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  • Ulster Open Review (Including U15 & U11)

    17/10/2018 Ulster Open Review (Including U15 & U11)

    BADMINTON: ALPHA PLAYERS CELEBRATE ULSTER TITLE SUCCESS

    By Brian Kelly

     Over the years Alpha Badminton Club has enjoyed considerable success in the various Ulster competitions but few will have rivalled the number of successes its players enjoyed at the National Badminton Centre last weekend when one Ulster title after another was captured by an Alpha player in either the Forza Ulster Open, Ulster U15 Open or the Ulster U13Open.

    In the Walsin Women’s Singles 17 year-old Rachael Woods was to win her FIRST Forza Ulster title but not before being taken to thee sets by each of her opponents Bethany Wong, Orla Flynn and in the final Sophia Noble, had seen the top seed Kate Frost retire in the third set with Sophia holding an 11-7 advantage.

    Rachael and Sophia were engaged in a real cliff-hanger which lasted 44 minutes and which had spectators on the edge of their seats, Rachael taking the opening set 21-13 and her young opponent snatching the second 21-19 before the third saw the Alpha player secure her first Ulster Open Singles title 21-18.

    Rachael was to team up with her twin sister Rebecca in the women’s Doubles and they raced through to the opening set 21-11 against the top seeds Kate Frost and Moya Ryan and had set points in their favour only for their more experienced opponents to counter and drew level 22-20 and went on to lift the title 21-11 in the deciding set.

    The Walsin Men’s Singles saw Mark Brady in imperious form taking the title without dropping a single set beating Sam McKay 21-13 21-15.

    The Walsin Men’s Doubles was certainly keenly contested with four matches being decided in the third set and the top seeds Mark Brady and Ciaran Chambers being severely tested by former champions Tony Murphy and Tony Stephenson in a 45 minute marathon with Brady/Chambers booking their place in the final 11-21 21-17 25-23 and going on to lift the title 21-18 21-10 against Daniel Magee/Sam McKay.

    Moya Ryan was to team up with Ciaran Chambers in the Walsin Mixed Doubles and they were to take the opening set of the final against Daniel Magee and Kate Frost 21-9 only for the No2 seeds to level 21-16 and were to snatch victory 21-18.  

    Ulster U15 Open

    Matthew Cheung was again in imperious form dropping only ONE single set - in the Boy’s Doubles - on his way to being a triple champion once again with his fitness being tested in his ELEVEN matches.

    The 13 year-old RBAI pupil eased his way through to the final of the Boy’s Singles with straight set victories over James Fleming, Fionn Dowling and Dylan Noble to face Richard Kong in the final after he had come through a marathon clash with Jack Bridgeman, winning 18-21 21-11 21-19.

     The Boy’s Doubles saw Matthew team up with Robbie Frost and after booking their place in the final despite dropping the opening set against Eoghan Cooney and Dylan Noble they were to clinch the title 21-7 2-11 against James Fleming and Richard Kong, the No2 seeds.

    There were two sisters on opposing sides in the Mixed Doubles final, Chloe Woods partnering Matthew Cheung and Paige Woods with Dylan Noble, who had ended the hopes of both the seeded Robbie Frost and Siofra Flynn and the No2 seeds Jack Bridgeman and Neasa Flynn.

    The unseeded pair certainly gave their opponents a few problems but had no answer to their greater strength and power but will be able to reflect on their performance in reaching the final.

    Neasa Flynn, the No2 seed in the Ulster U15 Girl’s Singles was given quite a scare by Lucy Xu in the quarter-finals before booking her place in the semis 21-17 30-28 but it was the top seed Siofra Flynn who was to capture the title with a narrow victory 21-17 21-19 over Neasa, having ended the hopes of Chloe Woods in the semi-final in straight sets.

    The singles finalists also captured the doubles title, beating Chloe and Paige Woods in the final in straight sets with the Alpha pair having involved in a tight semi-final clash with their clubmates Laura Bell and Lucy Xu, before booking their place in the final on a 21-13 20-22 21-14 scoreline.

    ULSTER U11 OPEN

    Jeffrey Rong and Amira Pender were to dominate the Ulster U11 Open with each player winning a double haul of titles.

