Two titles for Alpha as Woods girls and Beth dominate

Beth Stephenson partnered Clodagh Dunne to the doubles title.
Beth Stephenson partnered Clodagh Dunne to the doubles title.

There were two titles for Alpha teens in the Leinster Under 17 Open last weekend.

Rebecca Woods took the singles crown, seeing off her sister Rachael in the final while Beth Stephenson partnered Clodagh Dunne to the doubles title, beating the Woods twins in the decider.

Rachael reached her third final in the mixed doubles but lost out to the top seeds.

Beth Stephenson was seeded second in the singles and came through the early stages with ease to make it an all Alpha semi-final against Rachael Woods.

Rachael took an early advantage 21-14. Beth came out fighting in the second but lose 22-20 as Rachael set up an all Woods final. Rebecca had reached the decider by coming out on top 21-19 in a deciding set against Clogagh Dunne in the semi-final.

Obviously both know each other’s games like the backs of their hands, their strength and their weakness, it was destined to be tight.

Rachael started at a rate of knots though, winning the first set 21-11 with Rebecca finding it difficult to break her sister’s defence.

Rebecca responded in the only way she knows and upset her sister’s game plan. She was well worth her 21-16 win.

In the third, both players had spectators on the edge of their seats, while Rebecca highlighted the major leaps she has taken over the past in her game to justify the 21-19 success in the deciding set.

The Girls Doubles saw Clodagh Dunne and Beth Stephenson seeded top and the Woods twins second. Without doubt the Alpha club should be justly proud of having three of the four top Irish junior players in this age group from the club.

But another partnership which must be considered for the future are Summer Ferguson and Aine McClure who were to bring to an abrupt end the challenge of Kerry Fallon and Kim Feehily 21-19 24-26 21-15 and then booked their place in the semi-final with a 21-9 15-21 23-21 victory over Aisling O’Meara and Alpha’s Anna Comer.

They were however to find Beth Stephenson and Clodagh Dunne in impressive form, and losing narrowly 21-14 21-19.

The Woods sisters had progressed through to the final with a 21-11 21-2 victory over Banbridge District pair of Alex Chan-Taylor and Megan Ferguson and a 21-16 21-19 win over Sorcha Flynn and Sarah Pingree.

In the final, Beth and Clodagh won the first 21-19 but Rebecca and Rachel took the second 21-12 and as the final approached the half-hour mark, it was the top seeds that sealed the victory 21-18. In the Mixed Doubles, Kyle Magee and Clodagh Dunne were unstoppable and took the title 25-23 21-18 over Rachael and Adam McAllister in the final.

Just as the girls events were dominated by the same personnel, the same is true in the boys’ categories with Nhat Nguyen , soon to be playing in the Irish senior team while Kyle Magee is a very talented player and sure to go far.