Kerry Badminton News

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By Colm Griffin

Kerry Ladies and Men’s Doubles Championships

Friday night last was one of the busiest evenings on the badminton calendar in Kerry when the Killarney Sports and Leisure Centre played host to the sponsored Division 1, 3 and 5 Ladies and Men’s Doubles Championships.

With 128 players signed up to play it was always going to be a long night in Killarney but it was great to see the buzz of a busy hall to paint the health of Kerry badminton in a positive light.

In the Ladies division 5 championship Listowel duo Laura Sheehan and Susie Rice progressed to final from the top side of the draw without dropping a set.

Meanwhile on the bottom of the draw Moyvane pairing Fiona Buckley and Charlotte Quinn didn’t have things so easy. In the quarter final they overcame Danielle Noonan and Cindy Walsh of Listowel 18-21, 21-19, 21-13. Then in the semi-final the overcame Sonia Smith and Tara O Shea of Killarney 21-23, 21-18, 21-12.

The fresher pairing of Sheehan and Rice were to come through in the final and win the Eileen Roche Perpetual Cup 21-17, 21-16. Sheehan and Rice will no doubt have to step up to Division 4 next season where both of their fathers James and Tom respectively are still very much to the fore as players.

Eileen Roche (Centre) Presents the Eileen Roche Perpetual Cup for the Sponsored Kerry County Division 5 Ladies Double Championships to Susie Rice and Laura Sheehan (Listowel). On right Runners Up Fiona Buckley and Charlotte Quinn (Moyvane)

The Men’s Division 5 doubles championship for the Junior Griffin Perpetual Cup was hugely competitive this year. Ballyheigue had two pairing in the semi-final but neither was able to get past that stage. Patrick Browne and Brian Hehir were beaten by Padraig Hanrahan & Radek Choromanski of Moyvane 21-12, 23-21.

On the other side of the draw Paraic Murray and Joe Carroll of Causeway must have felt they had one foot in the final already when they took the first set against Kyle Reidy and Alan O Halloran of Ballyheigue 21-7.

However Reidy and O Halloran showed huge spirit and great determination to make a brilliant comeback.

Eventually however Murray and Carroll pulled through in three sets  21-7, 15-21, 23-21. Murray and Carroll started the final well too taking the first set but Hanrahan and Choromanski settled and eventually took a good contest in three sets 15-21, 21-16, 21-18. This was a first county title for both these players at any level.

Tom Bourke (Centre) presents the Junior Griffin Perpetual Cup for the Sponsored Kerry Division 5 County Mens Doubles Championships to the winners on left Radek Choromanski and Padraig Hanrahan (Moyvane). On right Runners-Up Paraic Murray and Joe Carroll (Causeway)

In reaching the final of the Ladies Division 3 Championship Samira Hayes (Killarney) and Michelle Beasley (Kingdom-Castleisland) had to overcome two pairs of Moyvane partners.

First they beat Francine Collins and Ciara Hudson 21-17, 21-13 before beating Bridget McCarthy and Denise Collins 21-16, 21-13.

On the other side of the draw Jeab Workman (Killarney) and Jill Redmond (Listowel) also reached the final without dropping a set overcoming Aoife Bowler (Moyvane) and Adele O Brien in the quarter final before beating Carmel Hudson and Jeanelle Griffin of Moyvane 21-13, 21-16.

Something had to give in the final but it was to be Hayes and Beasley that came out on top in two sets 21-12, 21-18. Hayes who took the singles title a few weeks back will now have an opportunity to win the treble when the mixed doubles championships takes place later in the season.

Johnny Brosnan President of Kerry Badminton Association presents the Cup to the Winners of the Ladies Division 3 Kerry County Double Championships Samira Hayes (Killarney) and Michelle Beasley (Kingdom-Castleisland)

The Men’s Division 3 championship had the biggest field of the night with with 32 players taking part.

