallamshire Club in Sheffield
First Round Results:
Quarter-final Results :
Semi-final Results :
Fifth Place play-off: South Africa 2 Germany 1 (Claire Nitch lost to Sabine Schoene 9-6, 3-9, 2-9, 4-9; Angelique Clifton-Parks bt Daniela Grzenia 6-9, 4-9, 9-4, 9-2, 9-3; Sjeanne Cawdry bt Ina Meine 9-4, 9-3, 9-6)
Seventh Place play-off: Canada 2 France 1 (Melanie Jans lost to Isabelle Stoehr 9-5, 7-9, 7-9, 9-5, 8-10; Carolyn Russell bt Corinne Castets 1-9, 9-4, 9-3, 9-1; Lauren Wagner bt Astrid Gamory 9-0, 9-2, 9-4)
Ninth Place play-off: Scotland
2 Hong Kong 1 (Pamela Nimmo lost to Rebecca Chiu 10-8, 5-9, 5-9, 10-9, 8-10;
Senga Macfie bt Christina Mak 9-1, 9-3, 9-3; Wendy Maitland bt Karen Lau 9-0,
11th Place play-off: Denmark 3 Malaysia (Ellen Petersen bt Sharon Wee 9-6, 9-6, 9-6; Julie Dorn-Jensen bt Tricia Chuah 9-3, 9-7, 9-2; Line Hansen bt Cheryl David 10-9, 9-7)
13th Place play-off: Switzerland
2 Netherlands 1 (Agnes Muller lost to Vanessa Atkinson 4-9, 8-10, 6-9; Manuela
Zehnder bt Daphne Jelgersma 0-9, 9-2, 9-4, 1-9, 9-4; Olivia Hauser bt Bea
de Dreu 9-4, 9-3, 9-2)
15th Place play-off: Ireland 2 Brazil 1 (Aisling Blake lost to Karen Redfern 1-9, 4-9, 9-10; Anna McGeever bt Flavia Roberts 10-8, 9-5, 9-6; Eleanor Lapthorne bt Carmen Amazonas 9-4, 9-6, 9-4)
17th Place Play-offs:
USA 3 Wales 0
Last placings: 17 Spain, 18 USA, 19 Italy, 20 Japan, 21 Wales