Over 40's win in Cardiff



Its like waiting ages for a bus to arrive and then 2 come at the same time!!. Ireland’s Mens over 40’s team completed a 5 – 0 whitewash of an English Squash team in Cardiff on April 25th making it back to back wins over England. After last years unbelievable first win, this double is only the 2nd ever victory over England at this level. 

Organising the weekend got underway around last October.  The team of David ’Captain Fantastic’ Ayerst, Dara ‘Hit the ball harder daddy’ O Flynn, Neal ‘let please’ Murphy, John ‘Bull’ Hurley,  Rob ‘Only man to lose a match’ Staunton and Stevie ‘ Curly’ Richardson knew after last year’s historic first win that the double over England  was on. The phones were ringing and bellys reducing over the next 6 months with everyones eyes on Cardiff and the possible English double and an overall win in the competition between the 4 nations.

The weekend got under way with a very nervy win over Scotland on Friday night. A long day and early flights had everyone just wanting to get to bed with a win. A 4 -1 win over a good Scotland side in the bag. Job done with some tight matches. England were drawn for Saturday morning and now nothing else mattered. First win down, move on.

Saturday morning. Breakfasts were pushed around the plates. Chat was limited. Even the English team could smell the tension. Neutrals called it a 50 /50 match maybe with Ireland slight favourites. Nothing an Irish team likes less than being made favourites against England. ‘Lets just get started, enough of this waiting around………’

First on Neal Murphy against the 6 foot 5 Ginger  Octopus Josh Hargreaves. Josh even made ‘Bull’ Hurley look like a pup. At one game all everyone was twitching in their seats. Josh played a great second game to even it up at 1-1. With a series of well timed lets and lobs Murph pushed through 3 – 1. Tough first one out of the way …. game on lads. A good day for the biblical  ‘Davids’ not the ‘Goliaths’.

Next up Captain fantastic, David  Ayerst, playing Paul Boyle, an ex New Zealand international nationalised to the England team. This was going to be hard, hard going. Absolute blood and guts. All games down to the wire, Boyle really strong and a lovely player.  David dug in on every point matched Boyle for fitness and played his shots all the way through. This was monumental stuff. Beaten by the same player last year, this was a turn around result of last years 3- 1 for David. A real captains performance. For a man of few words he couldn’t be shut up afterward. 2 – 0 in matches. Brilliant stuff.

Next up our Banker match. Stevie ‘Curly’ Richardson against the England legend Jamie Goodrich. This to make it 3 – 0 in matches and seal the deal. Jesus bad start for Stevie, 1- 0 down. Ohhhh nooooo even worse 2 -0 down in games,  with Englands Goodrich looking very strong and confident. Que the usual shifting in seats, nervous looks, not defeat from the jaws of victory, lets not even let the thoughts go there….. England starting to believe  again. Escape to victory sounds in the background !!.    Stevie comes out and in his own inimitable style puts the head down. Famous for his pure raw working squash Stevie turned the match around. After winning a tight, nervy third game the change in body language was evident for all to see. Stevie on the T, Jamie doing court sprints. ‘Lovely Stevie is back to business’. 2-2 and never in doubt. Stevie pushes on and at 3- 2 the teams and audience give a standing ovation to both players  coming off court. Ireland win but more to come…….

Next up Dara o Flynn. On the phone for months talking of close matches with England but never a win, Flynner was mad for road. Playing the England captain and pin up boy John Gliddon this was only going one way. Picked as player of the weekend Flynner came out playing easily his best squash of the year.   Gliddon a really classy player and quick to the front was bullied from the T for the three games by Dara . Everytime things got tight Flynner got the head down and gave Gliddon no hope. A really comprehensive win for flynner and a big punch of the air for his first England win.

Last on Rob ‘only man to lose a watch all weekend’ Staunton (against Scotland).  Playing a really great English player Rob had a brilliant match. At 1-0 down Rob really scrapped and fought to stay in the match. Even at 1-1 McLaughlin was playing super squash. With pure guts Rob sneeked the third with both players exhausted. Rob picked up where he left off and gave a performance of skill and composure to complete the whitewash of the English squash team. 5-0 read it and weep!!!!

Ireland 5 v Wales 0

Ireland beat Wales in a straightforward 5  -0 win to complete the full six nations victory for only the second time in Ireland Squash history.

Let just mayhem on the dance floor, a few renditions of the Irish Rover, and 6 happy Paddys on Sunday. Love it.


Neal Murphy