Team England capture silver at the WSF Men's World Team Championships 2019
Team England captured silver at the WSF Men's World Team Squash Championship 2019 after falling to top seeds Egypt in the final at Squash on Fire in Washington DC.
It was the fifth final between the two powerhouse nations in world squash since 2005 and the one the crowd almost certainly wanted to see. With four players in the world's top eight, Egypt were heavily favoured to win the trophy for a fifth time.
Some 18 hours after leading second seeds Team England into the final with a sensational win in the semi-final decider against France, Declan James opened proceedings for the team by facing Egypt's Karim Abdel Gawad. The Englishman, ranked 29 in the world, took the opening game against Gawad - the World No.3 whom he had never before beaten. Gawad fought back to draw level - then had to take time out to recover from a nose bleed.
On returning to the court, James took the lead for a second time - and, after patiently building up an advantage in the fourth reached 9-7, just two points away from taking the match. But the Egyptian was in no mood to concede easily, and clawed back the deficit before moving ahead to draw level and force a fifth game decider.
The concluding game delivered an awesome display of squash from both players - the capacity crowd unable to believe the mesmerising quality of play on the all-glass showcourt. It was neck and neck throughout the game, the lead changing hands several time before Gawad clinched victory after a video review of let request by James was judged to be 'no let'.
The 107-minute match - which included a 26-minute break for the nose bleed - had the scoreline 9-11, 11-4, 8-11, 11-9, 12-10.
After the drama of the opener, the second match was a more measured affair - Egypt's World No.1 Ali Farag looking to extend his unbeaten record over World No.19 Adrian Waller by beating the English number one.
Farag took the first two games and soon reached championship-ball in the third. But Waller had more - and saved three match balls before taking the game to reduce the deficit.
The world's number one player regrouped and, after 57 minutes, clinched the 11-6, 11-6, 12-14, 11-4 triumph which saw Egypt as 2019 champions.
Commenting on Team England's performance, National Coach David Campion said:
"A great finish to a successful week for us. Declan and Adrian stepped up all week, and to do it under this kind pressure is impressive.
"We set out to challenge a formidable Egyptian team, and we certainly made them work very hard for it. Declan came ever so close to putting us one up.
"Both Adrian and Declan need to draw on what they have done here and take it out onto the PSA Tour. So much of it at this level is about belief which is born out of performances like they have had here. We have a wonderful spirit in the England team, everybody fights for each other.
"In the past we have too often relied on players such as James and Daryl who are also an inspiration to our younger players. Hopefully those younger players coming up behind can continue the legacy that has been laid down by these legendary players of the English game."
 EGYPT bt  ENGLAND 2-0
Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Declan James (USA) 3-2: 9-11, 11-4, 8-11, 11-9, 12-10 (107m)
Ali Farag (EGY) bt Adrian Waller (ENG) 3-1: 11-6, 11-6, 12-14, 11-4 (57m)
3rd place:  FRANCE &  WALES
5th place play-off:
 NEW ZEALAND bt  GERMANY 2-0
Evan Williams (NZL) bt Valentin Rapp (GER) 3-0: 11-1, 11-7, 11-8 (42m)
Paul Coll (NZL) bt Simon Rösner (GER)3-2: 11-6, 5-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-3 (62m)
7th place play-off:
 SCOTLAND bt  SPAIN 2-1
Carlos Cornes (ESP) bt Rory Stewart (SCO) 3-2: 8-11, 11-3, 2-11, 11-2, 8-11 (70m)
Greg Lobban (SCO) bt Borja Golan (ESP) 3-1: 12-10, 10-12, 11-9, 11-8 (72m)
Alan Clyne (SCO) bt Iker Pajares (ESP) 3-0: 11-0, 6-2 ret. (19m)
13th place play-off:
 USA bt  CANADA 2-0
Christopher Gordon (USA) bt David Baillargeon (CAN) 3-1: 7-11, 11-4, 12-10, 11-1 (40m)
Todd Harrity (USA) bt Shawn Delierre (CAN) 3-0: 11-5, 15-13, 11-8 (39m)
15th place play-off:
 KUWAIT bt  ARGENTINA 2-0
Ali Alramezi (KUW) bt Jeremías Azaña (ARG) 3-1: 11-5, 11-6, 4-11, 11-5 (39m)
Ammar Altamimi (KUW) bt Robertino Pezzota (ARG) 3-0: 11-2, 11-2, 11-2 (22m)
17th place play-off:
 IRELAND bt  JAMAICA 2-0
Oisin Logan (IRL) bt Tahjia Lumley (JAM) 3-0: 11-3, 11-4, 11-5 (25m)
Sean Conroy (IRL) bt Lewis Walters (JAM) 3-2: 12-10, 5-11, 11-7, 6-11, 11-6 (54m)
19th place play-off:
 SOUTH AFRICA bt  COLOMBIA 2-1
Gary Wheadon (RSA) bt Erick Herrera (COL) 3-1: 9-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-5 (48m)
Juan Camilo Vargas (COL) bt Jean-Pierre Brits (RSA) 3-0: 7-11, 11-13, 4-11 (41m)
Christo Potgieter (RSA) bt Ronald Palomino (COL) 3-1: 8-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-3 (43m)
21st - 23rd place play-offs:
 REPUBLIC OF KOREA bt  SINGAPORE 2-1
Joong-Won Hwang (KOR) bt Brandon Tan (SGP) 3-1: 11-6, 11-6, 6-11, 13-11 (42m)
Samuel Kang (SGP) bt Se Hyun Lee (KOR) 3-0: 6-11, 8-11, 0-11 (24m)
Chang-Wook Woo (KOR) bt Chua Man Tong (SGP) 3-1: 11-3, 11-9, 7-11, 11-5 (42m)