Alpha’s Paige Woods will certainly enjoy looking back on last weekend’s Ulster U15 Open at the National Badminton Centre in Lisburn capturing two titles and reaching the semi-final of the third while club-mate Roisin McKenna was runner-up in the Girl’s Doubles and a semi-finalist in the Mixed Doubles.
In the Girl’s Doubles Paige teamed up with Siofra Flynn and they were seeded No1 in the draw and eased their way through the opening rounds, beating Amber and Jasmine Buchanan 21-6 21-8 in the quarter-final and a 21-8 21-13 victory over Nicole Fahy and Holly Guildea in the last four.
In the bottom half of the draw Nicole Joy and Rachel O’Flynn were No2 seeds but it was Sibhe Collins and Alpha’s Roisin McKenna who were to end their hopes of a final as they snatched the opening set 22-20 and cruised to victory in the second 21-11.
In their semi-final against Chloe McGrane and Michelle Shochan the opening set was a very close one with both pairs seeking to control the game but as the opening set reached a conclusion it was the Collins/McKenna pair who edged through 21-19 and saw the game out 21-16 to book their place in the final.
The opening set was once again a close affair and the top seeds Siofra and Paige came through 25-23 with the second set 21-9.
Though Siofra Flynn was to confirm her status as the top player in the competition there were fine performances from a number of the Alpha youngsters including Amber Buchanan who came so close to beating Ciara O’Shea in three close sets 22-20 in the third, Zoe Kearon who matched Holly Guildea shot for shot losing narrowly 21-14 21-13 while Jasmine Buchanan came back from losing the opening set to Rachel O’Flynn 21-10 to take the match into a deciding set winning the second 21-14 only to lose the third 21-16.
Roisin McKenna recorded a 21-6 21-11 victory over Kate Ahern and was a straight sets victor over Lil Howard Murphy before the No2 seed Michelle Shochan took the opening set off her 21-8 but came up just short 22-20 in the second.
Paige Woods had a 33 minute marathon against Nicole Joy after winning the opening set 22-20 and had to come back from losing the second 21-16 to win 21-19 in the third.
Champbers misses out on hat-trick
Corey Chambers will long remember his performance in the Ulster U11 Open at the National Badminton Centre in Lisburn last weekend having beaten the top seed Conor Blakeman 21-13 in his crucial opening match of Group A and adding the scalps of Lochlann O’Rourke 21-2 and Hayden Mcclenaghan 21-7.
In Group B Alpha’s Riley Lynas gave everything he had in his Group B match against his Alpha clubmate Noah Budd, narrowly going down 21-15 but probably played his best Group match against No2 seed Eoin Evans, who snatched second place by the narrowest of margins beating the young Alpha player 21-18.
Deacon Cheung and Isaac Cardy battled it out for top sport in Group C with Deacon finishing runner-up even though Isaac had lost their match 21-20 in a nail-biting match lasting 12 minutes.
Kaden Tang was a runaway winner of Group D with victories over Oisin O’Sullivan and Eoghan Watson but in the semi-final could not stop Corey Chambers from booking his place in the final 21-9 21-12 while Isaac Cardy had to battle it out against Noah Budd in the other semi-final.
Cardy, the nephew of Ulster’s Conor Hickland, was however unable to prevent Corey Chambers from lifting the U11 Boy’s Singles title 21-13 21-8.
In the Boy’s Doubles Corey Chambers was totally focussed on lifting the title with partner Kaden Tang but it all could have unravelled as in their opening match in Group B, Conor Bakeman and Deacon Cheung had their opportunity to spoil the afternoon for their opponents before losing out 22-20 a result which saw Chambers and
Tang going through to the final to face Noah Budd and Isaac Cardy, who had won both their Group A matches convincingly.
In the final though Corey and Kaden has raced to the opening set 21-10 but had to battle to secure their title 21-18.
In the Mixed Doubles, the only competition in which Corey had to be satisfied with a silver medal partnering Amy Moore, came ever so close to missing out on the final, as Kaden Tang and Hannah Shochan were to win the opening set of their semi-final 21-18.
Chambers and Moore drew level by winning the second set 21-15 and had to come back from 11-7 at the changeover to snatch the win 21-19.
But in the final it was Lochlann O’Rouke and Amira Pender who were to dominate the final to capture the title 21-13 21-11.