Championship Season Openers and Munster Medals

In what has been a very busy two weeks of Kerry Badminton the first of the Kerry County Champions for 2020 has been decided.  Friday evening on the 24th of January in the Sports and Leisure centre in Killarney was the time and place for the CPC.ie sponsored Division 5, 3 and 1 men’s and ladies singles contest.  Six titles were up for decision, the games were exciting and went long into the night with the last final going into a closely fought third set after the clock struck midnight. The enthralled crowd stayed to watch until the last shuttle hit the ground and the first senior champions for the 2019-2020 season are:

Division 5 Ladies: Molly McElligott Leane (Listowel) defeated Saoirse Murphy (Killarney)

Division 5 Mens: Aidan Reidy (Ballyheigue) defeated Joe Carroll (Causeway)

Division 3 Ladies: Dena Vesko (Listowel) defeated Jaeb Workman (Killarney)

Division 3 Mens: Jack McElligott (Listowel) defeated Timmy Hanranhan (Kingdom Castleisland)

Division 1 Ladies: Niamh Flaherty (Moyvane) defeated Edel Kenny (Kingdom Castleisland)

Division 1 Mens: Tom Bourke (Kingdom Castleisland) defeated Christopher O’Donoghue (Moyvane)

Also held on the 18th of Jan were the first of the Juvenile championships, the Girls and Boys Kerry Doubles. Over 160 players took part and champions for the season are:

U 10 Girls: Nicole Vesko (Listowel) & Triona Prendeville (Listowel)

U 10 Boys: John Joe Carmody (Listowel) & Ciaran Moriarty (Listowel)

U12 Girls: Sinead Kelly (Listowel) & Kate Nolan (Listowel)

U12 Boys: Oscar McElligott (Listowel) & Ben McElligott (Listowel)

U14 girls: Jessica O Loughlin (Kingdom) & Bella Harmon (Kingdom)

U14 Boys: Ruadhan Donovan (Annascaul) & Jack Lyne (Annascaul)

U16 Girls: Ciara Knightly (Annascaul) & Aine Hanafin (Annascaul)

U16 Boys: Tomas O Sullivan (Listowel) & Ethan Tritchler (Listowel)

There has been plenty of Munster action for both the senior and junior Kerry players in the last fortnight with medals and titles coming back to the Kingdom.  A very successful day for the two Kerry Juvenile teams in association with Lee Strand who travelled to Waterford last Saturday. The U11s claimed gold while the U15s came home with silver. The U11 team beat Cork 14-4, beat Waterford 13-5 and defeated Tipperary in the final. The U15 team beat Tipperary 10-8, beat Clare 12-6 and faced a strong Cork team in the final to claim runner up position.

In the Munster Grade D’s, hosted by Kerry on the 19th of Jan, the established pairing of Maeve Twomey (Killarney) and Elaine Hudson (Moyvane) reclaimed their ladies’ doubles title. Maeve followed it up with a second title on the day winning the mixed title with her Listowel partner Fergal Hannon defeating the Kerry pairing of Saorcha Fitzgerald and Alan Nelligan in the final. Fergal also picked up the silver medal in the men’s singles. In the Grade G’s Listowel pairing of Rita McCarthy and Madison Carter were runner’s up in the ladies doubles.  Action then moved to Waterford on the 26th for the Grade E competition where three silver medals came back to the Kingdom, Aidan McCarthy (Kingdom) was runner up in men’s singles, Brid Murphy (Kingdom) & Helen Browne (Moyvane) were runners up in ladies’ doubles, Helen & Aaron Tan (Kingdom) were runners up in the mixed.

Sunday also saw the Ballyheigue club hosting their annual tournament for divisions 3, 4 and 5 players.   The hosts put on a great tournament and I heard they provided a particularly fantastic spread of food to keep the players and all their supporters fuelled for the day. Special thanks to the sponsors of the individual competitions, Flahive’s bar, AOH Valeting, Corrib Oil, Lee Strand and Ballyheigue Golf club.  The Division 5 winners on the day were Charlotte Quinn (Moyvane) and Brian Hehir (Ballyheigue). Division 4 Andrea Burke (Limerick) and Radek Choromanski (Moyvane) and finally division 3 Aidan Evans (Annascaul) and Josie Gilbert (Ballyheigue).

Next Friday night sees more Championship action in Killarney with the first of the division 2 and 4 titles up for grabs and senior teams in intercounty action.

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