MAGHERAFELT failed in their Ulster Squash Ulster Cup quarter-final away at Belfast Boat Club last week and will now face Ballyearl in the plate competition.
Ray Hogg opened up for Magherafelt for Magherafelt at No. 4 against David Rosenberg. Ray gave 100% but did not manage to play with just as much composure as he is capable of. He went 2/0 down and although he fought back to take the third and keep the match alive he was unable to sustain the pressure on his opponent. He lost a hard fought for fourth to go down 3/1; 8/11, 9/11, 11/6, 7/11.
In the No. 3 rubber Nick Hastings put in a very fine performance against John Dullaghan taking his match the distance before capitulating in the decider after damaging a calf muscle. Nick started well and took tough 2nd and 3rd games to go 2/1 up. Unfortunately for the Magherafelt man he just didn’t have the legs to finish John off. John took the 4th game and snatched victory in the decider, with Nick now struggling physically – winning 3/2; 11/3, 9/11, 15/17, 11/4, 11/2.
In the No.2 rubber Gareth Brown also went 2/1 up, putting in a very competitive performance against Alan Megaw before being reeled back in. Gareth was forced to work very hard right from the offset by his “super fit” opponent and he was unlucky to be just edged out in the deciding game which went right to the wire. Alan won 3/2; 12/14, 11/9, 10/12, 11/6, 11/9, to seal overall victory for the Boat Club.
In the remaining now dead rubber Jeremy Hasting put in a gutsy performance going down to Connor O’Hare 11/7, 11/8, 11/9. Magherafelt will now be challenged to get a “fit” team ready to travel (following a busy Christmas!) to Ballyearl in the Ulster Cup Plate competition.