Connacht U15 Close 9th February 2013

Galway Players Excel At Provincial Level

The Connacht Under 15 Closed Badminton Championships were hosted by Castlebar BC on Saturday last at the De La Salle Complex in St Geralds Collage and seven Galway players made the long and ultimately productive journey there. Conamara Thiar brothers Joshua and Jamie Merrin-Pryce lost out at the penultimate stage of the Boys Doubles to their club mates Luke Gannon and Daniel Pryce-Williams. The latter then went on to defeat Stephen Jennings (Castlebar) and Adam McAllister (Ballaghdereen) 21-8, 21-19 in the final and in the process secure a first ever Connacht Boys title for the West Connemara club. In the Girls Doubles equivalent, GLTC pairing Jennifer Lalor and Molly Davies fought back from a set down to eventually overcome the strong Newport partnership of Ellie Dillane and Feenagh McManamon 21-14 in the third. McManamon made amends in the Girls Singles final however, when she defeated Davies 13-21 21-19 21-15 in a high quality encounter which was fiercely contested. Jennifer Lalor defeated Leah Rowe (Ballinaheglesh) in the Plate Singles final.

The Boys Singles title was captured by Irish under 13 International Adam McAllister in straight sets 21-12, 21-14, but his victory over Luke Gannon was much tougher than the scoreline suggests. Trailing 9-1 in the second and seemingly dead and buried, Gannon dug deep to haul himself back into contention at 13-13 only for McAllister to reassert his earlier dominance. It was a match characterised by several long and exciting rallies, but there was no doubting McAllister’s superiority in the finish. The highlight of these championships was undoubtedly the Mixed Final which saw Molly Davies and Luke Gannon pitted against Adam McAllister and Amy Gannon. An absorbing and exciting hour long contest which ebbed and flowed throughout eventually finished  23-21, 20-22, 25-23 in favour of the all Galway partnership but the vanquished Connacht under 13 pair who led by 12-4 and 16-9 at different stages in the final set will surely feel that a glorious opportunity to cause a major upset was spurned. 

As the curtain comes down on another season of Connacht Juvenile Championships within the four respective age groups, Galway players can look back with pride on their achievements therein. Conamara Thiar’s Ceiti Daly and Amy Gannon captured the Under 13 Girls Doubles title with the latter also annexing the Singles crown and reaching the final of the Mixed with Castlebar’s Mark Dolan. At Under 17 level, Jack Davies (GLTC) and Luke Gannon reached the final of the Doubles. Davies partnered up with Emily Darby (GLTC) to claim the Mixed title but his crowning achievement in St Nathys on the day in question was his thrilling victory over Ballina’s Jack O Brien in the final of the Boys Singles.

The GCBA Juvenile Committee would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the aforementioned players on being such great ambassadors for the county on their provincial travels and further afield. As the playing standards begin to improve within Galway over the coming seasons, it shouldn’t be too long before a new tranche of players will also be competing effectively against opponents from outside their native county.