Kildare and Dublin win Gold
16 April 2017
Easter Saturday saw Dublin hosting the Juvenile Inter County Finals at the Baldoyle Badminton Centre. This event would see teams from across Ireland compete in a team competition to see who would become the All-Ireland champions in their respective age groups. There was a big game feel around the event this year with each team brining big support. When watching the games you could hear the supporters getting behind their teams whether that being the sound of the Dublin drum or the sound of clapping and cheering.
Each age group consisted of three or four teams per age group. The counties would play against each other in a team format with four singles matches, four doubles matches and two mixed doubles matches. This format allowed the control of each match to change after every tie played. This led to some intense and nervous games.
In the U17 age group Dublin played against Donegal in the final game of their group. This game would decide who the winner of the division is and who would be taking home the silver medal. Dublin’s players came out very strong in the singles matches. With each game finishing with a Dublin victory, this put Dublin up by four points early meaning that only two more wins from the next six ties would see them win the division. With an excellent showing from both teams in the doubles, Dublin were able to secure victory when Kim Feehily & Pamela Pontanosa finished their game 30-23 meaning Dublin were guaranteed to win at least 6 of the ties. The match finished 8-2 with Donegal coming away with the silver medal.
The U15 division saw Kildare come up against Cork in the final game of their division. Both teams had already beaten Mayo and the winner of this fixture would go home with the gold medal. David Downey started Kildare off with a tight 30-29 victory over John O’Sullivan. Kildare’s momentum though was stopped immediately as Daniel O’Halloran was able to win his singles game for Cork to level up the match 1-1. As the match progressed Kildare proved too strong for this Cork team. Kildare had a brilliant showing in the doubles format winning five out of the six ties to claim the gold medal for their county.
Similarly to the Under 17’s, Dublin’s U13 team had the chance to win their division if they could overcome Tipperary in their last game. Just like the older age group, Dublin managed to win all four singles matches, giving the county a strong position going into the doubles. Dublin were able come away with a 8-2 victory. Whilst Dublin were taking the gold on court two, court four was witnessing a brilliant match between Galway and Donegal. The winner would take away the silver medal. With both teams trading wins early in the match, it was anyone’s guess who would come away with the victory. Galway were able to secure victory when they won three ties in a row, two in the girl’s doubles and one in the mixed doubles. This would be enough for a 6-4 victory over the Ulstermen.
With Dublin already securing the double, Kildare’s under 11 team had a similar opportunity for their county. With every other court already finished everyone was fixated on an enthralling match between Kildare and Cork. The fixture started off in brilliant fashion as Pablo Alonso Mahtitena and Aman Kothiyal put on an excellent spectacle. Aman was able to squeeze out a victory with a 30-28 win. This win set the bar very high for the rest of the players from both teams. Kildare were able to increase their lead to 5-0 with wins in the next four ties. With needing just one more win from the remaining five ties, Kildare were able to claim the gold when Kirsten McFadden & Chloe McGrane edged out their opponents with at 30-28 victory. This loss meant that Cork would go home with the silver medal. With Kildare U15 already winning gold earlier this mean that Dublin and Kildare both came away with two golds from the competition.
Badminton Ireland would like to thank all the players, coaches and parents for creating a wonderful atmosphere and showing their support for juvenile badminton throughout the country.
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- Please click here for full match results