Keith helps Ireland 'squash' England
Published 06/05/2014 | 05:40
"The best moment of my careeer by a long way", the comment of Sligo squash player, Keith Moran, (pictured) captures the dramatic role he played in Ireland's historic victory over England in the recent Home Internationals in Cardiff.
The 36-year-old Sligoman clinched Ireland's sensational victory with a 3-0 win over English star, Jamie Goodrich, in the last match of a gripping final.
The decider was tied at two games each as Keith squared up to the highly-rated English player in an all-or-nothing showdown.
"It was a real pressure situation," explained Keith. "He beat me 3-1 in last year's Home Internationals but I knew I had a chance of turning things around on this occasion. I knew Ireland would take the Championship if I won so I was determined not to let anybody down."
The Sligoman recovered from a 10-7 deficit to win the first game 12-10 and followed up with another impressive victory in the second.
But he still needed to win the third game to clinch the prestigious crown for Ireland.
And how he responded to the challenge, holding his nerve at 9-9 to chisel out a Championship-winning 11-9 victory.
"It was an absolutely brilliant feeling," he beamed.
"I've been playing squash for 26 years.
"I've had a lot of highs and a lot of lows but this topped everything.
"All the blood, sweat and tears and training alone so often at Sligo Tennis Club was worth it all."
It was Ireland's first ever Home Internationals title and the fact that they beat red-hot favourites England in the final made it even more special.
"England beat us 5-0 last year so that gives an indication of how much we had to turn things around," explained the Sligo player. "We were very much the underdogs but we always believed we could do it. From a personal point of view, it was very special to be the player who clinched the title but all the guys were brilliant."
Keith will not take a well-earned short break at the end of the season before getting involved in promoting and coaching squash at Sligo Tennis Club.