AGAINST the odds, All Jamaica and Caribbean Men's Squash Champion, Chris Binnie came from behind to beat Welshman, Scott Fitzgerald 3-1 in their much-anticipated clash at the Liguanea Club on Saturday.
Buoyed by a vocal home crowd, Binnie roared back from a first set loss to defeat the visitor 7/11, 11/8, 11/6, 11/5 — giving fans of local squash a thrill.
Heading into the match, Fitzgerald was the favourite as his experience and titles put him ahead of Binnie. Both players dominated the junior ranks in their home countries, but Fitzgerald also reaped good results at junior European and World Championships.
In addition, the Welshman who is ranked number two in his country, has reached as high as 59 on the pro circuit, where Binnie is currently at 205.
However, when the two went head to head in Jamaica, the native son owned the day.
Obviously disappointed with his shaky start, Binnie got down to business early in the second set, levelling the match and then going on to seal the deal.
The victory ensures that Binnie, who has not lost a match in Jamaica for more than two years, maintains his winning streak.
"I hate to lose; I go into every match always thinking I can win it, so after I lost the first set I knew I had to get focused," he said.
"Scott is a very good player, so I did everything I had to do to stay in the match and thankfully it was enough to win," Binnie added.
Fitzgerald expressed high regard for the Jamaican's on-court skills.
"Chris has had a very good collegiate career, I've seen his results all through juniors and he's already won a PSA (Professional Squash Association) tournament so I knew it was going to be tough," Fitzgerald said.
"It was a very good match, the fans were very much into it and I'm happy to have been able to play in Jamaica and I wish Chris all the best," he added.
Binnie's focus now turns to the Caribbean Squash Championships, scheduled for Trinidad in August, where he will be defending his regional title. Afterwards he will return to the professional squash circuit.