AN enthralling day's badminton in Killarney and more Munster glory for Kerry at the under-11 Munster championships at Limerick.
Pride of place must go to those under-11 players who did the Ccounty so proud in Limerick last week by winning the Munster team title for the first time. Many of those players again made the journey to Limerick on Sunday last for the Munster under-11 Championships and out of the five titles on offer Kerry players won four of these finals.
A Munster title did cross the Kerry border on Sunday evening, the boys doubles final that was contested by Sean Kennedy (Annascaul) and Dylan Geaney (Dingle), who had defeated the Cork champions in the semifinal, and the Clare pairing of Daniel O'Meara and Rory Donnelly.
The first set was spellbinding with no more than two points between the sides at any time. At 21-20 Clare had a chance of set victory but the Kerry boys raised their game to new heights and captured an absorbing set by 27-25.
Kerry mentor Billy Lacey immediately called his players to one side and used his coaching skills to great effect. Spotting a chink in the Clare armour he drilled into his players what tactics to use in the second set and what a difference this made. It was all Kerry in the second set and Munster glory was theirs as they won Kerry's first ever championship title at this level on the scoreline of 21-11.
Annascaul's Sean Kennedy certainly left his mark as he contested all three finals. The singles decider saw him lose to O'Meara by 21-16; 21-17 and in the mixed final he was partnered by Killarney's Edel O'Brien but they lost to the Clare pairing by 21-10; 21-10.
It has been some three weeks for young Kennedy. Firstly, a Kerry singles title, followed last week by a Munster team title and on Sunday last the Munster championship crown.
Kerry's fourth finalist was Annascaul's Rachel O'Connor, which is in her first season of competitive badminton and what a future she seems to have. Sundays semi-final was an all Kerry confrontation between Miss O'Connor and Killarney's Ciara O'Mahony with the result being a reverse of the recent Kerry singles final with the Annascaul girl winning on Sunday last by 21-19; 2115.
The final saw her pitted against Clares Alexandra Troy of Clare who had the honour of winning all three Munster titles but all Kerry players and Billy Lacey can be so proud off the performances.
It was some day of badminton at Killarney's Sports centre on Sunday last where well over 150 players contested the four annual tournaments which featured all five divisions within Kerry.
Even in the eight finals played five of these were absorbing three set encounters and the game of badminton in Kerry proves to be alive and well.
RESULTS Paddy Drummond Cup, Division 1&2 Mixed final Elaine Hudson ( Moyvane) and Tom Bourke (Kingdom, Castleisland) defeated Sinead Graham (Killarney) and Gio Gaudino (Castleisland) 21-17; 17-21; 21-19; Waterstone Cup Division 3 mixed final Ruth Concannon (County, Tralee) and Patrick Corridon (Listowel) defeated Anne O'Sullivan's (Kenmare) and Gene O'Connor (Dingle) ;21-15; 15-21; 22-20 Div 3 Plate final Suzanne Sheehy (Tralee) and Michael O'Shea (Sneem-Iveragh) defeated Mauve Twomey (Killarney) and Mikey Sheehy (Tralee) 25-23; 21-13 Division 4 Shield mixed doubles final Grainne McGearailt (Kenmare) and Aidan Evans (Annascaul) defeated Hylda Harmon (Killarney) and Ivan O'Brien (Moyvane) 21-14;21-17 Div 4 mixed Plate final Mimi Gotink (Kenmare) and Joe Coulson (Moyvane) defeated Rita McCarthy (Listowel) and Timmy Hanrahan (Moyvane) 21-12; 17-21; 21-17 Div 4 mens doubles plate final Sean Bradley ( Sneem-Iveragh) and Diarmuid Fitzmaurice (Moyvane) defeated Mike Reardon (Sneem- Iveragh) and Kieron Crehan (Killarney) 21-18; 21-23; 22-20 Mixed doubles div 5 Shield final Dolores Prendeville (Listowel) and Aidan O'Connor (Dingle) defeated Elaine Clifford (Tralee and Alumin (Killarney) 21-19; 21-14 Div 5 plate final Elaine Dillon (Listowel) and Michael O'Connor (Castleisland) defeated Maria O'Connor (Killarney) and Brendan Culhane (Listowel) 21-11; 12-21; 21-15.
The badminton programme on Sunday next switches between Moyvane and Cork.
The Moyvane club hold their annual tournaments in their local Community Centre and this is one of the popular events on the Kerry calender
The division 5 grade will commence procceedings at 12 noon; division 4 at 2.30; division 3 at 4pm and division 2 at 6pm. All entries to Eileen Roche as soon as possible.
Munster's Butterfield cup will be hosted by Cork on Sunday next.
At the time of writing the Kerry panel has not been issued but is sure to be spearheaded by Kerry stars such as Helen Twomey, Mary Falvey, Tom Bourke and Gio Gaudino.