U17 & U13 Ulster Open Review

Ulster

U17 & U13 Ulster Open Review

U17 Ulster Open Review - By Brian Kelly

An intensive week of coaching at Badminton Ireland’s Marino complex as preparations for what will be an important season for three of Alpha Badminton Club’s most promising young players Matthew Cheung and the Woods twins, Rachael and Rebecca, appears to be paying handsome dividends already.

For 13 year-old Matthew Cheung has already seen off two of England’s most promising youngsters on his way to lifting a double haul of titles in the prestigious Forza Irish U15 Open while the Woods twins were ensuring that the Ireland team would finish in a very respectable third place in their Group in the European Team Championships in Estonia, before upsetting the seedings in the individual competition.

Matthew returned to the National Badminton Centre in Lisburn at the weekend and whilst seeded No1 in both the Boy’s Singles and Doubles he was to dominate the Ulster U17 Open winning a triple haul of titles.

The RBAI pupil was seeded top in both the Boys Singles and Mixed Doubles (partnering Sophia Noble) but few would have been willing to suggest that Matthew and Vincent Pontanosa could not come through to lift the Boys Doubles in which they were seeded No2.

Paddy Nolan and Christopher O’Donoghue were instead given to the top seeding but as they made an early exit to Scott Guildea and Ben Lawlor, losing out 21-9 in the deciding set, the No2 seeds were to find the title opening up for them as they were to receive a bye in the opening round and then were awarded a walkover into the semi-final.

In the last four they took only 17 minutes to record a straight forward 21-7 21-11 victory over Cathal Donovan and David Downey and in the final the Cheung/Pontanosa partnership were rarely troubled and took the title 21-17 21-12.

Matthew began his quest to lift the Boys Singles title with a 21-6 21-2 victory over Jack Bridgeman and cruised through 21-18 21-15 against Scott Guildea to give him a last four clash against Christopher O’Donoghue, the No3/4 seed.

Matthew took just 18 minutes to see off O’Donoghue 21-12 21-14 and it was his doubles partner Pontanosa who was to earn a place in the final having knocked out the No2 seed David Downey and although he would have been quite satisfied with his performance in the final, it was the top seeded Cheung who was to cruise through as a 21-15 21-16 victor.

Matthew secured the Mixed Doubles title partnering Sophia Noble and they never looked like dropping a single set.

Christopher O’Donoghue and Julia O’Reilly lost to the top seeds 21-10 21-11 in the quarter-final with Ben Lawlor and Neasa Flynn faring little better losing 21-6 21-15 while in the final David Downey and Leonie Ward had to be content with runner-up as they succumbed 21-10 21-14.

Unseeded Laura Comer and Fiona McAdams were to lift the Girls Doubles title knocking out the top seeds Lucy Fox and Leonie Ward in a very close semi-final 21-18 21-19 but they had to come from one set in arrears to overcome the No2 seeds Sophia Noble and Julia O’Reilly 15-21 21-14 21-1

 

U13 Ulster Open Review - By Brian Kelly

Alpha’s Christopher Chee lost out to Senan O’Rourke in the quarter-final of last season’s Irish U13 National Championships 22-20 in the deciding set of what was a marathon 29 minute contest worthy of the final itself..

But last weekend Chee was to book his place in the final of the Ulster U13 Open by ending the hopes of the No2 seed Darragh Murtagh, a player against whom he had a 100% record.

Despite being seeded No3/4 this time, it was Chee, who was to record a fine 21-19 21-18 victory and with O’Rourke seeded No1 the title win was all the sweeter with Chee edging through 21-19 24-22 in a match which had spectators on the edge of their seats.

In the Mixed Doubles Chee and Rachel O’Flynn were severely tested by Daniel Orr and Zoe Kearon, before booking their place in the semi-final 21-19 21-10 and Chee and O’Flynn certainly kept the No2 seeds Senan O’Rourke and Chloe McGrane under pressure as the seeds eventually won 21-13 18-21 21-19 while Jeffrey Rong and Amber Buchanan were also to reach the semi-final, losing out to the top seeds Fiona Dowling and Siofra Flynn in straight sets.

 

BADMINTON: CHEE LIFTS U13 ULSTER TITLE - By Brian Kelly

Alpha’s Christopher Chee lost out to Senan O’Rourke in the quarter-final of last season’s Irish U13 National Championships 22-20 in the deciding set of what was a marathon 29 minute contest worthy of the final itself..

But last weekend Chee was to book his place in the final of the Ulster U13 Open by ending the hopes of the No2 seed Darragh Murtagh, a player against whom he had a 100% record.

Despite being seeded No3/4 this time, it was Chee, who was to record a fine 21-19 21-18 victory and with O’Rourke seeded No1 the title win was all the sweeter with Chee edging through 21-19 24-22 in a match which had spectators on the edge of their seats.

In the Mixed Doubles Chee and Rachel O’Flynn were severely tested by Daniel Orr and Zoe Kearon, before booking their place in the semi-final 21-19 21-10 and Chee and O’Flynn certainly kept the No2 seeds Senan O’Rourke and Chloe McGrane under pressure as the seeds eventually won 21-13 18-21 21-19 while Jeffrey Rong and Amber Buchanan were also to reach the semi-final, losing out to the top seeds Fiona Dowling and Siofra Flynn in straight sets.

 

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