Not a good day for the top three seeds in the women’s competition: third seed Stephanie Ryan fell victim to Laura Mylotte in round one already yesterday, and today number two seed Ciara Moloney followed. Mylotte dispatched of her in straight games, the third game going to a tie-break. In the top half of the draw the number one seed Griffin Gillanders was taken out by the same scoreline by Irish champion Breanne Flynn; Flynn requiring two tie-breakers. Not often you see the fourteenth seed make her way to the finals, especially without dropping a game in the progress. But, Laura hasn’t been active in the Irish Grand Prix, which explains her ranking, and I think she enters the tomorrow’s final (1:30pm) as slight favourite.
In the Men’s A proceedings were a bit more straight forward: number one seed and clear tournament favourite Derek Ryan beat club team mate Nigel Peyton in the quarters and Sligoman Keith Moran in the semis. Both times Ryan recorded 3:0 victories, and similar to Mylotte and Flynn, is yet to drop a game. I got to watch some of the match, and Derek looks to be in good shape, playing with his usual spins, tricks, and perfectly weighted length. Keith never quite looked like he’d be a danger to Derek, but made a good game out of it and played some beautiful kill shots of his own.
Ryan’s opponent’s path to the final was similarly straight forward: Steve Richardson was facing Brian Byrne in what promised to be a tight match between the two and three seed. In the quarterfinals Steve Richardson had beaten Ulsterman O’Hare in three, while Byrne’s mettle was tested against yesterday’s hero David Ryan, where, in a tough five-setter, Byrne prevailed 11-6 in the fifth. Two of my friends came along to watch today, and both spoke admirably about the match, being particularly impressed with the court coverage and speed on show. Anyway, unfortunately I couldn’t watch the match between Steve and Brian, but Steve won 3:0.
So, both finals, men and women, could be close tomorrow with all four players scoring perfect records so far: three matches played, zero games dropped! And you know what, if one club is worthy of some great finals, it’s Mount Pleasant LTC – in my opinion one of Ireland’s very finest Squash clubs! Dan. Z. (former Mt. P. member 😉