The all-UNSQUASHABLE ROA final was a fitting end to a great week of squash.
Charlie Lee, the No.8 seed, reached the final of the Professional Squash Association (PSA) M10 World Tour event having played some unbelievable squash but expended a lot of energy with some gruelling matches whereas Parker the championship’s top seed had a relatively straightforward route to the final having not dropped a game en-route to the final.
The first game started with some obvious and understandable tension with a few errors and strokes in the first few points. It soon settled though with both players finding their rhythm and range with some ferocious hitting to the back of the court.
At 6-all, a controversial no let decision frustrated Parker whose response was to fly a cross court service return in to the nick leaving Lee no chance to pick up the rolling ball.
Lee was dogged and determined and found leading 9-7 up before Parker dug-in to level things up at 9 all. A great length followed by a no let decision handed Parker the first game.
With some stern words by match referee Joe Ruddy, the second game got under way with both players showing great touch and finesse with some super volley drops. Parker looked fairly comfortable on the ‘T’ but Lee was always in touching distance until the mid-section of the second when Parker started to pull away eventually taking it 10-5 to go 2-0 up.
Parker started the third positively with an excellent rally using all four corners of the court. Lee demonstrated the sort of athleticism he’d been showing all week and hunted the ball with pure determination. Having lost the first point and after such a gruelling rally, Lee looked a little weary.
His response was phenomenal though winning seven points in a row giving him a commanding lead. Parker tried to respond but the game was too far gone and Lee won the third 11-3. Things were getting interesting…
Lee started the fourth game looking confident and leading 2-0. A couple of long rallies really tested Lee’s resolve and Parker started to nudge ahead. Lee kept Parker within his sights but at the business end of the fourth, Parker put in a punishing boast to move 2 points clear then 2 strokes later Parker found himself with 2 match points.
Parker only needed the one game ball however and so after 50 minutes of excellent squash was crowned the 2018 West of Ireland Champion.
2018 West of Ireland Championships:
George Parker (ENG) bt Charlie Lee (ENG) 11-9 11-5 3-11 11-8
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