Dowl­ing goes out in NT Open semi-fi­nal

Sunday Territorian - - SPORT - MARC McGOWAN

TER­RI­TORY squash star Rhys Dowl­ing won his all-lo­cal quar­ter-fi­nal over Joseph White, but his NT Open ti­tle bid ended in last night’s semi­fi­nals.

Third-seeded Dowl­ing, 21, fell a game be­hind im­pres­sive 18-year-old White yes­ter­day morn­ing be­fore ral­ly­ing for a 9-11, 11-6, 11-1, 11-4 tri­umph.

That win de­liv­ered him a maiden fi­nal-four berth at his home­town event, but top seed Zac Alexan­der — ranked 56 places higher at No. 107 — proved too tough in an 11-6, 11-4, 11-5 loss.

Alexan­der will face sec­ond seed Adam Mur­rills in to­day’s fi­nal at 1pm. The English­man beat Malaysian sixth seed Mithran Sel­varat­nam 11-9, 11-6, 11-2 in his semi-fi­nal.

The women’s de­cider pits Syd­ney-based Ir­ish­woman Made­line Perry, a for­mer world No. 3, against sixth seed Lisa Camil­leri at noon.

Perry dis­patched fourth­seeded La­kee­sha Rarere 11-5, 11-7, 11-7, while Camil­leri downed Sa­man­tha Foyle 9-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 11-5.

Dowl­ing con­ceded af­ter his vic­tory over White that he “un­der­es­ti­mated” his teenage ri­val and would have to per­form at a higher level to beat Alexan­der.

“He’s a solid player and I think he took me by sur­prise. I didn’t do my full warm-up, be­cause I thought it’d be a pretty cruisy match,” Dowl­ing told the NT News.

“I should just do my nor­mal warm-up all the time and not un­der­es­ti­mate peo­ple. He came out fir­ing and played the best I’ve seen him play in a long time, so I take my hat off to him.

“I re­ally switched on af­ter the first game and warmed up and got that er­ror rate down.”

Dowl­ing and White were in the NT Squash Academy un­der head coach Clive Nay­lor and are now in the Bris­banebased Win­ning Edge high-per­for­mance pro­gram.

White is set to rep­re­sent the ju­nior Aus­tralian team in Poland this year, an hon­our Dowl­ing pre­vi­ously achieved.

“He’s got a few things to work on in his game, but it just comes with age, re­ally,” Dowl­ing said of White.

“He def­i­nitely has the po­ten­tial (to be a good player). He’s young and fit and if he keeps his men­tal­ity right then he’s got a long way to go ahead of him.”

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