Irish Open Day 2: Qualifying Round 2 Reports

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Cannon Kirk Homes Irish Open
30 August up to 4 September 2010

Pictures on www.facebook.com/squashstars

BY Arthur Curran

Day 1, Women’s Qualifiers:

Sina Wall (GER) beat Maud Duplomb (FRA)
7/11, 12/10, 11/5, 11/6 (49 mins) Plays Madeline Perry.

Leonie Holt (ENG) beat Laura Pomportes (FRA)
11/9, 11/2, 11/7 (27 mins) Plays Aisling Blake.

Laura Hill (ENG) beat Samantha Cornett (CAN)
11/8, 11/9, 11/7 (28mins) Plays Sarah Kippax.

Victoria Lust (ENG) beat Lotte Eriksen (NOR)
11/4, 11/4, 11/5 (29 mins) Plays Alanna Miller.

Maud Duplomb (FRA) and Sina Wall (GER)

First ladies match was Maud Duplomb of France (world ranking 67) against Sina Wall of Germany (WR 85). The first game found both ladies playing very long and strong, and were very level up to 7/7, but then Maud played a few short shots and won the game 11/7 with three very good drop shots. The second game was very even again playing long up to 9/9, Maud took the first game ball at 10/9 but Sina then produced some lovely shots to take the game 12/10. Sina then stormed into a 9/3 lead in the third with Maud seeming to tire, and despite Maud taking another 3 points Sina won the game 11/5. Again in the fourth Maud seemed to be tiring and Sina took the game 11/6 and the match 3 – 1 in 49 minutes.

Laura Pomportes (FRA) and Leonie Holt (ENG)

Next up for the ladies were Laura Pomportes of France (WR 75) and Leonie Holt of England (WR 97). The first game up was a very even battle with both players taking point for point, but at 9/9 Leonie served out for the game at 11/9. Leonie proved much stronger and better in the second winning quite comfortably 11/2. The third was again very even up to 6/5 for Laura, but then Leonie again took charge taking six of the next  seven points to take the game 11/7 and the match 3 – 0. A great win for Leonie against a player more than 20 places above her in the rankings, and her coach, PSA player Chris Ryder, who arrived here just in time to watch his charge, said afterwards “That was the best game I have ever seen her play”. And Leonie followed up with “ That was my best win ever”. Well done to her. That win now gives her a first round match against local player and local favourite Aisling Blake.

Samantha Cornett (CAN) and Laura Hill (ENG)

Up next was Samantha Cornett of Canada (WR 89) and Laura Hill of England (WR 117) and despite the ranking difference it was felt that Laura, the full time firefighter from Derbyshire in England,  would be too strong for the young Canadian. And so it proved, although Samantha gave a really good showing for such a youngster, but lost out to the much more experienced Laura 11/8, 11/9, 11/7.

Last up for the ladies was Victoria Lust of England (WR 61) against Lotte Eriksen of Norway (WR 106), with a difference of 45 places in the rankings surely Victoria would prove much too strong for Lotte, and so it proved, with Victoria winning fairly comfortably 11/4, 11/4, 11/5 in 29 minutes. She now plays Alanna Miller in the main draw.

Some really good matches today, with the English ladies coming out on top with three players out of the four going through to the first round main draw.

Arthur Curran lives in Manchester, England and is an avid squash fan, traveling to places like Belfast, Madrid, Monte Carlo, New York, Connecticut, Dublin and Kuala Lumpur to watch major tournaments, as well as extensively in the UK, and have on several occasions reported tournaments for squashsite.co.uk. Although too old and too ill to be able to play the game he is fascinated by the athleticism and skill involved in the game and with the friendliness shown by all the players.

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