Irish Open: Perry and Adnan win titles, with increased coverage drawing only positives

The winners and runner-ups are joined by the generous owner of sponsor Cannon Kirk Homes

World number 11 Madeline Perry played her best Squash of the week in the final of the Cannon Kirk Homes Irish Open 2013 to beat Guayana’s Nicolette Fernandes by three games to one. Nicolette was uncharacteristically slightly slow out of the blocks, but was on the verge of taking the second game when she squandered a 9:5 lead. She fought back in game three, recuperating from a 5:1 deficit, but was steamrolled 11:2 in game four. “I don’t think I did much wrong in game four”, said the world number 31, “but Madeline was flying in that game and was just too good.” Madeline was content with her performance, especially playing well in front of a home crowd. “This is not my home court, but this is as home as it gets to me, and winning in Ireland obviously means a lot to me.” The former world number three feels that this was good preparation for the European Team Championships happening next week: “there are some strong teams out there but if Aisling Blake and I are playing well, we are within a chance. Also, our number three player has gained some good experience and should make things hard for whoever she faces.

The two happy winners of the Irish Open 2013 - Madeline Perry and Mohamed Nafiizwan Adnan

Mohamed Nafiizwan Adnan was over the moon with his win in the men’s final over big Omar Abdel Meguid of Egypt. It was a fiercely contested match in the first two games, but Mohamed was just that much fresher in the last two games and ran out a 3:1 victory. Omar, who delighted the crowd with some incredible winner, but also frustrated them by not always clearing the ball perfectly, was gracious in defeat: “it’s been a long week for me and I think it could have gone to five if I had been a bit fresher. But Mohamed was the better player on the day and deservedly won.” For Mohamed victory here meant a lot, and he is eager to return next year. “I will relax now after a long week. Ireland has been good to me, it’s a great tournament for me, and lets hope that Cannon Kirk Homes, the sponsors, can support the event again next year.

In a first for the Cannon Kirk Homes Irish Open, the event was streamed live on the website, and commentary was provided by a number of players. For the finals Dan Zilic was joined by none other than Derek Ryan, who came fresh off court after beating top European junior David Ryan. Thousands of internet users followed the action online, and remarkably the viewership was truly international: “We saw a real spike in traffic from Mexico during Samantha Teran’s match”, said Mark Burke, senior producer at And the players were impressed too: “I had some top ten players watch me yesterday, and they said I played well! This wouldn’t have been possible years ago”, the finalist Omar Abdel Meguid said, proving that also players benefit from the wider exposure. Finally, Alex Gough, CEO of the Professional Squash Association, also alluded how this type of coverage is a real boost for Squash’s bid for the inclusion in the 2020 Olympic Games. “We have always had the players, but we haven’t always had the exposure. We are getting this right this time, and coverage such as this is fantastic for the game”, the CEO said in an interview.

Which concludes this year’s Cannon Kirk Homes Irish Open 2013, an event that will be remembered for great Squash, spectacular online coverage, and a fifth title for home favourite Madeline Perry. Replays will be available online at during the course of next week. Dan Zilic