The final saw Listowel pairing Arthur Chute and Andy McMahon take on Kingdom Castleisland duo Jamie Elliott and Timmy Hanrahan. Hanrahan and Elliott were hoping it would be a case of three time lucky as they had been beaten in the final in both 2017 and 2018. But Chute and McMahon had seamlessly reached the final without every even looking like dropping a set and they won the final comfortably too 21-17, 21-11.

From Left Winners of the sponsored Kerry County Divsion 3 Men’s Doubles Championship Andy McMahon and Arthur Chute (Listowel). Centre Tom Bourke (Kerry Badminton Association Chairman) On right Jamie Elliott and Timmy Hanrahan (Kingdom-Castleisland)

Edel Kenny (Kingdom Castleisland) had been half of a doubles partnership to win the Ladies Doubles Championship every year since 2015.

She partnered up with Sinead Galvin (Killarney) this year hoping for the 5 in a row. However they were to face stern competition from Maeve Twomey (Killarney) and Elaine Hudson (Moyvane) in which proved to be a thrilling semi-final.

Having brushed off the challenge of the Kingdom Castleisland pairing Ruth Concannon and Brid Murphy in the quarter final 21-11, 21-16 Twomey and Hudson got the better start in the final winning the first set 21-18.

The second set ebbed and flowed in both directions and featured brilliant rallies before Kenny and Galvin eventually took it 26-24. However Twomey and Hudson would not be denied although they did seem to encounter stage fright after establishing a 19-11 lead in the final set they eventually won 21-19.

Tom Bourke (Centre) Chairman of Kerry Badminton pictured with sponsored Ladies Division One Kerry County Championship Doubles Partners on right Maeve Twomey (Killarney) & Elaine Hudson (Moyvane) Also from right Runners-Up Saorcha Fitzgerald (Moyvane) & Niamh Hickey (Killarney)

The competition on the other side of the draw was just as intense as it took two three setters for Niamh Hickey (Killarney) and Saorcha Fitzgerald (Moyvane) to get to the final. First they beat Moyvane pairing Amanda Carmody and Niamh Flaherty 21-10, 18-21, 21-7 before beating Mary Falvey (Annascaul) and Jennifer Keane (Killarney) 22-24, 21-19, 21-19.

No matter what the result in the final two players were about to win their first ever Division 1 title. Twomey and Hudson settled better in the final and went on dominate as Hickey and Fitzgerald never really got into the game. It was all over in two sets as Twomey and Hudson won 21-15, 21-10.

Kingdom Castleisland pairing Tom Bourke and Eric Nelligan were going for seven Men’s Division 1 Doubles titles in a row last Friday night.

They easily brushed aside Brendan McGovern (Annascaul) and Aaron Tan (Kingdom Castleisland) 21-15, 21-8 in the quarter final an Moyvane pairing Donie Enright and Donnacha Moloney 21-9, 21-14 in the semi-final so people could have been forgiven for thinking the final might be a foregone conclusion.

However fellow Kingdom Castleisland players Alan Nelligan and Michael Crossan had other ideas. They first beat John Mulvihill and Timmy Noonan of Moyvane 21-15, 21-12 and then they beat Listowel pairing Fergal Hannon and Paddy Redmond 21-17, 21-15 for a tilt at the champions.

After a busy night in the hall it was close to midnight before this contest even gone underway but a large crowd had stayed on to witness what turned out to be a wonderful game.

Nelligan and Crossan took the first set 23-21 and it looked like a shock could be on the cards. However Bourke and the other Nelligan survived to take a close second set 21-19.

This seemed to burst the bubble of the underdogs and the third set never looked in doubt as Bourke and Nelligan won 21-12 to retain the cup for another year at least.

John Brosnan (Centre) Presents the Division 1 Kerry Men’s Double Cup to the Winners From Left Tom Bourke & Eric Nelligan. On right Alan Nelligan & Michael Crossan. All four players are from the Kingdom-Castleisland Club

Other than Hayes in Ladies Div 3 Bourke is also now quite unusually the only other player with the chance of winning a treble come the mixed championships for these 3 divisions.

