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21/12/2008
IRISH NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
 

Kenny and Perry Take Titles in Dublin

Final Results Semi-Final Results Quarter-Final Results 1st Round Results


Kenny and Perry Take Titles in Dublin

 

Liam Kenny and Madeline Perry both successfully retained their national titles in todays finals at the ILTB Irish Senior National Squash Championships in Fitzwilliam LTC today. Kenny again had to come from behind as he defeated the number two seed John Rooney by three games to one. The first game was a very cagey affair with neither player looking willing to take any chances. Rooney managed to maintain a marginal advantage throughout and took the game 11/9. Rooney then stormed into a 5/3 lead in the second and the match seemed to be swinging in his favour. However a few well played rallies from Kenny coupled with some unforced errors from Rooney saw Kenny take the next five points in a row to take an 8/5 lead. This was a gap that Rooney could not close and Kenny levelled the match at one game all.

 

The third game proved to be the decisive one as Rooney appeared to tire considerably opening up the court for Kenny, which the defending champion took full advantage of. Kenny proceeded to dominate the remaining two games as he clinched the match and with it his fifth national title. In the third place play off Carlow man Arthur Gaskin continued his recent good form as he beat veteran Derek Ryan by three games to one. The form of Gaskin this weekend has been one of the highlights of the event and he will look to come back next year and go even further than his semi-final place this year.

 

In the Ladies Event Madeline Perry put on a flawless display as she beat Sligo's Aisling Blake by three sets to nil and secured her tenth national title. Perry has dominated the women's game in Ireland in recent years and her achievement of winning ten titles is one which must be applauded. The World number nine, Perry, proved too good for Blake, and managed to finish the match within half an hour. Perry took the first game with relative ease, but Blake started the second extremely well and managed to work herself into a 3/0 lead. However Perry moved up through the gears with ease taking the second set 11/6 and winning the third by the same scoreline.

 

In the third place play off Zoe Barr continued to upset the seedings as she beat Tanya Owens the third seed by three games to one. Barr will be delighted with her performance this weekend as she adds the scalp of Owens to that of Kerri Lancaster who she defeated in the Quarter Finals.

 

Final Results 

Men's A:

 

Final: (1) Liam Kenny 3/1 (2) John Rooney (9/11, 11/8, 11/6, 11/6)

 

3rd Place Play-Off: (4) Arthur Gaskin 3/1 (3) Derek Ryan (11/5, 11/8, 5/11, 11/5)

 

Ladies A:

 

Final: (1) Madeline Perry 3/0 (2) Aisling Blake (11/4, 11/6, 11/6)

 

3rd Place Play-Off: (5) Zoe Barr 3/1 (3) Tanya Owens (7/11, 11/5, 11/4, 11/7)
 

Kenny and Perry Remain on Course to Retain ILTB Titles

 

The top two seeds in both the men's and ladies events have successfully navigated their way to tomorrows finals in the ILTB Irish Senior National Squash Championships in Fitzwilliam LTC.

 

In the Men's Event Liam Kenny had to come from behind to defeat Carlow's Arthur Gaskin. Gaskin has been in devastating form of late and got off to a flying start as he clinched the first set 11/8. In the second Gaskin again set the pace and had the lead at both 5/3 and 7/5, however Kenny kept in touch and took advantage when Gaskin started making unforced errors towards the end of the second game. Kenny earned two game balls at 10/8 the first of which Gaskin saved however a harsh "no let" call against Gaskin saw the game go to Kenny. From that point on Kenny took control, as Gaskin tired and seemed to lose concentration, and closed out the remaining two games 11/6, 11/8. While Gaskin will be disappointed not to have reached his first Senior National Final he will take a great deal of heart from the perfomance he put on and will no doubt return next year hoping to go one step further.

 

In the second semi-final John Rooney overcame the challenge of Irish Squash stalwart Derek Ryan in straight games. 38 year old Ryan, who had a gruelling five-setter with Stevie Richardson in this afternoon's quarter-finals was up against the odds from the start against Rooney who was in peak condition. Rooney was however made to work for his victory as Ryan pushed him hard in each of the games and could easily have won the first or third.

 

Tomorrow's final sees a repeat of last years showpiece with Kenny and Rooney facing off. While Australian-born Kenny remains the firm favourite, Rooney will take confidence from the way Gaskin went about his task this evening and will look to ensure a new name appears on the ILTB Irish Senior Squash Championships trophy tomorrow evening.

