Rooney and Perry stay on top - and in style

THE highlight of the Irish squash season had a familiar finish at the Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club in Dublin yesterday.

Champions Madeline Perry and John Rooney defended their senior titles in style, both recording 3/1 victories in the finals. Perry defeated national team-mate Aisling Blake while Rooney overcame Irish number one Arthur Gaskin.

It was a fitting end to a dream year for Perry who won the Australian Open in August and reached a career high ranking of fifth in the world.

Irish Squash Association president John O’Connor said the deciders were a fitting end to a tremendous three days of action in the capital.

He said: “Both matches were hotly contested before huge crowds. Madeline won the first set 11-8 and the second 11-9. Aisling then came back in the third to win 11-6. But in the next set Madeline showed why she is number five in the world and came out a worthy winner, 11-6.

“The men’s final was a repeat of last year’s final. Arthur won the first set, which lasted 31 minutes, 11-9. But then John came back to win the next three 11-4, 11-7 and 11-3 to take the senior title.”

This year’s finals had added significance for all involved according to O’Connor

He explained: “This is our 75th anniversary. We had Willie Hosey who is a ten time national champion competing while we also had another legend in Derek Ryan back as well.

“Despite the weather we had great crowds over the last three days. We will hope that in 2011 we will have new ideas to get Irish squash back up to where it belongs in Europe.”

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