DESPITE the best efforts of the weather to halt the Southwest Leinster League Individual Championships, players travelled to venues and played their games, so the finals were staged in Carlow Lawn Tennis Club on January 22.
layers from 16 different clubs within the Midlands/ South Leinster region, and even into Tipperary competed. A new U-17 Grade was introduced this year in addition to the six adult grades, giving a total of 21 finals to be played.
U-17: Portarlington Parochial dominated the U-17 Girls. Clare Faherty and Rosslyn Hendy met teammates Lydia Hendy and Hannah Kearon in the final. Clare and Rosslyn prevailed 21/11, 21/13. In the Boys Final, Shane Comerford and Paddy Walsh, Johnswell, defeated Ethan Cox and Alex Whittle, Portarlington Parochial, 21/5, 21/12. Fiona Whitely and Shane Comerford received a walkover in U-17 Mixed.
Grade 1: Eimear Banville and Clare Falvey, Carlow Lawn Tennis Club, outscored Dawn Cobbe, PP, and Celine Connors, Ballycomon, 21/15, 21/13 in Ladies Doubles. In Men’s Doubles Aubrey Cox and Willie Stevenson, Carlow YM prevailed. Aubrey hails from Geashill in Co Offaly. Sylvia Campion and Willie Stevenson won the Mixed Doubles.
Grade 2: Brenda O’Byrne and Elinor Stevenson won Grade 2 Ladies for Carlow YM. Grade 2 Men went to Derek Burnett and Andrew Fenner, Mullingar. In Grade 2 Mixed. Laura Butler and Keith Kehoe came out on top for Johnswell.
Grade 3: Barbara Coffey, Abbeyleix CYMS and Ashleigh Fennell prevailed in the Ladies Doubles. In Grade 3 Men, Roy Connor and Trevor Watchorn, Carlow YM, Met Cormac Franks and Enda Hogan. The men from Country Club and Gurteen got straight to work and defeated their opponents 21/14, 21/12. The irony of badminton, or is it the irony of grading? Laura Buitler and Keith Kehoe, Johnswell, were able to win Grade 2 Mixed, but lost the Grade 3 final to Ashleigh Fennell and Victor Rigley, Carlow YM, 21/19, 21/11.
Grade 4: Camilla Dunne and Marina Lynam, Rahan, were the dominant pair in Grade 4 Ladies, winning 21/9, 21/14, against Caroline Sheedy and Trina Walsh, Kilcullen. Paul Comerford and Shane Comerford, Johnswell won the Men’s while Jennifer Dillion and Fergal Brennan, Johnswell won the Mixed
Grade 5: In Grade 5 Ladies, Ann Barron and Kathleen Snoddy, Carlow LTC came out on top. The Men’s Grade 5 final proved much more exciting. Carthage Byrne and Owen Wallace, Rahan and Abbeyleix CYMS, met Terry Clarke and Seamus Farrell, Ballinkillen. Terry and Seamus prevailed in the 1st set 21/14. Carthage and Owen regrouped for the 2nd set and won 21/12. They followed this by a 21/11 3rd set, to win the match 2 sets to 1. Shane Comerford and Yvonne Hoban won the Mixed
Grade 6: Orlagh Moran and Laura Murphy, Carlow LTC won the Ladies while the Men’s final was won by Padraig Dempsey and Jack Geoghegan, PP. Rathangan players proved the best in Grade 6 Mixed. Linda Burke and Jack O’Connell met clubmates Eimear Murphy and Bobby Harrison. Eimear and Bobby won, 21/15, 21/12.