 

In the ladies event Madeline Perry eased by the challenge of Zoe Barr in straight sets. Perry has been in scintillating form this weekend and will face tomorrow's final with her confidence sky-high. Barr appeared a little tired after her exertions in the afternoon where she ousted fourth seed Kerri Lancaster and will be happy with her weekend's display as she picks up priceless ranking points.

 

Sligo's Aisling Blake booked her place in the final with an accomplished display as she defeated Ulster's Tanya Owens in straight sets. Blake's strength and shot selection proved too much for Owens who faces a 3rd/4th place play off in the morning with Zoe Barr. Blake faces Perry yet again in the final of the ILTB Irish Senior National Championships and on the evidence provided this weekend, both women look likely to continue their dominance of the domestic squash circuit in Ireland for the next couple of years at least.

 

Semi-Finals

Men's A Section

(1) Liam Kenny 3/1 (4) Arthur Gaskin (8/11, 11/9, 11/6, 11/8)

(2) John Rooney 3/0 (3) Derek Ryan (11/9, 11/7, 11/9)

 

Ladies A Section

(1) Madeline Perry 3/0 (5) Zoe Barr (11/1, 11/1, 11/5)

(2) Aisling Blake 3/0 (3) Tanya Owens (11/2, 11/4, 11/7)


Ryan Wins Five-Set Thriller to Book Semi-Final Place

 

When Derek Ryan was drawn to meet Stevie Richardson in the Quarter-Finals of the ILTB Irish Senior National Championships in Fitzwilliam everyone expected a titanic battle and that is exactly what the crowd in Fitzwilliam LTC were treated to today as Ryan came from two games down to take the deciding game on a tie breaker after a stunning 82 minutes of play. Ryan, who at two sets down and looking fatigued was staring at the thought of not making the last four at the Nationals for the first time since the 1980's, had to draw on all his experience and racket skills to fight back against Richardson. Having levelled the game at two games all Ryan had to come from behind right the way through the deciding game. Richardson stormed into a 5/2 lead in the fifth but Ryan then pegged the scores back to 5/5. Richardson managed to push forward again and earned to match balls at 10/8. The last four points of the match were long tight rallies and Richardson will be unhappy that one or two decisions did not go his way. Ryan will now look to dust himself down and prepare to face John Rooney in this evening's semi-finals.

 

Rooney came through his Quarter-Final against fellow Connacht man Keith Moran with relative ease. Rooney is in excellent physical condition and has not had to get out of second gear so far this weekend. Ryan will provide a much sterner test this evening however it remains to be seen how much of an effect his battle this afternoon with Richardson will have.

 

In the other Semi-Final top seed Liam Kenny will face Arthur Gaskin. Kenny eased into the semi's with a straight sets victory over Fitzwilliam's Nigel Peyton. Kenny who has four Irish Titles to his name already is still the man to beat and should come across a tougher test this evening in young Carlow man Gaskin. Gaskin is in a rich vein of form and was ruthless as he despatched Niall Rooney in straight games. Gaskin is fitter and stronger than ever before and this is starting to show in both his world ranking (now at a career high 94) and his recent results.

 

In the ladies event Zoe Barr upset fourth seed Kerri Lancaster to book a place against tournament favourite Madeline Perry. Barr who lost the first game 14/16 managed to dominate her opponent in the remaining three games and gains valuable ranking points which could see her push for a place on the Women's Senior Team. Perry eased by Westwood's Jenny Dillon conceding just a handful of points. Perry has not been troubled so far this weekend and should have too much in her arsenal to be troubled by Barr this evening.

 

Aisling Blake is set to face Tanya Owens in the other semi-final. Both ladies had straight set victories over their respective opponents and will be in good condition for tonight's match. Sligo's Blake has reached a career-high position of number 31 in the world and will be looking to further cement her place as Ladies No. 2 by overcoming Owens this evening. She will then face her toughest task of all when she faces Perry in tomorrow's Final.

