When I left Fitzwilliam yesterday night I realised once again that I had forgotten to take pictures from any players, so on the way out I took a picture of one of my favourite things at Fitz, namely the free towels in the changing rooms. Coming from Germany, I can safely say that the Squash club scene there is entirely different and we have no club like Fitz, let alone one where you get free, freshly washed towels, so every time I play here it’s one of those small things I (and from speaking to them, many other players too) really enjoy.
On to the squash: After missing them again, tournament director Derek Ryan let me know that third and fourth seed Tanya Owens and Zoe Hall will be playing today’s finals, after beating Claire O’Neill and Ciara Moloney, both from Carlow, respectively. At this stage also congratulations to the Irish women’s team, finishing in sixth place at the World Team Champs in Nimes, France.
Aforementioned Tournament Director Derek Ryan is once again not only organising, but also playing, and is facing Arthur Gaskin in the finals. Arthur Gaskin beat Stevie Richardson on the show court by three games to love, while Derek got past club mate Nigel Peyton in four. I only got to see the one game, which was a real forth and back with several game balls on both sides, and Derek took that one 15:13. Arthur, as far as I can recall, is unbeaten by an Irish player in a while now, and seems to currently have well eclipsed his competitors playing the Irish Grand Prix, making him a clear favourite for today.
Only other match I saw was an enthralling match between two of Ireland’s top junior players, Michael Craig and Sean Conroy. Michael is playing a blinder of a tournament and after winning the second 15:13, secured a very impressive 3:0 win over his junior compatriot. Reward is a 9/10 play-off match against fellow Northern Irish Connor O’Hare. (Dan Z.)