Masters Michael and Mark roll back the years

Michael Watt at full stretch.
Michael Watt at full stretch.

Seeds tumbled at the Roadside Motors Lisburn Ulster Masters but two former Irish internationals Michael Watt and Mark Topping were to turn back the clock to win three titles in all.

Meanwhile, David Kenny lifted two titles in the 65+ age group, beating Bob Evans in the singles and partnering Janet Ferguson in the mixed.

Watt, who has been unbeaten at home or abroad in the 40+ age group, made light of his No2 seeding to brush aside Karl Crawford, Seamus Halpin and Ballygowan Presbyterian’s Stuart Porter in the Group stages without dropping a set and both Conor O’Connor (Galway LTC) and Brian Moore (1st Donegore) found the former National Singles champion too hot to handle as he retained the singles title 21-6 21-15.

Another former National champion Mark Topping returned to Lisburn Racquets Club, the scene of so many of his successes, to lift the 40+ Mens Doubles and Mixed Doubles titles.

Despite being seeded No2 in both competitions, he had to call on all those years of playing at the top level of the sport to come through in three sets in both finals.

In the Mens Doubles, teaming up with Kevin Donnelly – who also won the 35+ Singles title for good measure, they took the opening set against Shane Gildea and Willie Stevenson 21-19, lost the second 17-21 and came through comfortably in the decider 21-16.

In the Mixed Doubles, and partnering Dorothy McCullough, they had to stave off the challenge from top seeds Willie Stevenson and Sylvia Campion 21-19 16-21 21-17 to lift the crown.

Alpha’s Doreen McClements came within a whisker of victory in the Women’s Doubles 55+. Playing with Christine Graham of 1st Donegore, they had a fine 21-13 21-16 victory over Lorna Beattie and Linda Maguire in their opening game only to lose 21-9 17-21 22-20 to Jean Denihan and Cheryl Evans.