Alpha girls mix it with the cream of European badminton

Beth Stephenson partnered Clodagh Dunne to the doubles title.
Beth Stephenson partnered Clodagh Dunne to the doubles title.

Alpha trio Beth Stephenson, Rachael Woods and Rebecca Woods did their club proud as they helped Ireland to an impressive European campaign.

The three teenagers were off to Lubin, Poland, for the European Under 17 Championships in Lubin, Poland and helped Ireland to finish runners-up in Group Four, losing only to the seeded French side.

Despite her side losing 4-1 to the seeded France side, Rachael Woods had a tight game against Margot Lambert in the women’s singles. Having lost the opening set 21-17, she was to hold an 11-8 advantage at the interval.

She was 18-17 ahead and poised to take the match into a deciding set when she suffered a leg injury which signalled the end of Rachael’s participation in the team event.

Ireland recorded a fine 3-2 victory over Austria in their second match with Alpha’s Beth Stephenson beating Carina Meinke in three sets having lost the first 21-15.

The second set couldn’t have been closer with the young Wallace HS player holding a 10-7 advantage before taking the set 21-18.

In the decider, the Austrian had a one point advantage at 6-5 but from this point on it was plain sailing for Beth who ran out an easy victor 21-9.

Next up for Ireland was Lithuania and Beth was to be part of the 5-0 victory, winning her singles by beating Austeja Blandyte 21-15 21-11, as well as her mixed doubles with Brian O’Mahony as they defeated Gabriele Paskevicute and Jonas Petkus 21-11 21-17.

Alpha’s Rebecca Woods partnered Clodagh Dunne in the women’s doubles against the highly rated Austrian pair Serena Au Yeung and Sabrina Herbst and they were unfortunate to lose 22-20 21-17.

Ireland then kept the partnership of Rebecca and Clodagh in the women’s doubles against Lithuania and they took just 16 minutes to beat Austeja Blandyte and Gabriele Paskeviciute in straight sets, the first 21-11 and the second 21-7.