Squash: Old team-mates edge towards clash: England manager Cowie awaits semi-final battle with friend and rival Cogswell

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The Independent Online
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VICTORIES over Canada and Germany ensured England's women of a semi-final place in the World Team Championships tomorrow even before the last group match against New Zealand, writes Richard Eaton from St Peter Port, Guernsey.

The prospect of a semi-final confrontation between former team-mates and two old friends came closer when the world champions Australia finished top of Group A by beating South Africa 3-0. It left the South Africans, managed by Sue Cogswell, a former British national champion a record five times, set to play the winners of Group B.

Cogswell used to share rooms with the England manager Alex Cowie, when both were squash and tennis players. But professionalism will outweigh any sentiment. 'It's great that South Africa have made the last four for the first time,' Cogswell said. 'For the first time recently I felt more South African than English.'

There is no question of Jonah Barrington, a six times former British Open champion, ever feeling more Dutch than British, even though he was at his most enthusiastic as the country he currently coaches beat Scotland 2-1. Barrington is not, as widely reported, 'on his way' to the Netherlands, but still hopes to find employment with England and to be voted in as president of the (English) Squash Rackets Association next month.

Scotland will compete for places five to 12, starting with a match against Finland today. Their highlight has so far been the fine form of Senga Macfie, the former England junior international.