Alpha ‘steel’ the lead at mid-way in Ulster League

Beth Stephenson's Alpha Steelers are currently top of the Ulster League.
Beth Stephenson's Alpha Steelers are currently top of the Ulster League.

Not unexpectedly, two of Alpha teams head the Ulster League as the halfway stage approaches.

Alpha Steelers with a nice blend of youth and experience to call on like Beth Stephenson, Ciaran Chambers and his sister Sinead owe their top place with 21 points to the 7-1 victory over Academy B.

They drew four all with ACBC Greenwell Street and were held to a 4-4 draw by Academy A with Academy taking only one of the four mens and ladies doubles while the Alpha side won only one of the four mixed doubles with Ciaran and Sinead beating the experienced Henderson and Peard 21-15 21-11.

Just two points adrift of the Alpha Steelers are Alpha Titans, who have two 6-2 victories under their belt having beaten Alpha Raiders but they were to slip up in a 4-4 draw with ACBC Greenwell Street and narrowly lost 5-3 to the Alpha Steelers.

However, this week’s defeat at the hands of Academy B must have been quite an upset with Michael Watt turning back the years yet again to win both his mens doubles with Willie Stevenson – beating Scott Burnside and Lee Hannigan 21-16 21-17 – and his mixed in partnership with Dorothy McCullough – 21-14 21-11 winners over Scott Burnside and Kerrie Scott.

With two of Alpha’s Division One teams on top of the League, Alpha Raiders find themselves in the bottom half of the Division principally due to that heavy loss against the Alpha Titans but were able to see off ACBC Greenwell Street this week 6-2 with the Lightbodys playing their part in taking the two mens doubles with their partners Murphy and Galway.

Greenwell Street owed their two victories to their ladies doubles pairings.

Ballyclare Hurricanes have made an excellent start to Division Two and are very well placed with four straight wins with Sandelford in second place and they meet in the next fixtures but Ballyclare beat St Annes 7-1, had two 6-2 wins over Clogher A and Alpha Eagles and squeezed a narrow 5-3 result from Academy C.

In Division Three, Ballyclare Typhoons have raced into a two point advantaged with Whiteabbey A in second place with Alpha Leopards in bottom place with just five points from their four games.

Division Four is a really tight contest in which Clogher B have a one point advantage from Queens A but Ballyclare Cyclones and ACBC Strean are locked on 17 points, the former having an 8-0 victory over St Johns while Strean recorded two 5-3 wins over both Clogher B and the C.