Professional Squash Player and Irish Number One

Stratos Seattle Open

New year kicked off with a trip to Seattle. Having had a pretty good break over Xmas I was excited to be playing. Though it did take me a good few days to get back to fighting weight!!! the venue was located beside the famous Pike Place Market on the coast of Seattle, with some spectacular views on offer alongside some of The best cafes I’ve ever experienced.

After practise in the morning of the 1st round, myself and Tom Pashley went for lunch. Having both had expierences with dodgy stomachs over the years we were both keen to avoid having seafood for lunch. Pike place being famous for fresh fish made this tricky and after walking around aimlessly for 20 mins we settled for sushi!!!!

First match was a tricky match against quite a talented college grad who’s just joined the tour and was hard to read but managed a win in three. Next up was room mate, Tom-sort your ranking out-pashley! Toms a solid player with great technique but hasn’t played so many events in the last 12 months hence his ranking not being quite what it should. Always strange playing a friend you share a room with for the week but that was put to one side when we were on court. Both knowing the winner of this match should make the final added an extra edge. first game Tom was on fire and i got a good chopping, there wasn’t much I could do, but there was no need to panic and after the first I just thought about hitting better length and more clinical when I had an opening. 45 minutes or so later I closed out the match in 4 and it was a good hard match that was good for the lungs (though I wasn’t thinking that at the time!!!)

Semis and next up was Richie fallows and after a slow start it was pretty straight forward, he seemed more interested in talking to the referee so i just left him to it. this setting up a meeting with Joel hinds in he final

First 2 games I was just reacting to what he threw at me but towards the end of the second I started to figure out what I needed to do and even though I was down 2 zip I felt I could win if I applied the right tactic and stuck to it. Sure enough I established a cushion in the 3rd and maintained it throughout and the 4th went a similar way until at 9/5 up I slipped on some sweat and felt a pull in my hamstring. I just about managed to close out the game but when I sat down after the set it seized up and I knew I was in trouble. I didn’t want to stop and hand him the match so I made him win it and that he did. Much to my annoyance. Really frustrating way to end what was otherwise a really good battle in front of a great crowd and a great tournament…

As for Seattle, thanks for being a kool city!!!




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