Three Kerry teams (Grades C, E and G) were in action in Limerick on Sunday the 9th of February all looking for Munster glory. All three teams were on the courts at 10:00 AM for their first matches, with 9 games to be played in each match the supporters and players settled in for a great day of badminton. The Kerry G team won their first round game against Limerick but were beaten by the eventual winners, Waterford, in the second round.
The C team faced Tipperary in their opening round, after the first four doubles games the scores were 2-2 with Tipperary taking both first doubles and Kerry taking both seconds. Next up was the singles players of Tom Bourke and Niamh Flaherty who won both games for Kerry giving a 4-2 lead as they headed into the mixed. With three games remaining Kerry only needed one to secure the win, however it wasn’t to be easy. Tipperary took both first and second mixed to even the score leaving third mixed as the decider between the teams, the experienced pair of Maeve Twomey and Fergal Hannon sealed the victory for Kerry in a close three setter which meant Kerry would advance to meet Cork with a win. Cork also beat Tipperary meaning the match between Kerry and Cork was to be the decider of the Munster title. Cork started strong and after the four doubles the scoreline was 3-1 to them. The singles players, Niamh and Tom, for the Kingdom stepped up and took both games to level the scores 3-3. With all three mixed games on court both teams needed two of the three to win. Kerry won first mixed, Cork took second so it comes down to third mixed and Maeve and Fergal in an incredible score line of 23-21 and 22-20 sealed the Munster victory for the Kingdom! Team on the day was Edel Kenny, Maeve Twomey, Niamh Flaherty, Elaine Hudson, Niamh Hickey, Tom Bourke, Michael Crossan, Fergal Hannon, Donie Enright and Alan Nelligan. They will now join the D team heading to the All-Irelands in April, Ciarrai Abu!
The Kerry grade E team on the day was Samira Hayes, Brid Murphy, Helen Browne, Jaeb Workman, Amanda Carmody, Aidan McCarthy, Aaron Tan, Brendan McGovern, Timmy Noonan, and Mariusz Tusinski. First up for the team was Limerick, Kerry took the match on a score line of 8-1. Next challenge was Clare, and after the first 6 games Clare were ahead 4-2 moving into the mixed doubles with Kerry needing all three to secure a win. First and second mixed took their games and all eyes were on the third mixed pairing of Sam and Brendan who’s game was now locked in a thrilling third set. Kerry pulled off the win and took the game 5-4 setting up a winner takes all 3rd round game with Tipperary. The match started to take on a similar shape for Kerry with Tipp leading after the doubles 3-1, Amanda took the ladies singles for Kerry to pull it back to 3-2. Aidan was unlucky to lose out in the singles on score lines of 22-20 and 23-21, leaving the Kerry mixed pairings the tough task of requiring all three games again to win. First and third mixed games were over quickly with wins for Kerry, the teams were tied once more! This time it was Kerry’s second mixed pairing of Brid and Aidan who took their game to a third set but the luck ran out with Tipp taking the win and the Kerry team having to settle for silver.
Next weekend the action returns to the Killarney Sports and Leisure centre for the Division 1, 3, and 5 doubles championships. On Sunday there is the Moyvane tournament for all divisions starting with combined 1&2 at 11AM.