Franklin frustrated with Plate final defeat
Micah Franklin was deeply frustrated after suffering a straight-sets defeat in the Classic Plate squash final yesterday.
Franklin, who advanced to the final after successive walkover victories, seemed agitated throughout his 11-8, 11-9, 11-8 loss to Scotland’s Kevin Moran at the Oxenford Studios.
He even picked up a conduct warning after throwing his racket to the floor in exasperation after losing a closely fought second set.
That summed up Franklin’s night, with the 25-year-old admitting that very little went right for him against the solid Scotsman.
“I just felt like today wasn’t my day,” Franklin said. “Everything that I normally do well I just couldn’t get into any rhythm.
“I didn’t like the rhythm I got into and couldn’t get my length right. He was countering me superbly and he played much better than I did. I have to give him some credit.”
Franklin started the match slowly and never fully recovered, although he did show a flicker of life in second set before losing his momentum after a questionable refereeing call.
“The second game was make or break; if I’d won the second game I think it would have been a different match,” said Franklin, who was competing at his second Commonwealth Games.
“Mentally I was really frustrated by losing that game, especially the way I did. It could have changed the outcome.”
Patrick Foster, the Bermuda coach, admitted that Moran, ranked 393rd the world, had all of the answers to Franklin’s questions.
“[Moran] was a big, strong player who seemed to be very comfortable when he was under pressure,” Foster said.
“Micah applied a lot of pressure without actually finishing the rallies. I was pleased with Micah’s pressure, the movement and the fitness — it was all there — but possibly the mental side of it, he looked like he had a bit of inner turmoil.
“You could see it on his face and the gravity of playing at the Commonwealth Games is a learning process. He will be down on that performance, as any pro would be, but he didn’t play badly — the other guy played well.”
Foster echoed Franklin’s sentiments about the crucial second set.
“At the end of the second set he had a little lead and was 8-6 up, and had found a bit of rhythm,” Foster said.
“The Scot looked like he was starting to feel the pressure a bit more and then there was a strange call that didn’t go our way and that made a big difference.
“It was then 8-7, 8-8, the guy hits a couple of good shots and suddenly it’s that much further away from you. Micah will be kicking himself for not handling that moment differently.”
As for Franklin’s conduct warning, Foster added: “It definitely reflected the mood of the match for him. I think frustrating is the word.”
Foster had backed Franklin to return stronger from his Gold Coast experience.
“One of the great things about Micah is that he is such a positive person,” he said. “We’ve talked about being in the atmosphere [at the Commonwealth Games] and being with these players, and what will be next for him.
“I know he really feels there is more for him in terms of his professional game. He’s building experiences and there are bigger things for him, bigger matches, of that I’m sure.
“He’s still young and still inexperienced, really. There are signs in these matches when he shows he can hold his own at the top of the game. That’s really cool coming from a tiny island.”
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