The 40th European Team
Championships, the biggest ever with a record number of
competing nations, the first to feature all three divisions
in the same event, and also celebrating 75 years since the
inauguration of the host federation, Squashbond Netherlands,
came to an end at Frans Otten Stadion with England retaining
their titles in two dramatic finals.
England still the champions,
but both finals go the distance ...
the second day in a row England needed Jenny Duncalf to win
the deciding match, but just as she had in the semi-final
against France, Duncalf duly delivered to keep the women's
European Team title in English hands.
Laura Massaro had given the English a good start as she beat
a tired-looking Madeline Perry in straight games, but Irish
number two Aisling Blake set up a decider when she beat
Alison Waters in equally convincing fashion.
Duncalf was relentless in her pursuit of the title though,
also winning in straight games to make it three titles in a
row since their only defeat in the history of the event.
The men's final was an even more tense affair as France went
two-nil up and looked to be on the verge of a stunning
Thierry Lincou rolled back the years to beat James Willstrop
3-2 in the opening match. After Willstrop had taken the
first comfortably, Lincou let three game balls slip as he
lost the second 10/12 but stormed back to take the next
three games to give France the lead.
passion running high on both sides Gregory Gaultier got the
better of three desperately close and very intense three
games against Nick Matthew - 82 minutes compared to
Willstrop's 67 for five games - to put the French on the
verge of the win they had been seeking for the last fourteen
Earlier in the day the ESF AGM voted to retain the four-man
team system, rather than the three-man format which, had it
been in effect today would have seen France take the title.
But England have always had strength in depth that is the
envy of all the other European nations, and with Essex pair
of Daryl Selby and Peter Barker to come, they knew that if
both won without dropping more than one game they would
retain the title.
Lucas Serme and Grégoire Marche fought all the way, but
neither could quite take a game, and with 3-0 wins from
Selby and then Barker, England were still the champions,
their 21st in a row.
Women's Final: 
England 2-1  Ireland
Laura Massaro 3-0 Madeline Perry
11/7, 11/5, 11/2 (29m)
Alison Waters 0-3 Aisling Blake
5/11, 9/11, 6/11 (28m)
Jenny Duncalf 3-0 Laura Mylotte
11/4, 11/5, 11/2 (23m)
Men's Final:  England 2-2
James Willstrop 2-3 Thierry Lincou 11/4, 12/10, 5/11, 9/11, 5/11
Nick Matthew 0-3 Gregory Gaultier
11/13, 6/11, 12/14 (82m)
Daryl Selby 3-0 Lucas Serme
11/6, 11/4, 11/9 (48m)
Peter Barker 3-0 Gregoire Marche
11/5, 11/8, 11/9 (53m)
England win on games
Serme sends France on the way to third place
Cyrielle Peltier wins the Amsterdam Sports Award