THE Panthers Bathurst Open Squash tournament had two different stories to tell over the weekend, with a first-time men's victor and a familiar face featuring as the women's champion.
Canowindra product Rohan Toole was too strong for former winner Simon Carruthers to claim a 3-0 win the men's decider while Shannon McNamara stormed home in the final two games to take a 3-1 victory over home hope Alisha Atkinson.
Tournament organiser Dave Fuller had tipped a Toole-Carruthers men's final and that's exactly what the competition got.
However, a 3-0 sweep in the decider for either player was definitely not in the forecast, as Toole brought out his best squash when it mattered most.
Toole spent several of his teenage years playing squash in Bathurst and was thrilled to make his way back to the courts on a success campaign.
"I'd moved away for uni and hadn't had the chance to come back here. This is my first time back for about three years," he said.
"I recently put uni on hold to play squash full-time and work at a squash centre.
"Having things all-squash is the dream for me. It doesn't feel like work when I get to go to the squash courts every day."
Carruthers is a former winner of the Bathurst Open who most recently won the tournament in 2015.
Against such an opponent Toole knew he'd have to be on the ball from the outset, and he turned up ready.
"I was really nervous playing Simon because I'd looked up to him when I was a kid. He's a great player," he said.
"It was tough, and it always is against him because he goes for a lot of winners. I just had to mentally stick in there."
McNamara spent the weekend playing in the men's state division prior to her meeting with Atkinson.
And McNamara wasn't just playing - she was winning.
Had she not had to step back she would have also qualified for the men's state division final, though McNamara noted the final wasn't one way traffic.
"I had to think my way out of it and start hitting deep, looking for the back corners, and it turned around for me after that," McNamara said of the final.