Professional Squash Player and Irish Number One

WOI/Irish Open

WOI / Irish Open

2 events back to back at home on Ireland doesn’t get much better for me! The rare opportunity to play in front of home crowds and have the healthy distraction away from the court catching up with everyone and spending time with those closest to me always has me in good spirits…

Galway first for the WOI, which I thought would be ideal prep for the Irish Open, a tournament i was aiming to do well in and one id love to win before my time is up. First round v Carlos Cornes of Spain and I made the fatal mistake of underestimating him and taking the match to lightly and received a good thumping – it was both deserved and a serious reminder that there’s no room for complacency in professional sport. Everyone is playing for their livelihood…

A few days to get my head round was spent well and by the time Irish Open came round I was chomping to get on court! First up was Douglas Kempsall of Scotland. I started pretty solid, nothing special but always had a lead and controlled most of the play to take a 2/0 lead only to lose a little focus and take my foot of the gas to let him back in and before long he levelled at 2/2. I was infuriated with myself and used that feeling to G myself up and take a 7/0 lead in the 5th closing it 11/6 to set up a meeting with mark fuller in the quarters.
The 1st games were tense and scrappy but towards the end of the second I started to relax a bit and play some decent squash hitting and holding making mark do a lot of work which took its toll on him. 2/1 and 10/5 up in the fourth he gave a big push and played some great squash to level at 10 all to force a tiebreak but I kept calm and managed to pull through 12/10.
Semis v Alan Clyne was a step up and unfortunately on the day he was to good. I was always playing catch up and found it difficult to string a run of points together and that was down to the pressure he put me under.

From a far and all in all a semis was an ok result but what’s disappointing on another level was that I never really performed. All week I was pretty average, lethargic and when the opportunity came to raise my game, I never did. Post nationals my focus was to peak for this event but somewhere I got it wrong. Live and learn… On another note I must express how grateful I was for all the support during the Open. It’s not often I have that level of support and it makes all the brutal training sessions worth it! I was only sorry I couldn’t give back a home win…
Next up il be representing Ireland at the euros
def one of my favourite tournaments of the year!

 

 

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