Lagan Valley Squash club holds successful contest

Jelmar Hania, B section Plate winner, Amanda Paul of The Brown Bean, and runner up, John Kennedy.Jelmar Hania, B section Plate winner, Amanda Paul of The Brown Bean, and runner up, John Kennedy.
Jelmar Hania, B section Plate winner, Amanda Paul of The Brown Bean, and runner up, John Kennedy.
Lagan Valley Squash Club, based at Lisburn Leisureplex, has just run another very successful open tournament, sponsored by the Brown Bean.

After the knockout stages, there were four finals to be played. Lagan Valley squash club, going one better than last year, provided five of the eight finalists. All finals were to be played using the point-a-rally scoring system.

The first match, the B section Plate, was a best-of-three between two Lagan Valley players - Jelmar Hania and John Kennedy. Jelmar’s determination, combined with a string of winning shots, helped him to take the lead at 14/7. John, faced with losing the opening game, fought back. He replied with five straight winners to share the points at 14 all. Jelmar chose to play to 15. It was the correct choice – Jelmar won the point, and took the game 15/14.

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The second game started like the first. Jelmar stormed into the lead, reaching a score of 14/7. However, John couldn’t manage to stage a fight back and it finished 15/7.

The next match was the A section Plate, another best-of-three. Ruth Coates from Lagan Valley was up against Adrian Farmer of Dungannon. Ruth won the first game 15/11. Adrian took the second with a 15/13 victory, meaning a deciding game had to be played, which saw Ruth hold her nerve to take the vital point, and to win the match 15/11, 13/15, 15/14.

With both Plate finals completed, the Main finals got underway. The first of these was the B section Main final. It was a best-of-five games. This featured Dessi Connery of Lagan Valley, and Connor Hickland from Lisburn Racquets.

Connor secured the first match to win 15/11, before winning the second 15/13.

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The third game was going to be crucial. It was a “must win” for Dessi. Again, mirroring the two previous games, Connor crept into the lead at 8/7. However, Dessi could only manage a further three points as Connor continued to score heavily, closing out the match with a winning margin of five points.

The last match, the A section Main final, was eagerly anticipated. Peter McNiece of Lagan Valley, and Martin Christian of Queens, took to the court. It was, again, a best-of-five.

Martin took the first game by 15 points to 12. When the second game started it was obvious that there was “something” missing for Peter and Martin won the game with a huge 15 point difference. In the third, Peter set about reducing the deficit, winning by 15 points to 6.

The third game was make-or-break for Peter. He played with renewed vigour, but had an uphill task. Martin looked to be in control, taking the match 15/12 to win by three games to one.

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Lagan Valley Squash Club’s committee would like to extend its thanks to all those members who gave their time to help to facilitate the event. It would also like to reiterate its thanks to The Brown Bean coffee shop, whose continuing sponsorship is greatly appreciated. Finally, the committee would like to acknowledge the tremendous amount of behind-the-scenes work that club president, tournament organiser, and tournament director, Des Connery, did to ensure the success of the event.

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