Under the watchful of his coach for the day Declan O’Brien, Colm Murphy continued his good form of late by finishing 4th in the boys u18 Ulster Junior Open in Belfast this weekend. The Valley leisure centre has been good to Colm over the last couple of years. Colm finished 6th in the same event last year.
It was a day of shocks and surprises as the seeds dropped one by one. Colm easily came through his opening group not dropping a set to move to round two. He needed to win the second round group to avoid a though draw in the last 16. He did this by beating Sam Hardiman and the number 8 seed Eric Shekelton in straight sets. This set up a last 16 tie with the fast improving James Joyce. Colm won this 3-1 and was through to the last 16.
The last 16 threw up a couple of shocks with the number 1 seed Zak Wilson going out to Geoffrey O’Connor of UCD and Alan Walsh losing to the on form Ryan McConkey.
Colm was now drawn against Geoffrey in the qtr finals. It took Colm some time to get into the match and he lost the first set. Some choice words from Declan got Colm going him going in the second and a strange time out called by Geoffreys coach at 9-10 in the second worked well for Colm. He won the second set and third sets. The 4th set started off well and Colm went 4-1 up, then Declan had to call a quick time out as Colm injured his soulder when going for a forehand smash. Colm recovered and easily won the set and match.
At this Ryan McConkey took his second top 8 seed of the day, Conor Mullally of Donic 3-1. This resulted in Colm being drawn against Ryan in the semi and in the other semi the number 2 seed Ryan Farrell was drawn against Tom Davis of Donic.
Colm started off the match well taking the first set 11-9 but Ryan fought back well to next the next 3 and the match. Ryan Farell won the second semi so colm was up against Tom Davis for 3/4 place.
It was a close match with some great rallies but Tom edged all 3 sets to take 3rd spot. This was Colm’s best performance in a few years at a national event and hopefully it’s a sign of things to come for the rest of the season. He is now ranked in the top 8 which was his target for the day with the next national event been the Munster Open in early 2014.
Colm’s good friend and Irish Senior International Ryan Farrell confortably won the final 3-0.