Ballinderry’s hopes fade in Trophy final

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Ballinderry narrowly lost out in their bid to bring home the coveted Gilbert Trophy.

They beat both North Down B and Coleraine & District to make it through to the Division One final.

There, they came up against the highly fancied North West League team boosted by the inclusion of one of the country’s most talented junior players Kyle Magee.

And ultimately they couldn’t pull off an upset, going down 4-2.

Ian Dunlop and Kyle Graham, however, did breifly raise their hopes when the duo recorded a 21-14 21-16 victory over Dean and Graeme McCarter.

The leader didn’t last long as North West’s Kyle, partnering Glen Duncan, proved too strong for Paul Whiteside and Russell Wilson 21-10 21-15.

North West went further ahead when Karen Ballantine and Dorothy McCullough came back from a 21-12 first set deficit to beat Jenny Ryan and Lisa Wilson but Janine Beazley and Caitlin Steele were 21-12 22-20 winners in the second women’s doubles clash.

North West’s Dean McCarter and Dorothy McCullough took the opening set of their mixed doubles 21-11 but Colin Watterson and Jenny Ryan were to fight their way back into the match.

The locals were even poised to take the match into a deciding set but simply could not get the two point advantage and when Fiona Hillen/Kyle Magee beat Ian Dunlop/Kathryn McGladdery 21-19 21-11, the North West side were taking home the coveted Division One title by 4 matches to 2.

Ballinderry couldn’t have wished for a better start to their campaign.

They ended the hopes of North Down B with an emphatic 6-1 victory despite Stephen Moss and Emma Cunningham beating Ballinderry’s Paul Whiteside and Kathryn McGladdery 21-16 21-16 to record the North Down side’s solitary win.

Coleraine & District were always going to be a difficult opponent for Ballinderry.

The local side got off to the perfect start by winning both men’s doubles with Ian Dunlop and Kyle Graham easing through 21-18 21-7 against Karl Crawford and Simon Curry while Paul Whiteside and Russell Wilson took 20 minutes to beat Raymond Bell and Colin Scott.

Coleraine, however, drew level winning the two women’s doubles against Jenny Ryan and Lisa Wilson and Janine Beazley and Caitlin Steele both in straight sets.

Despite losing the top mixed doubles when Colin Watterson and Jenny Ryan lost 21-7 21-11 to Simon Curry and Ciara Nelson, Ballinderry booked their place in an ultimately disappointing final when Kyle Graham /Janine Beazley and Ian Dunlop/Kathryn McGladdery sealed two further mixed doubles matches for a 4-3 victory.