Sinead Chambers returned to top level badminton by capturing the Yonex Leinster Open Women’s Doubles.
Earlier this season, she announced her retirement from international badminton to concentrate on her career as a physiotherapist, but has now been selected for the European Women’s Team Championships to be staged in Russia next month and celebrated by picking up the title last weekend.
Seeded second alongside Jennie King, Sinead eased her way through to the final with consummate ease, beating Laura Hennessy and Petra Rosolova 21-11 21-11, while Fiona Farrell and Karen Nelson fared little better against this pair who know each other’s strengths inside out.
In the decider, they couldn’t have had an easier passage to sealing the title as they were granted a walkover against top seeded Sara Boyle and Rachael Darragh.
In the mixed doubles, Sinead and Ciaran progressed through the early rounds at a canter, beating John Amond and Laura Hennessy 21-9 21-10 and had a walkover against Paul Reynolds and Rachael Darragh but were to have their bid for the title snatched from their grasp by David Walsh and Moya Ryan. That pair had shocked second seeds Stuart Lightbody and Crona Rooney and went on to complete the job by seeing off the Chambers siblings.
The Alpha pair will have been keen to measure their current level of fitness and form in a three-setter in the final as Sinead builds up her preparations for her return to the international arena.
Ciaran had also been seeded No3/4 in the mens doubles, partnering Mark Brady and they had made a confident start to their campaign with straight sets victories over David Gannon and Nicholas Murphy and Neil O’Flaherty and Eoin Walsh.
They then faced the second seeds Nigel Boyne and Alpha’s Stuart Lightbody and won the very tight opening set 21-18. However, they were pushed back on their heels as Boyne and Lightbody forged back into the match to level by dominating the second 21-12. It was a real cliff-hanger in the decider with Brady and Chambers just edging ahead to win 21-18.
In the final, Mark and Ciaran faced Nhat Nguyen, who went on to lift the coveted singles title, and David Walsh. The opening set was a close affair with the former pair winning 21-17 but saw out the final 21-13 in just 20 minutes.
Stuart Lightbody was to beat Brian O’Mahony 21-10 21-18 in the singles and added the scalp of John Amond 21-17 21-13 before giving second seed Owen Marron more than a fright. He snatched the opening set 21-19 in their quarter-final clash before Marron booked his place in the semi 21-11 21-12.