    Jeffrey was to progress through his Group stage with a victory over both Robert Cowman and Riley Lynas and in the semi-final was to record a 21-7 21-9 win over Isaac Cardy while in the other semi-final Deacon Cheung came out on top 21-18 21-15 against Corey Chambers.

    In the final it was Jeffrey Rong who was to lift the title beating Deacon Cheung 21-8 21-11 and in the Boy’s Doubles Jeffrey Rong and Kaden Tang were to beat Corey Chambers and Robert Cowman 21-13 21-15.

    Amira Pender had to work hard for her victories in the Girl’s Singles winning two of her three victories in three sets.  Against Liya Prakas, she was to find herself one set in arrears having lost the opening set 21-19 but ran out a 21-12 21-17 victor and dropped the opening set to Hannah Shochan 21-12 but came back strongly to win 21-4 21-15, clinching her title with a 21-7 21-10 victory over Ananya Gopinath.

    The Pender/Shochan partnership was to reign supreme in the Girl’s Doubles beating Gopinath/Prakas 21-9 21-10 while in the Mixed Doubles Kaden Tang and Hannah Shochan recorded three victories in the round-robin group stage while Robert Cowman and Liya Prakas finished with two wins but losing to Tang/Shochan  21-14.

  • U17 & U13 Ulster Open Review

    25/09/2018 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.

     

  • Bob Colhoun Celebrates 90th Birthday

    18/02/2018 Bob Colhoun Celebrates 90th Birthday

    A true elder statesman and local sports administrator of renown Bob Colhoun MBE celebrated his 90th Birthday surrounded by friends and colleagues who have known him as simply ‘Bob’ or ‘Mr Badminton’.

    Indeed he admints to having no knowledge of the sport of badminton until coming to the end of his university studies in August 1950 and his first job at Ferranti’s.

    When Bob joined Alpha Badminton Club in Lisburn on his return to the province five years later, the former pupil of RBAI was quickly snapped up as Honorary Secretary and it could not have been a more astute appointment as he was to become one of the most respected of sporting administrators in the country with Bob benefitting from his ‘hands on’ and visionary approach.

    With the formation of a Juvenile club harnessing the latent talent, the club was to grow exponentially and he was to combine his early talents as a coach with becoming a willing taxi driver to matches and tournaments the length and breadth of the countryside in his trusty Volvo.

    In the late Sixties Alpha had been fundraising for some years as they were to combine with Hilden Tennis Club and when total assets reached £8,000 they were to receive grant aid from the Ministry of Education for a new pavilion for Hilden and Badminton courts for Alpha with squash also being included, Lisburn Racquets Club was to be born and the three court badminton hall was appropriately named The Colhoun Hall.

    With the upsurge in interest in the sport Alpha players were to enjoy considerable success not only locally but were to dominate Ulster and later Irish sides and Alpha continues today to go from strength to strength with the seemingly endless list of international honours being won by successive Alpha members in all age groups.

    Bob was responsible for introducing a Christmas tournament for young players and at one stage it was being played throughout the province with entries reaching over 600 in the 1980s and was also responsible for an international event which attracted some of the top international players to the Lisburn venue in the pre Open era.

    Bob has received many honours including an MBE in 2014 but he was also the recipient of a Meritorious Award from the BWF which was presented to him in front of a packed Maysfield Leisure Centre which was hosting a Europe v Asia International.

    Despite being the visionary, Bob was also a character in the true sense of the word, shunning publicity and still receives the greatest satisfaction from seeing the hordes of youngsters visiting the club throughout the week and taking advantage of the now splendid facilities which he has made a large contribution to in bringing to this part of Lisburn.

    Piece by Brian Kelly.

  • FZ Ulster Open

    12/10/2017 FZ Ulster Open

    The FZ Ulster Open will be held at Lisburn Racquets Club on the 14th/15th October. Read below for a preview from Ulster Badminton.

     

    Ciaran and Sinead Chambers from Lisburn's Alpha Club head the local challenge in this weekend's FZ Forza Ulster Open Badminton Championships at the NBC Lisburn. Together they are top seeds in the mixed doubles and defend the title while Sinead defends the women doubles title partnering Dubliner Jennie King and Ciaran teams up with Mark Brady to take the top seeding in the men’s doubles.

