Ballinderry smash their way to Division Two title

The victorious Ballinderry side who won Division Two of the Gilbert Trophy.  Back row right is Ulster Branch President William Martin.
The victorious Ballinderry side who won Division Two of the Gilbert Trophy. Back row right is Ulster Branch President William Martin.

Ballinderry romped home to the Division Two title in the Gilbert Trophy at the weekend.

They claimed the title with comfortable victories over North Down A and Donegal B.

Meanwhile, in Division One, the Ulster League A side had absolutely no answer to the strength of a side from Donegal.

Facing North Down A, Ballinderry’s Kyle Graham and Ian Dunlop recorded a 21-16 21-18 victory over Ben McMechan and Simon Thompson while Matthew Steele partnered by Russell Wilson eased through in straight sets against North Down’s Michael Jamison and Alan Carnduff.

One of the closest results was Kyle Graham and Lisa Wilson’s straight sets victory over Ben McMechan and Lizanne Kennedy 21-17 21-19.

But the honour of North Down’s sole victory against Ballinderry came in the mixed doubles when Paul Whiteside and Kathryn McGladdery were under a little pressure in the opening set dropping it 23-21 to Danny Armstrong and Lynne Nesbitt but it was the Amstrong/Nessbitt pair who dominated the second set to clinch a 21-14 victory.

With North Down ruling themselves out of contention when they lost 5-2 to Donegal B, Ballinderry took an unassailable 4-1 lead over Donegal B to secure the title.

Kyle Graham and Ian Dunlop defeated Mark McLucas and Matthew Warke 21-16 21-16 but Donegal countered when Jenny Ryan and Lisa Wilson lost a tight contest with Heather Harron and Aimee Moore 21-17 12-21 21-16. But Sharon Knox and Christine Graham were straight sets victors over Nissa Henderson and Shannon Ruseell, Matthew Steele and Sharon Knox’s 21-15 21-15 win in the mixed doubles secured the Division Two title.

After losing their Division One opener to Donegal A 5-2 there really was no way back for the Ulster League A team as despite beating North Down A 5-2, that opening defeat was crucial.