Saturday 20 October 2018

Badminton: Cousins claims mixed title

THERE WAS a strong contingent of Wexford players participating in the Irish Junior championships at Terenure Centre. The county's leading male player, Edward Cousins, had a very successful tournament.

In the singles he started off with a good win over Liam O'Leary from Louth. In the next round he had a great 21-13, 25-23 win over number one seed Scott Burnside from Ulster. This led him to a quarter-final match against fellow Wexford player Liam Sinnott which he won 2111, 21-13.

In the semi-final he came back from losing the first set against Ulster player Stuart Lightbody to record an 18-21, 21-17, 21-14 victory. In the final Cousins was not quite at his best and lost 15-21, 11-21.

He did even better in the mixed doubles partnered by Fiona Glennon (Kildare). They reached the semi-final with two-set victories over Ciarán Chambers and Keady Smith from Ulster and Cedric Magne and Siobhán Grehan (Dublin).

They then had a convincing win against Lincoln Nelson (Gorey) and Grace Webster 21-9, 21-12. In the final they overcame Leinster pair Joe Ledwidge and Kirsty Kelly 2119, 22-20.

In the men's doubles he partnered Liam O'Leary and, after a first round win, they were defeated 1421, 10-21 by third-seeded pair Jonathan Dolan and David Walsh. This tournament will give Cousins a confidence boost prior to travelling to the U.K. with the Leinster Senior team competing in the English inter-county championships.

Also in the men's singles, Alan Mackey had a third round defeat to Stuart Lightbody 18-21, 13-21. Vincent Mackey won a tough second round match 17-21, 23-21, 21-17 against Cormac O'Connor before losing to ex-international player Pat Marron 11-21, 5-21.

In the ladies' singles, Laura Butler (Davidstown) defeated Wexford colleague Clodagh Kent (Taghmon) 21-11, 21-13 before losing to eventual winner, northerner Alannah Stephenson 14-21, 21-14, 13-21.

In the men's doubles, Lincoln Nelson and Alan Carton lost a close first round match 18-21, 21-17, 1721, whilst Alan and Vincent Mackey lost in the first round to Ciarán Chambers and Joshua Magee.

In the ladies' doubles, Laura Butler and Elaine Dunne (Taghmon) teamed up for the first time this season.

A first round victory against Rachel Darragh and Aisling Ryan was followed by a quarter-final win over Clodagh Kent (Taghmon) and Katryn McGladdery. The pair then lost a very close semi-final 17-21, 21-14, 16-21 against Valerie Martin and Caroline O'Sullivan.

Laura Lynch ( New Ross), partnered by Ciara Pender, had a first round win against Keady Smith and Alannah Stephenson before losing to Donna Kee and Ciara McCooey 13-21, 16-21.

In the mixed doubles, Lincoln Nelson (Gorey) partnered by Grace Webster had a very good run. In the second round they defeated Liam McNamara and Ciara Pender before winning a very close quarterfinal match 21-18, 12-21, 22-20 against top seeds Laura Butler (Davidstown) and William Gourley. Clodagh Kent (Taghmon), partnering Liam O'Leary, lost in the quarterfinal to second seeds Owen Marron and Jennie King 10-21, 5-21.

In Road Dog Couriers Division 1, New Ross got off to a winning start by beating Shelburne 6-4 at home. This was a fine match with three of the games decided on the third set.

In Remax South East Properties Division 3, New Ross had a convincing 8-1 win over Shelburne B. At this early stage New Ross look very much like the team to beat. In the Martin Scallan Division 5 zone B, Shelburne played out a 5-5 draw with St. Martin's.

Seamus Creane advises that the organisers of the Regional Development Squad are looking for young players with potential and are prepared to give a commitment to the squad who train on Fridays from 6.30 to 8.30 p.m.

They are holding an assessment night in Ramsgrange Community School on Friday, November 26, at 6.30 p.m.

Anybody interested can come along and join in with the squad on that night. Players selected will be given further information about the squad activities.

The Leinster selectors have announced the squad of players to compete in the Under-16 tournament in York. Wexford players Karen Butler and Nicholas Murphy are included.

Undoubtedly the selectors were influenced by the good results from both players in the tournaments so far this season.