The Irish Are Here Again!

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Round 1 Qualifying Results from the Cannon Kirk Homes Irish Open:

Heba El Torky (EGY) bye
Birgit Coufal (AUT) bt. Breanne Flynn (LOCAL) 11/3, 11/6, 11/3 (22 mins)
Adel Weir-Nunan (RSA) bye
Lisa Aitken (SCO) bt. Leonie Holt (ENG) 11/3, 11/3, 13/15, 13/11 (35 mins)
Laura Hill (ENG) bt. Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 11/4, 11/8, 11/9 (23 mins)
Tenille Swartz (RSA) bye
Lauren Siddall (ENG) bt. Zephanie Curgenven (ENG) 11/6, 11/8, 9/11, 11/3 (30 mins)
Gaby Schmohl (SUI) bye

Here we are again at the Fitzwilliam Club in Dublin, back to the normal time of the year. We start today with the first round of qualifiers in both men’s and women’s draws, 4 games in each today, then four games in each tomorrow, with four in each going through to the maindraw starting on Wednesday.

Birgit Coufal (AUT) bt. Breanne Flynn (LOCAL) 11/3, 11/6, 11/3 (22 mins)
First match on the women’s court matched up Birgit Coufal from Austria, world ranked 71, against a young 15 year old from nearby club Sutton, Breanne Flynn. Birgit showed her experience right from the start, leading 4/1 then 8/2 in the first game then taking the game 11/3. Breanne got more into the game in the second, scoring the odd point now and then, but Birgit won the game 11/6. Birgit then took the third fairly comfortably 11/3 and the match 3 – 0, but young Breanne said afterwards that she enjoyed the match and was good experience for her for the future.

Lisa Aitken (SCO) bt. Leonie Holt (ENG) 11/3, 11/3, 13/15, 13/11 (35 mins)
Second match up turned into an absolute cracker. Leonie Holt (ENG) WR 63, came up against 21 year old Scots lass Lisa Aitken, WR 120. Lisa set off like an express train to her home town of Edinburgh, taking the first two games 11/3 and 11/3, the only points of note for Leonie was saving two game points in the first and two game points in the second, one of which was a tin from Lisa, but then Leonie tinned herself to give Lisa the second game. In the third game Leonie started to pull back into the match a little and battled every point. With both girls playing great squash, Lisa led 2/0, went to 2/2, slowly but steadily Leonie eased in front 6/4. Lisa took the next three to lead 7/6, Leonie took back the lead 8/7, Lisa levelled, 8/8, then 9/9, Leonie claimed the first game ball at 10/9, but this game was destined to go into extra points. Lisa levelled at 10/10, then had match ball at 11/10, Leonie came back to get game ball at 12/11, Lisa again got match ball at 13/12, but Leonie finished the stronger to take the game 15/13. What a sizzler!

In the fourth Leonie was coming strongly back into the match and took an early 4/2 lead, then eased that lead out to 7/5. Lisa, not to be outplayed, stormed back to take a 9/7 lead. Incredibly Leonie got to game ball at 10/9, Lisa got match ball at 11/10, Leonie saved one but Lisa finished up strongly to take the game 13/11, and the match 3 games to 1. Both players had a fantastic game, but what a fabulous win for Lisa. She then had to come into the office to change her flight home, booked for tomorrow!

Laura Hill (ENG) bt. Sarah–Jane Perry (ENG) 11/4, 11/8, 11/9 (23 mins)
The next two women’s matches were both all-England matches, the first between the fulltime firefighter from Duffield, Laura Hill, and yesterday’s runner up in the U23 Championship Sarah-Jane Perry. Laura showed her vast experience to take the first fairly comfortably 11/4, but then in the second Sarah-Jane was battling for every point, going from 3/0 down to 4/3 up, Laura eased back in to lead 9/6, Sarah-Jane took two vital points but then tinned the next two rallies to give Laura the game 11/8. The third game was again another battle, both players fighting hard for every point, the score staying fairly even up to 9/9, but then Laura finished off well to take the game 11/9, and the match 3 – 0.

Lauren Siddall (ENG) bt. Zephanie Curgenven (ENG) 11/6, 11/8, 9/11, 11/3 (30 mins)
The last match on the women’s court was another all-England match, albeit one of the girls, Lauren Siddall is currently ‘in exile’ but doing a great job in South Africa, whilst the other one Zephanie Curgenven is from Guernsey. The much more experienced Lauren managed to take the first game 11/6, despite a valiant attempt from Zephanie, then Zephanie made Lauren work even harder in the second, but Lauren managed to take the game 11/8. In the third, Zephanie took an early 3/0 lead, then a 6/2 lead, Lauren pulled back to lead 7/6, Zephanie pulled ahead 9/7 but then gave away two strokes to allow Lauren to level at 9/9. However Zephanie was still not daunted and took the next two points, for the game at 11/9. Lauren then eased in front in the fourth 2/0 then 4/1, Zephanie took the next two points, but with a great stretch of 7 points on the run, Lauren took the game 11/3, and the match 3 – 1. That was the last of the women’s matches for today.

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