By Junior Griffin:
The bell tolled for the end of another Badminton competitive season last week with the completion of the CPC.IE sponsored mixed leagues over two nights in two separate venues and the playing of the Paddy Sugrue tournaments at the Tralee Sports complex on Sunday last.
Before one of the largest crowds ever seen at a Kerry leagues finals night, Ballyheigue was the venue for two league deciders on Tuesday last April 3rd and this programme saw defending champions Killarney take on Moyvane in the division 2 decider and the final pairing in division 5 saw Kingdom, Castleisland take on Moyvane.
Each Badminton match consists of seven games with whoever wins 4 games being declared the County Champions for that season.
The seven games are made up of 1 each ladies and mens singles,1 each ladies and mens doubles and 3 mixed doubles.
A badminton encounter is played for 21 points but a game must be won by 2 clear points with the maximum score being 30 points which means that a game must conclude at the very most by 30-29.
Tuesdays nights division 5 decider saw Moyvane and Castleisland do battle after a long campaign over many months with clubs taking part from throughout the County
Moyvane got the winning start with Aoife Bowler coming good in 2 sets but Castleisland levelled the encounter with Josh Horan winning a thrilling 3 set battle against Moyvanes Bryan Kiely.
Indeed the Moyvane man looked all set for victory when he took what looked like a commanding 3 point lead late in the third and final set but the Castleisland man showed great courage to fight back and levelled the set and then forged to victory by 23-21.
That victory by Horan seemed to be a source of inspiration to the rest of the Castleisland team and from there on they surged to victory despite the ladies doubles tie being another heart-warming 3 set battle but the next four games saw the Kingdom side come out on top to give the club an overall 5-1 success, their first County title in this grade since 2007.
The Castleisland manager was Tom Bradley with his daughter Maire being one of the winning team members and, incidentally, his wife Mary was one of the 2007 winning team so the badminton blood does run freely in this family. Teams as follows;
Kingdom, Castleisland; Catriona Browne, Mairead O’Connell (Capt),Maire Bradley, Josh Horan, Wilson Pais, Luke O’Loughlin, Dylan Browne. Team Manager; Tom Bradley
Moyvane; Erin Stack (Capt.) Aoife Bowler, Marie Nolan, Fiona Buckley, Brian Kiely, Padraig Hanrahan, Mariuz Jesco, Radek Choromanski Joint team managers; Amanda Carmody, Eileen Roche
The Killarney v Moyvane division 2 final turned out to be an absolute thriller despite what the final score line might suggest.
The defending champions from Killarney set a hot pace taking both singles and ladies doubles in two sets but what a feast of top class badminton was served up in the following three games, all of which had to go to three sets for the final decision with Niamh Hickey and the evergreen Paudie Twomey clinching victory for the champions to ensure that the title stayed in East Kerry with the final score giving Killarney a 5-2 victory over a gallant fighting Moyvane side . Teams as follows;
Killarney; Peggy Horan (Capt.), Sinead Galvin, Jennifer Keane, Maeve Twomey, Niamh Hickey, Paudie Horan, Paul Kingston, Mariuz Tsunski,; Team manager; Peggy Horan
Moyvane; Amanda Carmody, Saoirse Fitzgerald (Capt), Helen Browne, Carmel Hudson, Timmy Noonan, Donnacha Moloney, Donie Enright, Team manager; Donie Enright
The action switched from Ballyheigue to the spacious Castleisland Community the following night, Wed. April 4thfor the division 4 league decider between Moyvane and Ballyheigue.
This talented Moyvane side have dominated this division for some time and were going for their 3 in a row. With 4 courts available in this ideal badminton venue, all courts were utilised from the start with both singles and both even doubles commencing at the same time.
From the outset it was a Moyvane domination with the champions winning all four games to guarantee their club the three in a row, but the mens doubles turned out to be a thrilling match with the Ballyheigue pairing of John McDonald and Colm Carroll giving as good as they got but just losing out in an explosive encounter to the experienced Moyvane pairing of Padraig Kearney and Liam O’Connor by 21-9; 19-21; 17-21
Moyvane; Bridget McCarthy, Ciara Hudson, Louise Behan, Michelle Corridan Tim Flaherty (Capt), Padraig Kearney, Liam O’Connor, Barry O’Callaghan Joint Managers; Fran Collins and John Mulvihill.
The Division 4 Mixed League Badminton Finals took place Castleisland Community Centre. This is the victorious Moyvane Division 4 Mixed Team. L/R, Louise Behan, Maria Kennelly, Liam O’Connor, Ciara Hudson, Barry O’Callaghan, Timmy Flaherty, Padraig Kearney, Michelle Corridan, Breda Lane, Bridget McCarthy. Photo by Tom Bradley
Ballyheigue; Paula O’Sullivan, Kathleen Gilbride, Siobhan Corbett, Lilian Holmes, Kevin O’Mahony, Colm Griffin, John McDonald, Colm Carroll. Joint Managers; Edel Broderick and Patrick Corridon