Last tournament of the season!
On the back of Loch Ness I washed down that performance with a few beverages followed up by a good few days training and sharpening up and also a word to myself about my mental approach and to be aware of being passive at times. Felt pretty good about the week and was looking forward to the chance of finishing of on some sort of high!
Format was 2 matches a day (assuming you win – if not, well it’s kick back and enjoy the rays) and in conditions of 32′ plus, for longevity it was very important to get on/off as quick as possible and not give away any games if at all possible. First up was josh masters of England followed by roman svec of Czech and managed to waste little time and energy against both while still focusing on little things in my game I was happy how I was shaping up for the semis. First semi was on and off in 3 and I was to follow suit v Richie Fallows. A young up and coming player and having chopped him in Seattle earlier in the year I felt pretty good. Admittedly I started slow but managed to get to 10/8 only to lose it 13/11 which was followed by a string of winners in the second and at 8/1 down I had images of sitting by the sea for the rest of the day with a beer,,,,,, many beer. But I really didn’t want that, (for another 24 hours at least!) and managed to weather the storm, get a run of points going and break down his momentum to swing it in my favour winning that game 11/8 and the next 2 games quite comfortably 11/6 11/1 . My only slight concern was By the time I’d cooled down and stretched I had about 3 and half hours to refuel and rehydrate for the final v Rafa Kandra..
First game was close all the way through and losing that 13/11 having had a game ball was a tough blow. The second I was on the back end of a few tough rallies and towards the end of it me calves and toes started cramping,that coupled with a few 50/50 calls against (some you get,some you don’t) and I started to get a little desperate, i really didnt want to lose – granted thats an easy thing to say but having lost my last 5 finals on the tour i was keen to avoid 6 and n top of that i must say i love winning alot more than i hate losing. (Not as common as you might think). As I started to feel the match slowly slip away I tried every trick in the book to break it up and slow proceedings down between rallies, stretching, talking to the ref, my opponent, untying and tying the auld shoe lace, which is a classic and in my top 7 wasting time strategies! In the end it wasnt to be and i couldnt really shake the cramps and on top of that the lad was sharp, played well and on the day deserved it. The 1st game might’ve made a difference had I sneaked that but ultimately I feel where I lost it was losing the first game to Richie earlier that day where had I gotten off in 3 used less energy and given myself more time to recover, ifs, maybes, bla
That’s it, another season over. In all honesty it’s not been a great season results wise and we are in a results business – But there has been some changes and improvements. I’m a pretty positive, glass half full type of chap and with some heavy and encouraging words of some great people behind me I’m pretty upbeat and optimistic going forward, building on from this season and working on my weaknesses, building on my strengths im pretty confident in myself that il be in great shape going into the new season and that’s what drives me.
To me sponsors, Gillen markets Head, Adidas amd Irish squash,
coach, physio and trainer, thanks for all the support and encouragement and of course family and friends!!!!