    Ciaran said,' We are aiming for Commonwealth Games selection and the Ulster event comes midway through a busy international Programme. We were delighted with our mixed doubles title win in the Lithuanian International earlier in the season and we will take in the Scottish, Welsh and Irish International Championships over the next six weeks.'

    Unseeded Ulster players to watch on Saturday and Sunday include the experienced Tony Murphy and Tony Stephenson in the men’s doubles and twins Rachael and Rebecca Woods, Ireland’s top Under -17 pair, in the women doubles.

     

    The weekend's play, which also includes the Ulster Under 11 and Under 15 Championships, will be preceded by an Ulster Exhibition Night at the Racquets Club on Friday evening starting at 7.30. It is to raise money for the Ulster Senior team in Division One of the English Inter-County League and Ciaran Chambers has put together an outstanding evening of fun and competition hosted by Denise Watson of UIO5.

  • Rachael Woods runner up in Malmo

    13/09/2017 Rachael Woods runner up in Malmo

    Seeded No7 in the Mixed Doubles Alpha’s Rachael Woods was to progress through the early rounds of the Swedish Youth Games in Malmo with consummate ease with her England partner William Jones beating the Spanish pair Marc Cardona/Elana Lorenzo 21-11 21-12 after just 26 minutes and then despatching Oliver Orum-Petersen/Mathilde Houe 21-13 21-19 inside 15 minutes for a place in the quarter-finals.

    The top seeds were Ludvig Petre Olsson and Sofia Larsson and after coming through 20-22 21-16 21-16 against a German pair Jones and Miss Woods certainly must have seen that they had a real opportunity to book a place in the semi-final and they were not too despondent as the top seeds snatched the opening set 21-17.

    They responded by taking the second set 21-9 and never allowed their Swedish top seeds to gather any momentum in the deciding set and ran out victors 21-15 in a match lasting 41 minutes.

    The German 8th seeds Aaron Sonnenschein/Leona Michalski had booked their place in the semi-final having knocked out the No4 seeds Brian Wassink/Charissa Kuiper but after a tentative opening set against Miss Woods and William Jones, it was the No7 seeds who took the opening set 22-20 and were never in any trouble from then, capturing the second set for only a dozen points.

    Meanwhile, in the bottom half of the draw German No2 seeds, Matthias Kicklitz and Jule Petrikowski were easing their way into the final without dropping a single set.

    In the final William Jones and Rachael Woods came within a whisker of snatching the opening set and were to take the second 21-18 - the same score as the first – and had spectators on the edge of their seats as they fought to wrestle the title from the Germans before relinquishing the title bid 21-16.

    There was little time to sample the delights of the beautiful town of Malmo to stake a challenge for the coveted Women’s Singles title with her twin sister Rebecca.

    It was Rebecca who brushed aside her opponent Laura Chillon 21-11 in the opening set before the Spanish player came back to level 21-18 and it took all the Hunter House pupil’s fighting spirit to see her through 21-18 and a clash against Italy’s Chiara Passeri her reward.

    Rebecca won the opening set 22-20 but disappointingly lost the second 21-13 only to respond in typical fashion and take her into round 3 where she met the highly rated Meike Versteeg of the Netherlands who competed in the 2016 European U’15 Championships. On this occasion, Miss Versteeg, who had earlier knocked out the No8 seed was to progress with a 21-10 21-12 victory over Rebecca.

    Twin sister Rachael’s first opponent as the No5 seed was Caroline Melin of Sweden and was never troubled winning 21-5 21-3 and then faced Carla Kivikko for a place in Round 3.

    Again the Alpha player was to exude confidence as she brushed aside the Finnish player 21-13 21-11 and had to work really hard to knock out Chloe Mayer (Netherlands) 21-19 21-13 21-19 and was at her best against Ruth Veiguela 21-19 21-14.

    With a place in the final at stake Rachael put up a tremendous fight against Denmark’s Ann-Sofie Husher Ruus only to lose 21-17 21-18 in 26 minutes of the most exciting of semi-finals and Rachael can take some satisfaction from the point that her opponent went on to take the singles title in a 49 minute final from Julie Petrikowshi.

