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Connacht Players Dominate Sligo Open

posted 14 Oct 2010, 13:37 by Connacht Branch Badminton
Report by Paul Dolan

The first badminton competition of the new season  kicked off on Saturday morning at 10 ‘o clock in Sligo Tennis Club. There was a great turn out and it was good to see that the best players from all four  provinces came to compete. The Sligo Open  is regarded as the first major competition of the season.

Connacht boy, Jonathan Dolan, an Irish International player for the past four years was the star of the show. Dolan won Gold in all three U17 disciplines. 

He won the boys singles, boys doubles playing with his fellow Connacht player David Walsh and the mixed doubles with Victoria Ringland from Lisburn.

Connacht players dominated the U-17 events. Dolan and Walsh won the boys doubles event with ease. They came through the group comfortably without dropping a set. In the semi final they played against the Dublin pair of Mark White and David Neylon. They won easily 21-8 / 21-11.

In the other semi final Sligo’s young pair of Conor Scanlon and Danny Keown won with considerable ease against Ryan Getty from Ulster and Leinster player Nicholas Murphy. The score ended up 21-6 / 21-11 in favour of the Connacht men.

The final was an all Sligo affair. All four players presented Ireland last year which is a huge step forward for Connacht.  The hours spent training during the summer paid off. Players who compete in the provincial competitions need to train in summer.

In the final  the older pair of  Dolan and Walsh were too strong for Scanlon and keown winning in two sets, 21-11 / 21-11. Scanlon and Keown are und 17 again next year and they will be hard beaten.

It was much the same story again in the mixed event as two Connacht pairs reached the final. Jonathan Dolan again took to the court with Victoria Ringland from Ulster playing against the all Connacht pair of David Walsh and Aine Lenighan from Mayo.

This was a spectacular game but the number one seeds, Dolan and Ringland, reigned supreme at the end winning in two sets. The first was close with the top seeds pulling away at the end winning the set  15-12. They ran away with the second set winning in a comfortable fashion 15-6.

In the earlier stages of the competition Sligo’s Danny Keown and his new partner Janie Fahy from Roscommon put in some great performances to reach the semi final where they were unlucky  to meet Dolan and Ringland. Dolan and Ringland beat them easily but the experience will stand to this young pair. Fahy is still under 15.

In the girls doubles Final Mayo’s Aine Lenighan teamed up with Wexford’s Ciara Dunne. They were too good on the day for the highly rated Leinster pair of  Danielle Neil and Ciana Diskin. There was some good badminton but Lenighan and Dunne were always in control winning in two sets,  21-14 / 21-13. Leneighan proved that she is a  good player and with more training she can be as good as any of the top Irish players.

In the semi-final, Aoibheann Killian from Mayo partnered thirteen year old Sligo girl, Fionnula Scanlon. Although they played well, Lenighan and Dunne who were too strong. The match finished 21-18 / 21-16. This was a great result for Scanlon who coped well against players four years older than her.

The final of the girl’s singles was an all Leinster affair as Ciara Dunne featured in yet another final against Wexford girl, Karen Butlerr. They played  a three set thriller. Butler came out on top winning  9-21 / 21-19 / 21-16.

In the under boys U15’s singles Lisburn’s Ryan Getty took the gold as he defeated a rising talent from Dublin, Sam mc Kay, in two sets  21-11 / 21-10. Although this was a convincing win for Getty, he had to work hard for every point against Mc Kee who is still under 13.

Raphoe’s top girl, Rachel Darragh, won the U15 girls singles beating Leinster player Fionnula mc Court 21-10 / 21-7. This score did not reflect this match as these two players produced some great rallies.

In the boys, U15 doubles Ryan Mc Beth from Donegal and Ulster boy Christopher Black beat the Dublin pair of Stephen Walsh and Chris Brown in an exciting match 21-19/21-17. This match could have gone either way. 
The girl’s doubles final was an all Leinster affair. Fionnula mc Court and Karen Butler won easily in a one sided contest beating Ailbhe Fusco and Sarah Boyle 21-13 / 21-4.

The Under 15 mixed final was contested by Ryan Getty and Rachel Darragh against Conor Brown and Sarah Boyle. This was a two set straight win for Getty and Darragh 21-12 / 21-13.

In the Under 13 boys singles Sam Mc Kay was too good for Craig Byrne on the day. In the boys doubles Craig Getty and Ryan Kelly were beaten by Sam mc Kay and Paul Reynolds 21-9.

The girls U13 singles event was won by Ulster’s  Rachel Woods who defeated Clodagh Dunne 21-15 in a well fought  game.

There was a great win for Connacht in the girls doubles.The event was contested by the Woods sisters Rebecca and Rachel, and Clodagh Dunne and Connacht girl Feena mc Manamon.

Mayo’s McManamon and Dunne came out on top winning in two sets  15-8, 15-10. This was a great win for Feena and hopefully she will play many tournaments this year.

Credit must go to Liz Hughes and her coaches who are doing great work in Newport. Two Connacht winners, Aine Lenighan and Feena Mc Manamon both train in Newport.

Thanks to the organisers of this tournament for the tireless work they carry out behind the scenes to make this tournament the success it is. A special thanks to Michael and his staff who always give a warm welcome to visitors to the club. Parents always appreciate the service provided by Michael.