Niall back to winning ways

Niall McVeigh won the English 4 Nations.
Niall McVeigh won the English 4 Nations.

Niall McVeigh, Alpha’s World and European para badminton champion, ended a six month drought in terms of tournament wins by clinching the English 4 Nations and adding the mixed doubles title (alongside Rachel Chung), just for good measure.

With the Irish International due to get underway on 24-28 June in Baldoyne, it was imperative that he had a good performance in Sheffield last weekend and he had been working hard with his coach Andy Stewart.

He would have been expecting a relatively easy start to the round robin series of matches in the short stature class against Bobby Laing of Scotland and won the opening set 21-6 with consummate ease, only to be unable to finish his opponent off in the second and saw Laing snatch the second 22-20, although he regained his consistency to claim the final set.

Despite losing to to Coombs 21-15 21-7 in the next match he was able to secure his place in the semi-final, where he ended the challenge of England’s Andrew Martin 21-17 21-17.

The final was always going to be a tight affair against Coombs and during this lean period for McVeigh he has always started the matches strongly but allowed the game to slip away from his grasp so when McVeigh was to lost the opening set 22-20 his confidence was always going to be tested once again.

The 24 year-old, standing just 4 feet 2 inches tall, however answered his critics as he ran away with the second set 21-8 and was again in control in the deciding set to clinch the coveted title 21-14.