Latest News

Ulster Open Review (Including U15 & U11)

BADMINTON: ALPHA PLAYERS CELEBRATE ULSTER TITLE SUCCESS

By Brian Kelly

 Over the years Alpha Badminton Club has enjoyed considerable success in the various Ulster competitions but few will have rivalled the number of successes its players enjoyed at the National Badminton Centre last weekend when one Ulster title after another was captured by an Alpha player in either the Forza Ulster Open, Ulster U15 Open or the Ulster U13Open.

In the Walsin Women’s Singles 17 year-old Rachael Woods was to win her FIRST Forza Ulster title but not before being taken to thee sets by each of her opponents Bethany Wong, Orla Flynn and in the final Sophia Noble, had seen the top seed Kate Frost retire in the third set with Sophia holding an 11-7 advantage.

Rachael and Sophia were engaged in a real cliff-hanger which lasted 44 minutes and which had spectators on the edge of their seats, Rachael taking the opening set 21-13 and her young opponent snatching the second 21-19 before the third saw the Alpha player secure her first Ulster Open Singles title 21-18.

Rachael was to team up with her twin sister Rebecca in the women’s Doubles and they raced through to the opening set 21-11 against the top seeds Kate Frost and Moya Ryan and had set points in their favour only for their more experienced opponents to counter and drew level 22-20 and went on to lift the title 21-11 in the deciding set.

The Walsin Men’s Singles saw Mark Brady in imperious form taking the title without dropping a single set beating Sam McKay 21-13 21-15.

The Walsin Men’s Doubles was certainly keenly contested with four matches being decided in the third set and the top seeds Mark Brady and Ciaran Chambers being severely tested by former champions Tony Murphy and Tony Stephenson in a 45 minute marathon with Brady/Chambers booking their place in the final 11-21 21-17 25-23 and going on to lift the title 21-18 21-10 against Daniel Magee/Sam McKay.

Moya Ryan was to team up with Ciaran Chambers in the Walsin Mixed Doubles and they were to take the opening set of the final against Daniel Magee and Kate Frost 21-9 only for the No2 seeds to level 21-16 and were to snatch victory 21-18.  

Ulster U15 Open

Matthew Cheung was again in imperious form dropping only ONE single set - in the Boy’s Doubles - on his way to being a triple champion once again with his fitness being tested in his ELEVEN matches.

The 13 year-old RBAI pupil eased his way through to the final of the Boy’s Singles with straight set victories over James Fleming, Fionn Dowling and Dylan Noble to face Richard Kong in the final after he had come through a marathon clash with Jack Bridgeman, winning 18-21 21-11 21-19.

 The Boy’s Doubles saw Matthew team up with Robbie Frost and after booking their place in the final despite dropping the opening set against Eoghan Cooney and Dylan Noble they were to clinch the title 21-7 2-11 against James Fleming and Richard Kong, the No2 seeds.

There were two sisters on opposing sides in the Mixed Doubles final, Chloe Woods partnering Matthew Cheung and Paige Woods with Dylan Noble, who had ended the hopes of both the seeded Robbie Frost and Siofra Flynn and the No2 seeds Jack Bridgeman and Neasa Flynn.

The unseeded pair certainly gave their opponents a few problems but had no answer to their greater strength and power but will be able to reflect on their performance in reaching the final.

Neasa Flynn, the No2 seed in the Ulster U15 Girl’s Singles was given quite a scare by Lucy Xu in the quarter-finals before booking her place in the semis 21-17 30-28 but it was the top seed Siofra Flynn who was to capture the title with a narrow victory 21-17 21-19 over Neasa, having ended the hopes of Chloe Woods in the semi-final in straight sets.

The singles finalists also captured the doubles title, beating Chloe and Paige Woods in the final in straight sets with the Alpha pair having involved in a tight semi-final clash with their clubmates Laura Bell and Lucy Xu, before booking their place in the final on a 21-13 20-22 21-14 scoreline.

ULSTER U11 OPEN

Jeffrey Rong and Amira Pender were to dominate the Ulster U11 Open with each player winning a double haul of titles.

Jeffrey was to progress through his Group stage with a victory over both Robert Cowman and Riley Lynas and in the semi-final was to record a 21-7 21-9 win over Isaac Cardy while in the other semi-final Deacon Cheung came out on top 21-18 21-15 against Corey Chambers.

In the final it was Jeffrey Rong who was to lift the title beating Deacon Cheung 21-8 21-11 and in the Boy’s Doubles Jeffrey Rong and Kaden Tang were to beat Corey Chambers and Robert Cowman 21-13 21-15.

