Rachael and Rebecca Woods, from the Alpha club in Lisburn, won two titles each in the coveted Carlton Irish Under 15 Championships.
The twins could not have wished for better preparation for this weekend’s Under 15 Gold competition at the University of Nottingham.
At the Jubilee Campus they will be up against the cream of English players in their own age-group and it is a credit to the twins that in the Girls Doubles they have been seeded No1 ahead of Asmita Chandham and Hope Warner who are two of England’s brightest stars of the future and of whom there is a lot expected.
Last weekend Rachael and Rebecca dominated the Carlton Irish Under 15 Championships with Rachael, as expected, lifting the Girls Singles crown while Rebecca teamed up with one of Ulster’s finest prospects, Kyle Magee, to win the mixed doubles.
For good measure the twins then teamed up to ensure that the top seeding they enjoyed in the girls doubles would be realised with a convincing 21-14 19-21 21-16 win over No2 seeds Kim Feehilly and Alexandra Troy, who hadn’t had their passage to the final all that easy as they were taken to three sets by Amy and Niamh Gannon in the semis.
Alex Chan-Taylor and Megan Ferguson who spend almost as much time at Alpha as the eventual champions will be delighted by their achievement in reaching the other semi against the Woods sisters, going down 21-15 21-11.
Rachael Woods was seeded No1 in the girls singles with Niamh Gannon at No2 and it was the No2 who came under the greatest threat being taken to 21-18 by Scotland’s Maria Leith and having Rebecca Woods snatch the opening set of their semi-final 22-20 and clinching her spot in the final 21-10.
The prospect of an all-Woods final came to fruition and the two sisters know each other’s play so well that their matches are always keenly contested with head to heads often ending with Rachael the victor.
On this occasion there was little between them and Rachael lifted the title 21-17 21-14.
On the way to lifting the mixed doubles title Rebecca got great satisfaction out of her second victory of the competition over twin sister Rachael when she partnered Kyle Magee to a 21-11 21-18 win over Alpha’s Matthew Robb and Rachael Woods.
“Defeat was just a blip” says Niall’s coach
Niall McVeigh, Ireland’s two-times world and European para-badminton champion, may have failed to live up to his high expectations when he lost in straight sets at the semi-final stage of the Welsh 4 Nations but he remains confident and very focussed as he prepares for defending his World title in Stoke Mandeville from 8-13 September.
His coach Andy Stewart said: “Niall had played well in the early rounds on the first day, winning his matches in single figures.
“These things do happen and I certainly have no concerns for the World Championships.”