 

Quarter-Finals
Men's A Section

(1) Liam Kenny 3/0 Nigel Peyton (11/3, 11/4, 11/7)

(2) John Rooney 3/0 (7) Keith Moran (11/7, 11/6, 11/9)

(3) Derek Ryan 3/2 (6) Stevie Richardson (9/11, 10/12, 11/3, 11/5,12/10)

(4) Arthur Gaskin 3/0 (5) Niall Rooney (11/2, 11/3, 11/5)

 

Ladies A Section

(1) Madeline Perry 3/0 (8) Jenny Dillon (11/2, 11/4, 11/5)

(2) Aisling Blake 3/0 Julie McMurray (11/7, 11/5, 11/4)

(3) Tanya Owens 3/0 (6) Claire O'Brien (11/3, 11/2, 11/2)

(5) Zoe Barr 3/1 (4) Kerri Lancaster (14/16, 11/3, 11/7, 11/5)

Top Seeds In Cruise Control In Dublin

 

There were no major upsets this evening at the ILTB Irish Senior Squash National Championships in Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club with all the top players easing into tomorrow mornings quarter-finals.

 

In the Men's Event it looks as the only upset came in the shape of Fitzwilliam's Nigel Peyton who overcame number eight seed Kevin Knox in straight sets. Defending Champion Liam Kenny beat Carlow's Sam Olwill with the minimum of fuss and looks the red-hot favourite to retain his crown. He should however face a tough test in the Semi-Final as he is seeded to meet another Carlow man, Arthur Gaskin. Gaskin despatched Sutton's Ronan Peyton this evening and looks to be a man high on confidence having recently broken into the World's Top 100. All the hard work that Gaskin has been putting in since turning professional four years ago appears to be paying off. Physically he is in top condition and is starting to put together results on the world tour. He will surely be hoping to push Kenny all the way in the Semi-Final.

 

Eight-time champion Derek Ryan seemed to be fully over the recent injury he suffered at the Ulster Senior Open as he saw off the challenge of Fitzwilliam club-mate Dermot McNamara in straight sets. Ryan moved McNamara around all four corners of the court and will look forward to a tough quarter final with Ulster's Stevie Richardson. Galway brothers John and Niall Rooney also secured safe passages to tomorrow's Quarter-Finals as they over came up and coming talent from Ulster in the shape of Conor O'Hare and Neil Martin.

 

In the Ladies Event, the only upset to the seedlings' saw Jenny Dillon clinically despatch eigth seed Jody Hannon in straight sets. Madeline Perry, who has recently returned to the top ten in the World Rankings will look to add another ILTB National Championship to her tally this weekend and it will take a huge performance to stop the in-form Banbridge Woman who saw off Junior player Rachel Black (11/2, 11/1, 11/5). Aisling Blake is the most likely candidate to stand in Perry's way. Blake who is currently ranked 31 in the world has improved a lot over the last 12 months and will be looking to push Perry further than she did last year. Other players to watch out for in the Women's Event are Tanya Owens, fresh from her Senior Debut for the Women's Team in Cairo at the beginning of the month, and London based Kerri Lancaster currently ranked 110 in the world.

 

First Round
(1) Liam Kenny 3/0 Sam Olwill (11/2, 11/1, 11/5)

(2) John Rooney 3/0 Conor O'Hare (11/2, 12/10, 11/4)

(3) Derek Ryan 3/0 Dermot McNamara (11/3, 11/7, 11/4)

(4) Arthur Gaskin 3/0 Ronan Peyton (11/4, 11/1, 11/5)

(5) Niall Rooney 3/0 Neil Martin (11/5, 11/7, 11/4)

(6) Stevie Richardson 3/0 Paul Linehan (11/6, 11/4, 11/6)

(7) Keith Moran w/o Nick Staunton

Nigel Peyton 3/0 (8) Kevin Knox (11/5, 11/6, 11/8)

 

(1) Madeline Perry 3/0 Rachel Black (11/2, 11/3, 11/3)

(2) Aisling Blake 3/0 Sarah Murphy (11/2, 11/3, 11/3)

(3) Tanya Owens 3/0 Gabriella McMillan (11/1, 11/1, 11/3)

(4) Kerri Lancaster 3/0 Cathryn Abernethy (11/2, 11/3, 11/3)

(5) Zoe Barr 3/0 Jennifer Hegarty (11/5, 11/4, 11/6)

(6) Claire O'Brien 3/0 Sheryl Abernethy (11/8, 11/5, 11/7)

(7) Julie McMurray 3/0 Katie Wilson (11/4, 11/7, 11/2)

Jenny Dillon 3/0 (8) Jody Hannon (11/1, 11/2, 11/2)