A big entry, lots of play, and some surprise results. That was the order of the day when Division 3, 4, and 5 boys met for the final round of the Offaly Juvenile Doubles in Clonaslee.
James Coughlan and Mark Flaherty, Kinnity, finished at the top of the table after the 1st round, and only lost one game in the second round and that to 2nd place finishers Tony O’Connor and Paddy Quinlan, Country Club.
Surprise pair on the day were Lorcan Kelly and Daniel Hiney, Ballycumber. Lorcan and Daniel finished well down the table after the 1st round with only 4 wins, but only dropped 1 score in the 2nd round in a 15/14 loss to Coughlan and Flaherty to finish in 3rd spot.
A count-back was required to separate Joe Daly and Kevin Daly, Killoughey and Ethan Rowe-McCormack and Darragh Tierney, Boora. Each pair won 5 games in each round. Joe and Kevin finished with 81 points in their losses while Ethan and Darragh could only accumulate 74.
Division 4 was played in 2 pools of 8 pairs each, so the top 4 pairs from each pool went forward into quarterfinals.
From Pool A, Peter Moran and James Moran, Killoughey, lost 1 game in the 2nd round to leave them top of the table with 13 wins. 2nd place went to Aaron Goulding and Conor Brady, Killoughey. Shane Murphy and Declan Boylan, Boora, moved from 4th in the 1st round to 3rd after the second round. The last quarterfinal spot was claimed by Kyle Cornally and Luke Gavin-Mangan, BC.
In Pool B, Conor Owens, Killoughey and Fergal Hanamy, Boora, finished top seed with 13 points, followed by Shane Corrigan and Andrew Robinson, Kinnity, with 12. William Cummins and David Quinlan, Country Club claimed the third spot with 5 wins in the 2nd round. The final quarterfinal spot was claimed by Barry Moylan, Boora, and Darren Caulfield, Killoughey, who also had a huge improvement on the day.
The quarter-finals and semi-finals proved a rocky road for some of the favourites. Peter and James Moran scrapped past Barry Moylan and Darren Caulfield in the 1st quarterfinal, 21/18.
William Cummins and David Quinlan scored a minor upset against Conor Brady and Aaron Goulding. A bigger upset occurred in Quarter-final 3 when Declan Boylan and Shane Murphy eliminated Shane Corrigan and Andrew Robinson. The biggest upset of all was struggling Ballycumber pair, Kyle Cornally and Luke Gavin-Mangan outscored Conor Owens and Fergal Hanamy
In the semi-finals, Luke and Kyle earned their place in the final by beating William Cummins and David Quinlan, while Declan Boylan and Shane Murphy pushed Peter Moran and James Moran in the battle for 3rd and 4th. The final proved a very exciting match, but Kyle Cornally and Luke Gavin-Mangan secured the title for Ballycumber. Declan Boylan and Shane Murphy finished 2nd for Boora. Peter Moran and James Moran got back to winning form with a win against William Cummins and David Quinlan to determine 3rd and 4th.
The road to qualification for the play-offs was even harder in Division 5. With only 5 pairs in Pool A, only the top 2 pairs went into semi-finals. Luke Cashin and Liam Seacy, Country Club were up for the task. Shane Kearney and Paul Lynam, R, edged out Aaron Loughnane and Luke Seacy, CC by 21 scores for 2nd place.
In Pool B, Shane Daly and Sean Hanamy lost 1 game in the two rounds to qualify to meet Shane and Paul in the 1st semi-final. Jordan Coady and Stephen Dunican, Kill, qualified in 2nd spot to meet Liam Seacy and Luke Cashen in the other semi-final.
The big surprise in Division 5 came when Shane Kearney and Paul Lynam outscored Shane Daly and Sean Hanamy. Luke Cashen and Liam Seacy eased past Jordan Coady and Stephen Dunican. Luke Cashen and Liam Seacy won the final against Shane Kearney and Paul Lynam to claim the Division 5 title for Country Club. Shane Kearney and Paul Lynam are Runners-up for Rahan.
Shane Daly and Sean Hanamy outscored Stephen Dunican and Jordan Coady to claim 3rd for Boora and leave 4th to Killoughey.