Amira Pender had to work hard for her victories in the Girl’s Singles winning two of her three victories in three sets.  Against Liya Prakas, she was to find herself one set in arrears having lost the opening set 21-19 but ran out a 21-12 21-17 victor and dropped the opening set to Hannah Shochan 21-12 but came back strongly to win 21-4 21-15, clinching her title with a 21-7 21-10 victory over Ananya Gopinath.

The Pender/Shochan partnership was to reign supreme in the Girl’s Doubles beating Gopinath/Prakas 21-9 21-10 while in the Mixed Doubles Kaden Tang and Hannah Shochan recorded three victories in the round-robin group stage while Robert Cowman and Liya Prakas finished with two wins but losing to Tang/Shochan  21-14.

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.

 

Bob Colhoun Celebrates 90th Birthday

A true elder statesman and local sports administrator of renown Bob Colhoun MBE celebrated his 90th Birthday surrounded by friends and colleagues who have known him as simply ‘Bob’ or ‘Mr Badminton’.

Indeed he admints to having no knowledge of the sport of badminton until coming to the end of his university studies in August 1950 and his first job at Ferranti’s.

When Bob joined Alpha Badminton Club in Lisburn on his return to the province five years later, the former pupil of RBAI was quickly snapped up as Honorary Secretary and it could not have been a more astute appointment as he was to become one of the most respected of sporting administrators in the country with Bob benefitting from his ‘hands on’ and visionary approach.

With the formation of a Juvenile club harnessing the latent talent, the club was to grow exponentially and he was to combine his early talents as a coach with becoming a willing taxi driver to matches and tournaments the length and breadth of the countryside in his trusty Volvo.

In the late Sixties Alpha had been fundraising for some years as they were to combine with Hilden Tennis Club and when total assets reached £8,000 they were to receive grant aid from the Ministry of Education for a new pavilion for Hilden and Badminton courts for Alpha with squash also being included, Lisburn Racquets Club was to be born and the three court badminton hall was appropriately named The Colhoun Hall.

With the upsurge in interest in the sport Alpha players were to enjoy considerable success not only locally but were to dominate Ulster and later Irish sides and Alpha continues today to go from strength to strength with the seemingly endless list of international honours being won by successive Alpha members in all age groups.

Bob was responsible for introducing a Christmas tournament for young players and at one stage it was being played throughout the province with entries reaching over 600 in the 1980s and was also responsible for an international event which attracted some of the top international players to the Lisburn venue in the pre Open era.

Bob has received many honours including an MBE in 2014 but he was also the recipient of a Meritorious Award from the BWF which was presented to him in front of a packed Maysfield Leisure Centre which was hosting a Europe v Asia International.

Despite being the visionary, Bob was also a character in the true sense of the word, shunning publicity and still receives the greatest satisfaction from seeing the hordes of youngsters visiting the club throughout the week and taking advantage of the now splendid facilities which he has made a large contribution to in bringing to this part of Lisburn.

Piece by Brian Kelly.

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Ulster Badminton

In existence since 1911, the Ulster Branch of Badminton Ireland is based in the Badminton Centre in Lisburn. The Branch represents the nine counties of Ulster (Donegal, Cavan, Monaghan, Fermanagh, Tyrone, Derry, Antrim, Down and Armagh). 

As a Branch of Badminton Ireland, Ulster branch actively promote and encourage badminton development in Ulster from grass roots to the highest playing level and is responsible for managing badminton throughout the province of Ulster as well as co-ordinating the Ulster open and various provincial level events.

Ulster Branch contacts can be found below:

 
Position Name Position Name
President William Martin  Masters William Martin
Chairman Ken Nixon Grading Bob Colhoun
Secretary Emma Nesbitt Events Willy Martin
Treasurer Tony Clarke Schools Linda Coughlan
Coaching Willy McMillan Child Protection Beverley Ringland 
Juvenile Ryan Prentice PRO  
Masters William Martin BI Director Ken Nixon

 

Contact

Address:Ulster Badminton
National Badminton Centre
36 Belfast Road
BT27 4AS Lisburn
Contact:Emma Nesbitt
Phone:028 9266 8392
Website:http://www.ulsterbadminton.com