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Connacht Open U17 Badminton Championships 2009 - PREVIEW

posted 16 Nov 2009, 09:45 by Connacht Branch Badminton
Article by Anthony Walsh.

On Saturday next, the 21st of November, a first for Badminton in the town will occur when Ballina Badminton Club plays host to some of the best U17 Badminton players in Ireland as they compete in the Connacht U17 Open Badminton Championships. This is a major event on the Badminton U17 calendar, and as one of the branch open championships its results will be taken into account when Irish teams are being picked.

Preparations have being taking place since the Connacht Branch sanctioned Ballina as the venue for this years event, with the club pulling out all the stops as regards organization and planning to ensure the smooth running of the championships. In the last month entries have being coming in from all over the country, and at the close of entries 40 players from across Ireland will compete for the five Connacht Titles on offer at the week end.

Play will start on Saturday morning with boys and girls singles, followed by boys and girls doubles on Saturday afternoon. The mixed doubles are scheduled for Sunday morning at 9am with semi finals and finals all taking place on Sunday afternoon.

The Ballina Club are delighted to be chosen as hosts for this prestigious event and they see it as a unique opportunity for the Badminton Community in Mayo and Connacht to see our sport played to the highest standard. They hope that as many people as possible will come along over the weekend to see current and future international players display their talent on the Badminton courts. Among the players competing are Jonathan Dolan, from Sligo, currently ranked #2 U17 singles player in Ireland and who will be favourite to land yet another singles title. He will, however, encounter stiff opposition from the likes of Joshua Magee from Raphoe, with the likes of Adam Jermyn, Ciaran Chambers and David Walsh also among the favourites. In the boys doubles Ciaran Chambers from Lisburn and our own David Walsh from Bonniconlon will be the top seeded partnership but again the likes of Dolan/Jermyn and Magee/Doyle will fancy their chances.

In the girls singles Michelle McCourt from Louth and Jane Killock from Dublin will be top seeds but they will face stiff tests from the likes of Munster number 1 Rebecca Sexton, with Aine Lenighan from Newport and Siobhan Clancy from Ballina also being in with a shout. In the girls doubles Killock/McCourt will be favourites but a lot of combinations such as the Connacht pairs of Coleman/Killion and Lenighan/Keown as well as the Munster pair of Dunne/Sexton will be there or thereabouts.

In the mixed doubles the established Leinster partnerships of McCourt/Doyle and Killock/Marron will be early tournament favourites but nobody can tell how some of the new partnerships of Lenighan/Chambers, Knox/Dolan, Clancy/Jermyn or Dunne/Walsh will perform on the day, so some interesting battles should be on the cards.

A great weekend’s Badminton is expected at the Ballina venue, where there is ample spectator space, so why not call in and support the players and admire their skill levels, as they represent their clubs and provinces in competition.