Ennis CBS Squash Club hosted the Munster Masters Squash Open for the O-35 & O-40 age categories last weekend. As always, there was an extremely high standard on show for the large attendance of members.

There was added spice this year with no fewer than four local CBS players among the entries. Oisin Casey & Colm Forde faced off in the O-35 ‘B’ section with Forde surviving a third game onslaught to win through to the semi-final. There, he was up against Mark Furlong. With Furlong a regular for Waterford Celtic’s team in Division 1 of the Munster League, Forde had a tough assignment. He made light of those odds with a fantastic first game win, with some superb consistency down the left-hand wall. Furlong responded with power and accuracy to lead 2-1 before Forde dug deep to bring it to a decider. This game was finely balanced until Furlong just edged home in an excellent encounter. Forde went on to win his final match on Saturday for a superb debut at this level.

Paddy Vaughan took on Maijec Truchan from the Gleneagles club in Killarney, in the same division on Friday night. With his opponent having played for the ‘Munster Select’ combination in the Division Two final in 2016, it was again a difficult prospect for Vaughan. The Crusheen player displayed astonishing athleticism to blunt Maijec’s attacking threat, allied to some quirky boast-winners which helped him reach the deciding fifth game. This was a game of tremendous intensity but Vaughan just missed out by the minimum margin. On Saturday, he accounted for Oisin Casey in another local ‘derby’ with both men having gained valuable experience over the weekend.

Clive Morgan won his first round match to qualify for another tilt with top seed, Johnny Hurley of Sunday’s Well. This was a well-contested match, especially in the second game, before Hurley took it in three games. Morgan went on to win his re-draw on Saturday afternoon to maintain his ranking.

In the wider scheme of things, there were some high-quality contests from visiting players Keith Moran & Ronan Peyton had a superb battle in the O-35 semi before Moran won through to face Kevin Knox of Celtic. This final was tight throughout but Moran, whose flamboyant touches wowed the crowd, was just that little bit more incisive to take the title in three games. The O-40 final pitted Johnny Hurley against Neal Murphy from The Curragh club. Murphy, playing a fast-paced style, dominated against an opponent who made some errors, by his own standards. Murphy’s tactic of soft-drops, following a prolonged rally, proved to be very successful and he maintained his intensity all the way to a brilliant 3-0 win and the title.

Once again, tournament organiser Clive Morgan did a fantastic job and the Ennis CBS members were delighted with the weekend’s fare.