Beth steals the show with two wins in the Connacht U17 Open

Beth Stephenson was in top form in Connacht last weekend, beating both Woods twins.
Beth Stephenson was in top form in Connacht last weekend, beating both Woods twins.

After the Woods twins’ heroics in Holland, Beth Stephenson stole the limelight at the Connacht Open.

She won both the U17 Singles title as well as the Girls Doubles with her partner Clodagh Dunne. She was denied a treble only by defeat in the final of the Mixed Doubles.

Beth, who won her first senior title in last season’s Ulster Open, had to overcome both of the twins to take the singles crown.

After easily seeing off Niamh Flaherty 21-5 21-10 and Alexandra Troy 21-7 21-11, Beth came up against Rebecca Woods in the semi-final. Her performance was outstanding and she ousted her Alpha clubmate 21-16 21-10 in just 24 minutes.

With Rachael Woods having knocked out top seed Clodagh Dunne 23-25 21-10 21-8 in just over the half-hour mark, it was an all Alpha final.

It was Beth who won the opening set 21-16 but Rachael levelled 21-17. As the match approached 29 minutes old, Beth established an important lead and saw out a deserved win 21-15.

With Beth and Clodagh seeded first in the doubles – and the Woods twins surprisingly unseeded – the top seeds progressed through to the final without conceding a single set.

The twins also managed to weave their way to the final but Beth and Clodagh delivered a 21-15 21-16 win to take the title.

Worthy of note in the girl’s doubles was the performance of Alex Chan-Taylor and Megan Ferguson in reaching the last four and this surely augurs well for the future.

In the mixed doubles, Beth and Brian O’Mahony proved that they are a formidable partnership as they eased through to the final against the unseeded Rachael Woods and Adam McAllister.

The latter had seen off top seeds Kyle Magee and Clodagh Dunne in the semi-final with a terrific 21-18 17-21 30-28 victory.

Stephenson/O’Mahony partnership took the opening set 21-19, and the second was not unexpectedly much different with Adam and Rachael this time snatching the set 21-17.

In the third, Rachael and Adam shone to capture the title 21-13.