This weekend all eyes in the local badminton calendar switches to the Sports Arena in the University of Limerick which will be hosting the Munster Under 13, Under 17 and Senior Open competitions.
Alpha Badminton Club’s Jeffrey Rong, with two U13 Boys Singles titles already in the bag after winning both the Ulster and Leinster titles will also be bidding for his first hat-trick of the season having had to settle for wins in the Singles and Boy’s Doubles and two silver medals in the Mixed, partnering Kimberley Pearson to runner-up in both Leinster and Ulster U13 competitions but will be teaming up with Hayley Gallagher this time round
and they are seeded No2.
Jeffrey though is the sole Alpha player in the Boy’s Singles draw of 28 and he will be hoping to further extend his record of two defeats over the top seeded Andrew Hassett in the singles this season, having beaten the Mount Pleasant player to lift both the Ulster U13 title in September and the Leinster U13 Singles in October and will be seeking to further add to his impressive 6-1 record in head to head meetings between the two players.
Rong will have to wait to see who he plays in his opening match with Banteer’s Kyle Singleton and Oranmore’s Ethan Brennan battling it out for the opportunity to face the No2 seed, who is expected to face Lucan’s Adhithyan Gopinath in the semi-final while in the top half of the draw Hassett should face Lorcan Mcgrane in the semi-final.
Rong and Hassett have been in imperious form this season in the Under 13 competitions so far this season though they were surprisingly beaten in the semi-final stage of the Leinster competition capturing the Ulster U13 title and certainly gave the top seeds Eoghan Cooney and Dylan Noble quite a fright in the Ulster U15 Open snatching the opening set 22-20 before losing in three.
The Girl’s Singles has an absolutely amazing entry of 31 players in the draw and Amber Buchanan has been in outstanding form this year, fully justifying her No2 seeding in both the U13 Girls Singles and Girl’s Doubles partnering Hayley Gallagher (Waterford).
Since the Ulster U13 Open at the beginning of September Amber has recorded a semi-final in Singles, a final in the Girl’s Doubles (with Kimberley Pearson).
In the Leister U13 in October Amber seeded No2 in the Girl’s Doubles and faced the top seeded pair Nicole Joy and Sarah Pender in the final and narrowly missed out on a place in the semi-final of the singles.
She also had the misfortune to face the top seeds Siofra Flynn and Paige Woods in the Ulster U15 Open last month in the Girl’s Doubles partnering Jasmine and in the Mixed and partnering Joshua Tang they lost a tight encounter against Chris Chee and Rachel O’Flynn and that was having lost an early singles against Ciara O’Shea 19-21 21-15 22-20.