Matthew falls at final hurdle in singles in Munster Under 13 Championships

Matthew Cheung shows his concentration.
Matthew Cheung shows his concentration.

Alpha’s Matthew Cheung came within a whisker of being the sole Ulster victor at last weekend’s Munster Juvenile U13 Championships.

Matthew reached the Boys Singles final without dropping a single set , knocking out Dylan Noble 21-10 21-7, Ben Lawlor 21-7 21-10.

The seeded Kevin Downey almost snatched the opening set in the quarters but Cheung romped home 21-19 21-16 to secure a semi-final against Christopher O’Donoghue.

Despite upsetting the number three / four seed Vincent Pontanosa in three sets, O’Donoghue was never allowed to settle into any degree of consistency against Cheung and Matthew sealed a 21-15 21-10 victory with the reward being a clash against the top seed David Downey from Kilcullen Juvenile Club.

It was Downey who had ended the challenge of Stuart McCollam in the semi-final 21-15 21-17 after the Wallace High School player had eased his way past Seamus Bradley 21-14 21-19 and taken the opening set of his quarter-final against Benjamin Darragh 21-15 only to lose the next two 21-15 21-16.

In the final, it was left to Stuart’s doubles partner Cheung to try and wrestle the coveted title from the grasp of top seed Downey.

The pair had previously met in the Munster Juvenile Under 11 Open back in 2013 – when the Alpha youngster recorded an important victory in three sets while Downey gained revenge in both Connacht and Leinster.

There is so little between the pair even in the present Irish ranking with Cheung one place ahead of Downey.

However on this occasion it was Downey who snatched the title 21-19 21-18, a score line which will obviously disappoint the young Alpha player. He will at least have shown that he should be confident on reversing the result when they meet again.

The Boys Doubles saw Matthew and Stuart seeded second and they progressed through to the semi-final without too much cause for concern, beating Luke Davis and Ronan McGowan in straight sets. They then ended the hopes of Cathal Foley and Evan White 21-6 21-5 before making a disappointing exit to the seeded Paddy Nolan and Christopher O’Donoghue after losing the opener 22-20.

They fought back to level taking the second 21-17 but failed to make the necessary breakthrough in the decider and lost 21-15 with their victors lifting the title.

Chloe and Paige Woods’ challenge for Munster Juvenile Under 13 honours were dashed in the quarter-final after a 21-12 21-14 victory over Aoife O’Driscoll and Lucy O’Halloran brought them a clash against top seeds Fiona McAdams (Phoenix Junior) and Sophia Noble (Whitehall Road Junior).

The top seeds on this occasion proved too strong for the Lisburn pair and booked their semi-final place with a straight sets win but in the final were beaten 22-20 21-13 by the number two seeds Aine Crowe and Leonie Ward.

In the singles, Chloe had a 21-5 21-11 win over Ellen Millerick and would have been pleased with her display particularly in the opening set against top seeded Sophia Noble despite going down 21-13 21-8 while Paige claimed the scalp of Sarah O’Brien 21-7 21-16 before going down 21-9 21-19

In the mixed doubles, Chloe Woods partnered Jason Ferguson and they knocked out Patrick McCarthy and Sarah O’Brien 21-19 21-12 but Kevin Downey and Fiona McAdams ended their challenge in the next round 21-14 21-14.