SQUASH CHAMP: Ryan Cuskelly, originally from Evans Head.
SQUASH CHAMP: Ryan Cuskelly, originally from Evans Head. Contributed

Northern Rivers squash player smashes it at World Series

EVANS Head's favourite squash player, and Australian No 2, Ryan Cuskelly, has produced one of the greatest performances of his career to date.

Mr Cuskelly came exceedingly close to defeating three-time World Champion and 2013 Allam British Open winner Ramy Ashour in the second round of the 2016 instalment of the prestigious World Series tournament in Hull.

Mr Ashour, who won this event in 2013, had gone two games up only to see his lead shattered by a resurgent Mr Cuskelly, who refocused after an injury forced him off court for a short period during the third, before going 9-3 up in the deciding fifth game.

In a remarkable display of tenacity and skill, Mr Ashour battled back and overturned a match ball for Cuskelly at 11-10 to bring an end to a dramatic encounter with a 11-5, 11-9, 6-11, 9-11, 13-11 victory.

"We train together sometimes, so I know how hard it is to beat him, even when he is not at 100 per cent," Mr Cuskelly said..

"In the first two games, he played at a ridiculous pace, it took me a while to get use to the pace coming from the other court.

"And in the next three, I got used to the pace, and I tried to get him behind me for a change because he is so dangerous and too good when he is in front of you.

"So in the third, my length picked up, and I dominated him for once.

"He did a lot of unforced errors in the fifth, so I knew he was bound to come back, that's what he does and he is probably the worst player to be down to.

"At 9-3, maybe I looked at the finishing line as well.

"I had a few opportunities I didn't capitalise on, I was hoping to squeeze a few more errors as well but I'm pretty gutted to be honest."



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