Clubs catching up on ties to clear backlog
GOOD PROGRESS is being made in most of the sections in catching up on fixtures postponed because of bad weather. Tournament organiser, Eddie Kent, is keen that the backlog is cleared as soon as possible so that he can put in place arrangements for the semi-finals and finals.
In Webb Sports Division 6, the semi-final places are now established. In zone A the Ballycogley team of Paddy Moore, Denis Moore, Mary T. Ryan and Mairéad Mullins comfortably won the group with 38 points. They will face the Davidstown team of Fergus Murphy, Gerard McGrath, Sinéad Bolger and Bridget Kelly who finished runner-up in zone B.
The young Taghmon team of Andy McGrath, M.J. Dunne, Leanne Murray and Clodagh Dunne headed the table in zone B and will meet Terrerath A who finished in second place in zone A. The Terrerath team is Brendan O'Neill, Nicholas Sinnott, Louise Bennett and Siobhán Creane.
In the Martin Scallan and Sons Division 5, there is still one match to be played in zone A between Gorey and Shelburne C. Shelburne A on 46 points are the winners of the zone but, with Gorey on 19 points and Shelburne C on 22 points, the importance of the remaining match is clear and the outcome will decide who will take the runner-up spot. In zone B, Shelburne D are the clear winners on 48 points with Shelburne B qualifying to play their A team in the semi-final as runner-up in the zone.
In Wexford Field Sports Division 4, five teams are in contention to reach the final and each of them has one match to play. At this stage it is difficult to forecast who will come through. Shelburne A lead with 33 points, Ballykillen A have 31 points, while Shelburne B are on 30 points. These teams are followed by St. Martin's on 29 points and Ballycogley on 26 points.
The position is also unclear in Remax South East Properties Division 3 due to the number of unplayed matches. New Ross have completed all their fixtures and are on 49 points. Shelburne A have 27 points with three matches to play and must be favoured over Gorey who have 20 points with four matches to play, and Shelburne B who have 20 points with three matches to play.
In New Ross Community Workshop Division 2, one match remains to be played but the top two positions are reserved for Shelburne on 37 points with all matches played and Taghmon who have 36 points with one match to complete.
Road Dog Couriers Division 1 must be giving Eddie Kent the most headaches as each team has only completed half its fixtures. At the moment Taghmon with 12 points lead from Gorey with seven points and New Ross with six points. Each team has two more matches to play.
Entry forms for the ladies' and gents' doubles leagues have been issued to the clubs and it would be appreciated if entries would be returned as soon as possible. Dates for the shield competition for Divisions 2 and 4 have yet to be finalised.
Laura Butler made the long journey to Lisburn to play in the Ulster Junior Open Championships and she will have felt it worthwhile as she came away with the ladies' singles title with a convincing 21-11, 21-15 win over Dubliner Kirsty Kelly. In the mixed doubles, partnered by William Gourley, she reached the semi-final only to be beaten in three sets by Ian McBeth and Kirsty Kelly.
The absence of Clodagh Kent, because of injury, and Nicholas Murphy ('flu victim) did not prevent Wexford players having a successful Leinster Open at Under-17 and Under-13 levels. In the Under-17 girls' singles, Taghmon player Ciara Dunne won the title with an exciting three-set victory over Louth's Fionnuala McCourt (19-21, 21-13, 21-19). She had to overcome stout resistance from fellow Wexford player, Karen Butler (Davidstown), in the semi-final on a scoreline of 21-15, 13-21, 21-11. Terrerath player Siobhán Creane went out to Rachel Boyle early on.
In the absence of her usual partner, Clodagh Kent, Ciara teamed up with Rebecca Sexton. Playing with a new partner did not seem to affect her as she won this title also. In a very close final they defeated Karen Butler and Fionnuala McCourt 18-21, 21-15, 21-17.
Siobhán Creane, partnered by Rachel Murray, lost 12-21, 15-21. In the mixed doubles Ciara played with Dubliner Ian Patterson and again won a three-set final, beating David Neylon and Fionnuala McCourt 21-12, 19-21, 21-19. Karen Butler, partnered by Dubliner Conor Moloney, was narrowly beaten 21-17, 19-21, 8-21 by the runners-up in the competition
Ciara's younger sister, Clodagh, performed very well in the Under-13 competition where she was playing in a higher age group than her own. In the singles she lost to third seed Aime Moore in the second round.
Partnered by Nhat Hiu Nhat, she lost in the quarter-final of the mixed doubles to the second seeds. In the girls' doubles partnered by Laura Kinnerk, she lost an exciting semi-final to the second seeds, Rachel McNulty and Hannah Wiley, 9-21, 26-24, 18-21.