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Squash - 02. May 2011.

England Clinch European Squash Championship Double

European Team Championship, Espoo, Finland

RESULTS: European Team Championship, Espoo, Finland

Women's Final:
Sarah Kippax bt Natalie Grinham 11-9, 11-9, 2-11, 5-11, 11-8
Jenny Duncalf bt Vanessa Atkinson 11-6, 11-2, 11-4
Dominique Lloyd-Walter bt Orla Noom 11-5, 11-6

3rd place play-off:
[4] IRELAND bt [2] FRANCE 2/0
Aisling Blake bt Isabelle Stoehr 11-6, 11-3, 9-11, 11-8
Madeline Perry bt Camille Serme 2-11, 3-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-9

5th-8th place play-offs:
[7] SCOTLAND bt [5] GERMANY 2/1
Frania Gillen-Buchert bt Pamela Hathway 11-9, 11-7, 3-11, 13-11
Senga Macfie lost to Sina Wall 10-12, 11-3, 11-8, 3-11, 6-11
Lisa Aitken bt Franziska Hennes 11-5, 11-5, 11-6

[6] ITALY bt [8] SPAIN 2/1
Katiuscia Grossi bt Stela Carbonell 11-6, 11-6, 11-8
Manuela Manetta bt Xisela Aranda Nunez 11-2, 11-8, 11-7
Monica Menegozzi lost to Laura Alonso Perez 5-11, 2-11, 5-11

Final positions: 5 Scotland, 6 Germany, 7 Italy, 8 Spain

Women's final qualifying rounds:
[3] AUSTRIA bt [4] BELGIUM 2/1
Sandra Polak lost to Yara Delagrange 9-11, 6-11, 5-11
Birgit Coufal bt Kim Hannes 11-8, 11-7, 9-11, 11-9
Sabrina Rehman bt Liesbeth Dries 5-11, 7-11, 11-4, 11-6, 12-10

Veronika Koukalova bt Elina Kononen 12-10, 7-11, 11-7, 7-11, 12-10
Lucie Fialova bt Saara Valtola 11-9, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7
Klara Janoskova lost to Jutta Tuunanen 1-11, 6-11, 8-11

[1] SWITZERLAND bt [2] WALES 2/1
Sara Guebey lost to Tesni Evans 10-12, 10-12, 9-11
Gaby Schmohl bt Deon Saffery 11-6, 11-8, 11-7
Agapi Kazamia bt Fiona Murphy 11-8, 11-6, 11-7

Final Positions: 1 Switzerland, 2 Wales, 3 Czech Republic, 4 Austria, 5 Finland, 6 Belgium

England positively reclaimed its status as the top squash nation in Europe by winning both the men's and women's European Team Championships titles in style at the Esport Center in Espoo, Finland.

But it was the women's final that was the biggest celebration of the day for England: The men's team, having already secured their championship, sat tightly in the audience cheering for the ladies.

After losing in last year's semi-finals following 32 successive title successes, England's women made no mistakes this time. The third seeds faced title-holders Netherlands, led by former world number one and world champion Vanessa Atkinson and ex-world number two Natalie Grinham.

In the opening match, England's Sarah Kippax took a two-game lead - only to see the experienced Grinham fight back to draw level. But the 27-year-old world No18 from Halifax gave one of the performances of her life to regain control of the match to score a notable 11-9, 11-9, 2-11, 5-11, 11-8 victory.

World number two Jenny Duncalf then clinched England's victory by taking a comfortable 3/0 win over the experienced Vanessa Atkinson, who made her ETC debut in 1993 and has played every year since then.

"Last year's disappointment motivated us and this was a great reward for the whole team," said England coach David Campion.

The men's bronze medal went to Italy, who beat Netherlands 3/1 to claim their first ETC medal and their highest ever finish after appearing in the championships in every year but one since 1978.

The women's bronze medal went to Ireland after two hard-fought matches against France. Aisling Blake beat Isabelle Stoehr 3/1 before 12 times Irish champion Madeline Perry bravely fought back from 2/0 down to beat French No1 Camille Serme 2-11, 3-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-9.

But the ESF board also announced that Finland will host the 2012 European individual Championships.

"For Finnish squash, it is extremely important that we constantly have big tournaments and world-class players here," said Leo Hatjasalo, president of Finnish Squash Federation.

"Finland, as other squash nations, is committed to the goal of making squash an Olympic sport. Having top tournaments and top players in Finland helps us convince the Finnish sports community that this is a world-class sport and deserves to be part of the Olympic family."
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