Munster Inter-County Championships 

Waterford Institute of Technology and Cappoquin Community Centre played host to the final Munster Intercounty Championships of the season last Sunday (Feb 17th). Kerry sent teams to the D grade competition in WIT and the F grade team in Cappoquin and will hopefully send a H grade team in the years to come.

Under the stewardship of Eric Nelligan many of this D team also featured on the C team that ran Cork very close the previous week so hopes were high that they would do well in this event.

Kerry Grade D team

First up the faced the challenge of Tipperary and Kerry were 3-1 ahead after the ladies and men’s doubles pairings with Elaine Hudson & Maeve Twomey, Paddy Redmond & Fergal Hannon and Sorcha Fitzgerald & Niamh Hickey all winning their games.

Sinead Galvin too Kerry a step closer to securing the win when she overcame her opponent in the Ladies Singles and Kerry then took two of the three mixed games with wins for Alan Nelligan and Maeve Twomey and Fergal Hannon and Niamh Hickey making it 6-3 to Kerry overall.

Next up Kerry faced a Waterford side that had been heavily defeated by Cork in the first round. This however turned out to be an extremely tough battle for Kerry.

It was 3-3 going into the singles as Hannon and Redmond and Hudson and Twomey won doubles again as did Galvin in the singles. Wins by Nelligan and Twomey and Hannon and Hickey got Kerry over the line 5-4

Kerry could now secure the title with a win over Cork. Kerry found themselves at 2-2 after the ladies and men’s doubles through wins by Hudson and Twomey and Nelligan and Hannon.

However Kerry lost both very close singles matches meaning at 4-2 down going into the mixed they were under extreme pressure.

Although Twomey managed to retain her impressive 100% record on the day with 6 wins when partnering Alan Nelligan Kerry were defeated in the other mixed game meaning Cork took the title 5-3 and Kerry finished as unlucky runners-up.

Meanwhile in Cappoquin the F team under the management of Ruth Concannon got off to a good start with a hard fought 5-4 win over Limerick. The Kerry wins came in both the Ladies Doubles through Carmel Hudson and Jeanelle Griffin and Ciara Hudson and Jill Redmond. Ciara Hudson and Cathal Donovan won both the singles and Carmel Hudson and Jamie Elliott won their mixed game.

Grade F team

Kerry then got off to a great start against the home side Waterford. They were leading 3-0 after wins in the Men’s Double by Jamie Elliott and Niall O Brien and Aidan Evans and Cathal Donovan. Carmel Hudson and Griffin made it 3-0 in the Ladies doubles.

Kerry added another point through a win by O Brien in the singles and when Carmel Hudson and Elliott took the first mixed Waterford were out and Kerry won 5-3.

Unfortunately for Kerry they came up against an extremely strong Cork side in what was effectively a semi-final after this.

At 4-0 down after the ladies and men’s doubles things were looking ominous for Kerry. Niall O Brien gave the Kingdom a glimmer of hope when he won his Men’s Singles game but Cork were 5-1 down and out after the ladies singles and Cork when through to the final where they were beaten by Tipperary.

Well done to the managers and all the players for the commitment they have given in training over the past few months. Kerry will hopefully be back winning Munster Inter-County titles next season and hopefully a few clubs, individuals and doubles partnerships can come good at Munster level before this season is out as there is still a long way to go.

Upcoming Events 

Sat Feb 23rd/ Sunday Feb 24th All Ireland Championships Grades A/D/G

Sun Feb 24th Munster Closed U-13 / U-17 Championships

Fri Mar 1st Ladies and Men’s Kerry County Championships Division 2 and Division 4

Sat Mar 2nd Juvenile Club Tournaments

Sat May 18th Kerry Badminton Annual Social – Rose Hotel, Tralee

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