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Evans and Magee the ones to beat

Scott Evans and Chloe Magee are top seeds for this weekend's Irish Senior Badminton Championships in Lisburn.

In the men's singles, Leinster and Ulster champion Niall Tierney should make the later stages of the competition, along with brothers Sam and Daniel Magee, as well as the up-and-coming Toby Stephenson, and Scott Burnside, beaten finalist at the Ulster Open.

Carrying an injury is Will O'Neill, who was forced to pull out of the Leinster team last weekend. Ronan McGee and Owen Marron are two other players who could cause an upset. Last year, Evans beat Stephenson to take a fourth national title, after Stephenson had put out Denmark-based Alex Sim in the semi-finals.

Chloe Magee beat Sinead Chambers from Lisburn in last year's final and a repeat is very much on the cards.

Other players with a chance include Emma Calow, Laura Butler, Erin Keery and Kirsty Kelly. Leinster champion Karen Bing could cause some damage if she plays.



defending

In the men's doubles, the defending champions are Matthew Gleave and Sam Magee, who had beaten Alex Sim and Toby Stephenson in the final. Gleave and Sim lost to Daniel Magee and Niall Tierney at the Ulster Open.

Winning the women's doubles last year were Leinster's Keelin Fox and Sandra Lynch; for Fox it was a fifth national doubles title. Back in top form are Fiona and Pauline Glennon, who beat Calow and Chambers at the Ulster Open. Sam and Chloe Magee won the mixed doubles.

After beating Avon in both matches last weekend in Dublin and taking bonus points, Leinster is now on target to win Division 1 of the English Inter County Championships. New to the team last weekend were Eddie Cousins and Kirsty Kelly. Leinster now has a final round of matches against Wiltshire in early March.

Leinster champion Niall Tierney has made the Irish team to play at the Thomas Cup in Warsaw Poland from February 16-20. Also selected for this European team championship qualifier are Scott Evans, Sam Magee, Tony Stephenson and Daniel Magee.

Ireland will play the Netherlands, Greece and Estonia in Group C with the winner of the group progressing to the elimination stages. No women's team will travel.


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