Scots finish fourth on countback
By ALAN THATCHER and HOWARD HARDING
England and France shared the honours by winning the men’s and women’s finals at the European Team Championships in Helsinki, Finland, but Wales were celebrating hardest after a bronze medal for the ladies and a gold for the men in Division Two.
Sarah-Jane Perry produced a storming performance to beat world No.3 Camille Serme in one of the most important matches of her career.
After winning a crucial fourth game tiebreak, Perry took the match to a fifth and won it with four points to spare to record an 11-8, 8-11, 9-11, 14-12, 11-7 victory in 70 minutes of thrilling and dramatic squash.
With Fiona Moverley then beating Laura Pomportes 11-8 in the fifth, England were home and dry. The third string match between Victoria Lust and Coline Aumard was withdrawn.
France had the upper hand in the men’s final, with victories for Gregory Gaultier, Mathieu Castagnet and Greg Marche over Nick Matthew, James Willstrop and Daryl Selby respectively. Castagnet’s 3-1 victory over Willstrop was the deciding result and the match between Lucas Serme and Tom Richards was not played.
Scotland’s men finished fourth after a narrow defeat to Germany in the third-place play-off.
Alan Clyne and Greg Lobban lost to Simon Rösner and Raphael Sandra but Doug Kempsell and Kevin Moran achieved victories over Rudi Rohrmuller and Valentin Rapp respectively. With the match tied at two wins apiece, Germany won 133-127 on points countback.
The Welsh women finished in third place after beating The Netherlands 2-1. Tesni Evans led from the front with a 3-0 win over Milou van der Heijden but Deon Saffery produced the decisive result with a 3-2 win over the vastly experienced Natalie Grinham.
Another success story in the women’s tournament was the strong performance by the Czech Republic, who finished in fifth place.
Full results on www.squashinfo.com
European Team Championship 2017, Talihalli, Helsinki, Finland.
 FRANCE bt  ENGLAND 3-0
Gregoire Marche bt Daryl Selby 13-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-9 (78m)
Gregory Gaultier bt Nick Matthew 12-10, 11-4, 10-12, 11-6 (60m)
Mathieu Castagnet bt James Willstrop 11-6, 5-11, 11-5, 11-4 (45m)
Lucas Serme v Tom Richards (match withdrawn)
3rd place play-off:
 GERMANY bt  SCOTLAND 2-2 (Germany win 133-127 on points countback)
Rudi Rohrmuller lost to Douglas Kempsell 11-13, 2-11, 13-11, 9-11
Simon Rösner bt Alan Clyne 11-6, 11-8, 11-3
Raphael Kandra bt Greg Lobban 5-11, 11-5, 11-5, 12-10
Valentin Rapp lost to Kevin Moran 9-11, 8-11, 9-11
 ENGLAND bt  FRANCE 2-0
Sarah-Jane Perry bt Camille Serme 11-8, 8-11, 9-11, 14-12, 11-7 (70m)
Fiona Moverley bt Laura Pomportes 14-12, 11-5, 4-11, 7-11, 11-8 (48m)
Victoria Lust v Coline Aumard (match withdrawn)
3rd place play-off:
 WALES bt  NETHERLANDS 2/1
Tesni Evans bt Milou van der Heijden 11-6, 11-4, 11-7
Lowri Roberts lost to Tessa ter Sluis 5-11, 13-11, 6-11, 8-11
Deon Saffery bt Natalie Grinham 9-11, 11-7, 13-15, 11-6, 11-8
Picture s from social media