Future is very safe
High standard in Juvenile contests
The annual Wexford badminton Juvenile county championships took place in Ramsgrange, and players from Gorey, Monaseed, Taghmon, Shelburne and Terrerath clubs demonstrated with style and skill how they are the future of the sport in Wexford.
In the Under-11 age category, Sarah Doyle from Monaseed won all three girls' titles: singles, doubles playing with Leah Canavan from Gorey, and mixed playing with David Remenyik, also from Gorey.
In two of the finals, the singles and the doubles, Anne Nolan from Taghmon finished as runner-up. Kyle Gammel and Leah Canavan were runners-up in the mixed.
Karim Boukhima from Gorey took the boys' singles title from clubmate Kyle Gammel in the final, but they teamed up in the boys' doubles to win the title from runners-up Harvey O'Brien and Ben Furlong from Taghmon.
In the Under-13 category, Evan Byrne and Aine Crowe from Gorey both won three out of three events. In the boys' singles title favourite Byrne comfortably beat Paddy Nolan from Taghmon, who had earlier caused an upset in the semi-final by putting out the number two seed, Seán Bass.
Evan Byrne, playing with Seán Bass, took the title from Gorey clubmates Shane Flood and Kyle Gammel in the final of the boys' doubles.
In the girls' singles, number one seed Aine Crowe took the title from Amy Ennis from Shelburne. Aine partnered Bethany Trankner to victory over Taghmon duo Libby O'Brien and Lara Murphy in the girls' doubles final. Having secured two titles each, Evan Byrne and Aine Crowe, playing together in the Under-13 mixed doubles, won the title, with Paddy Nolan from Taghmon and Amy Ennis from Shelburne finishing as runners-up.
Both Evan Byrne and Aine Crowe went on to win a fourth title in the Under-15 category. Aine won the girls' singles title from Katie Smyth of Monaseed. Evan won the boys' doubles title partnering Jack Nolan, also from Gorey.
The boys' doubles was one of three Under-15 titles secured by Jack Nolan. He defeated Evan Byrne in the final of the singles, Evan having defeated number one seed James McKenzie in the semi-final. Jack also partnered Katie Smyth to take the mixed title from Evan Byrne and Aine Crowe.
The girls' doubles was won by Katie Smyth and Orla Bass from Gorey who defeated Ava Somers-Whitty from Shelburne and Rachel Crosbie from Taghmon in the final.
There was also a triple winner in the Under-17 category as Ryan Cogley from Taghmon took the singles, doubles and mixed titles. He defeated clubmate James McKenzie in the final of the singles and, playing with brother Brandon Cogley, defeated James McKenzie and Patrick O' Regan in the final of the boys' doubles.
The Cogley brothers were on opposite sides of the net in the mixed final as Ryan, playing with Katie Whelan from Shelburne, took the title ahead of Brandon and Clodagh Dempsey from Taghmon. Clodagh had earlier secured two titles, having won the girls' singles from Katie Whelan and, playing with Rachel Crosbie, taking the girls' doubles title from the Shelburne duo of Katie Whelan and Kerri Doyle.
The above report is littered with names that will no doubt feature in adult reports of the future whether it be in a Wexford, Leinster, national or international forum.
Just as the current crop of young adults are making a name for themselves and for Wexford on the national and international scene, it is great to see the next batch of talent emerging. Recently it was reported the adult county championships had one of its best-ever showings; equally that can be said for the under-age competition with fantastic duels throughout all age categories in a well-run competition.
Again, all this does not happen at random or by accident and is due not only to the hard work of the players themselves but by parents and volunteers who seem to be getting better at their jobs considering the standard of badminton.
Tournament director Ross McNiven, who incidentally coaches many of the players involved, deserves special congratulations for setting up and running the competition.
A sincere word of thanks too to the umpires and assistants along with of course the supporters and parents who made the day a very worthwhile success.