Squash: Irving's arrival

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LIZ IRVING added her name to the cluster of players attempting to succeed the New Zealander Susan Devoy as the dominant force in the women's game when she won the Leekes Classic at the Welsh National Sports Centre in Cardiff yesterday, writes Richard Eaton.

The seventh-seeded Australian beat the new world No 1, Michelle Martin, in Sunday's semi-finals and in the final overcame the world No 2, Martine Le Moignan, 17-15, 17-15, 13-15, 15-11. Le Moignan saved two game points in the first game and yet lost it, and then Irving saved two in the second game, which did more than anything to tilt the match in her direction.

Nevertheless the third game saw Le Moignan make a surge from 10-10 to pinch it after Irving conceded a penalty stroke with a mistimed forehand drive too close to her own body. In the fourth, the former world champion from Guernsey came back from 4-0 down to 8-8 and was still very much in it at 11-13.

But she tried a cross-court forehand that Irving pounced on for a volley drop winner. Le Moignan then tried a faded forehand boast on match point, which faded too much and went into the tin. In the men's final, another Australian, Chris Dittmar, was less fortunate. The world No 2 was defeated 15-13, 15-11, 15-9 by Jansher Khan.