The first set of Irish Nationals of the 2018/19 season will take place this weekend (2nd/3rd February 2019) at Baldoyle Badminton Centre. 132 players from across Ireland will come to Dublin to compete in the U15 & Senior Nationals, this is 29% more participants between the two events than in 2018.
After missing the 2018 Irish Nationals due to injury, Sam & Chloe Magee will be aiming to win their 11th Mixed Doubles Irish Nationals title. The Magee siblings (1) received a tough opening matchup against the young pairing of Adam McAllister & Rachael Woods in round two. The European medallists could see themselves playing against their brother Daniel Magee & Kate Frost in the Semi-Finals if the seeded teams win their opening rounds. Defending champion Ciaran Chambers will pair off this year with a new partner, Sophia Noble. Noble has had a very successful 2018 in the Juvenile tournaments and currently sits top of the U17 Girls singles rankings and number two in the U19 Girls singles rankings. The new partnership of Chambers/Noble will be unseeded and could potentially upset some seeded teams during the competition.
In the Men's Singles, number one seed Nhat Nguyen will need to overcome a tough half of the draw if he wants to claim his fourth consecutive Nationals title in 2019. Nguyen and Joshua Magee have met in the Men's Singles final the last couple of years, for this to happen this year Nguyen would potentially need to beat Mark Brady and Jack O'Brien to reach this year's final. Meanwhile two time Women's Singles Nationals Champion Rachael Darragh will look to win her third National title in a row as she is seeded number two in the 2019 Nationals. Darragh may have some difficult matches through the tournament if she wants to achieve this however, she may come up against the Number 1 ranked player in the U19 Girls Singles Orla Flynn in round 2, before potentially facing the promising talent of Rachael Woods. Number 1 seed Kate Frost will look to win her first National title.
The Men's Doubles event will see Joshua Magee & Paul Reynolds aiming to retain their Nationals title from 2018. The pair receive a bye into the second round before meeting Louie Lyons & Ethan O'Connor. This game will be at 16:30 on Saturday the 2nd February. The Women's Doubles event in 2019 will see a new pairing winning the Irish Nationals. Number one seeds Rachael Woods & Rebecca Woods will get a bye into the second round where they face the winner of Sara Boyle/Rachael Darragh and Ashleigh Coyne/Molly Davies.
You can follow all the action live on Badminton Ireland YouTube and on the Badminton Ireland Website
U15 Nationals will also take place on the 2nd /3rd February 2019 at Baldoyle Badminton Centre.
The top seeds are as follows:
BS - 1. Matthew Cheung, 2. Richard Kong
GS - 1. Siofra Flynn, 2. Neasa Flynn
BD - 1. James Fleming/Richard Kong, 2. Matthew Cheung/Robbie Frost
GD - 1. Neasa Flynn/Siofra Flynn, 2. Chloe Woods/Paige Woods
XD - 1. Matthew Cheung/Chloe Woods, 2. Jack Bridgeman/Neasa Flynn