Alpha pair win in England

Laden down with their medals from the Under 11 Northumberland Badminton Tournament and the Under 13 Bronze Competition are Matthew Cheung and Stuart McCollam from Alpha.
Laden down with their medals from the Under 11 Northumberland Badminton Tournament and the Under 13 Bronze Competition are Matthew Cheung and Stuart McCollam from Alpha.

Alpha pair Stuart McCollam and Matthew Cheung top the Irish rankings at Under 11 and have been dominating this age group this season whilst also being members of the Lisburn Raw Performance Squad.

Both players competed recently in the Northumberland Under 11 competition and were encouraged to extend their stay to compete in the Northumberland Under 13 Gold event as well.

They were to return from their weekend laden with medals with Matthew beating Harry Ellis 11-0 11-3, Oliver Harrington 11-2 11-7, Corey Stewart 11-6 11-7 and Karthick Ajith 11-8 11-4 in the group stage of the Under 11 competition while Stuart was to be equally convincing dropping only 46 points in his six group matches which paired the two Alpha players in the final.

Stuart took the opening set 12-10 only for Matthew to turn the tables of the last couple of matches between the pair to snatch the second set 11-8 and was an 11-6 victor in the decider.

In the doubles Cheung and McCollam were to taste defeat in two of their three matches but there was very little between the pairs.

So impressed were the competition organisers with their play, both Matthew and Stuart were invited to take part in the coveted Under 13 Bronze event with Matthew booking his place in the final without dropping a set in his five group games while Stuart lost only one match but still managed to reach the final.

McCollam raced into the lead in the one set decider and held what he hoped would have been a match-winning advantage 20-16 only for Cheung to ease his way back and snatch it 25-23.