Irish Open Day 5: Semi finals

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Cannon Kirk Homes Irish Open

30 August up to 4 September 2010

Pictures on www.facebook.com/squashstars

Day 5, Women’s Semi finals:

[1] Madeline Perry (IRL) vs. [4] Laura Massaro (ENG)
8/11, 11/9, 13/11, 11/9 (66m)
[5] Vanessa Atkinson (NED) vs. [7] Aisling Blake (IRL)
11/8, 11/6, 12/10 (37m)

The obvious hope for the tournament and the club tonight was that both the Irish girls could get through to the final, but two other players were there to try and ensure that did not happen.

Perry vs. Massaro

First up was No 1 seed, WR 6, favourite Irish player Madeline Perry, fresh from a fantastic victory in the Australian Open, playing No 4 seed WR 8 Laura Massaro from England, just coming back from a short lay off with an ankle injury, and the figures showed that this was going to be a very close match.

In the first, from 1/1, Madeline raced away to 6/1, Laura then went on a burst of her own to lead 7/6, only a tin from herself stopping that run, then despite Madeline levelling at 8/8 Laura seemed the stronger to take the game 11/8. Madeline eased into a 5/1 lead in the second then with Laura scoring points in pairs and Madeline singles, she just managed to hold out to win the game 11/9.

In the next it was Laura who went into an early lead 5/2, Madeline pulled back to 6/5, Laura then came in strong to lead 10/7, Madeline saved 3 game balls to level at 10/10, Laura had a fourth match point at 11/10, but then Madeline levelled and went on to win the game 13/11. This time Madeline took an early lead 5/1 and despite a great fight back by Laura to stay in the game Madeline led 10/6 match ball. Laura saved 3 but could do no more as Madeline took the next point to win the game 11/9 and the match 3 – 1, to the satisfaction of the large crowd who showed their appreciation for a good win for the Irish girl.

The crowd was now hoping for a second Irish victory, with local player and No 7 seed Aisling Blake playing No 5 seed and former No 1 ranked player Vanessa Atkinson. Slowly Aisling moved ahead to lead 7/5, with both ladies playing excellent squash, but Vanessa finished much the stronger and won the game 11/8.

This time Vanessa pulled out a 5/0 lead, Aisling fought back bravely to 6/8, but could not stop Vanessa taking the game 11/6. The third game went backwards and forwards, with Aisling taking the first 3 points, Vanessa taking 2, Aisling taking another 2, Vanessa 3 and Aisling 2 to leave Aisling in the lead at 8/5, but Vanessa then took 5 points straight to lead 10/6 match ball, Aisling held on to level at 10/10, but Vanessa showed her strength to finish it off at 12/10 and take the match 3 – 2. Another great game of squash with the crowd completely in favour of local girl Aisling, but Vanessa showing some of the old sparkle she had when she was No 1 in the World.

So now we are set for a great final between Madeline Perry and Vanessa Atkinson at 2.00 pm.

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