When players are double-booked, what can organisers do? Try to facilitate them. When a court is unavailable, what can you do? Play on three courts until the fourth can be readied.
Such were the problems and the solutions when the Offaly Juvenile Doubles third round was played in Clonaslee, and when the confusion was worked through, games were played, winners were announced, and the hall was left quiet and empty.
That was the story when Division 3, 4, and 5 Girls played their second round, followed by Division 1 and 2 Boys and Girls and
Division 2 Girls.
Division 5 Girls
Division 5 for National School beginners and improvers was a hotly contested competition. Emma Caulfield and Caoimhe Condron, Killoughey finished the first round undefeated, but started the second round by losing their first game to their nearest competitors, Kaythlin Goulding and Lorna Mahon, Killoughey. Kaythlin and Lorna only dropped one game, and Emma and Caoimhe had one more loss, but with a two point cushion to begin the day, Emma Caulfield and Caoimhe Condron held on to first place, 15 wins to 14.
Kaythlin Goulding and Lorna Mahon finished in second place. Amy O’Donoghue and Rachael Scully, Kinnity made huge improvement between the first and second rounds. With only 4 wins in 7 games in the first round, the girls scored an impressive 8 wins in 10 games in the second round to finish in third place on 12.
Niamh Lynch and Aoife Tierney scored a steady 4 wins in each round to finish on 8, but Saoirse Bergin and Mary O’Donoghue surged from 1 win in the 1st round to a total of 8 wins after the 2nd round. On the countback of scores, Saoirse Bergin and Mary O’Donoghue finished with 183 to grab 4th place from Niamh Lynch and Aoife Tierney, Boora, who scored 171.
Others in the competition were Emma Dunne and Clodaigh Daly-Lowry, Ballycumber; Ellen Robinson and Maeve Robinson, Kinnity; Chloe Robinson, Kinnity and Aine Leonard, Boora; Fiadh Dolan and Kellie Kinahan, Clonaslee; Amanda Bergin and Niamh Austin, Kinnity; and Michelle Carroll and Niamh Delaney, Kinnity.
Division 4 Girls
Katie Dunican and Laura Sutherland, struggled to win close games in the first round, losing 4 games 14/15. In this round they had only 2 one-point games, winning one and losing won.
However, even with a total of 11 wins, they had too much deficient to make up to do more than challenge for the top spot. Abi Plunkett and Jessie Ryan, Killoughey, finished in first place with six wins on day 1 and eight wins on day 2 for a total of 14. Only a 10/11 defeat by Katie and Laura kept them from a perfect score in round 2.
Megan Plunkett, Killoughey, and Cecilia Flynn, Clonaslee, scored 7 and 5 wins to finish Runners-up with 12 wins. Third and fourth places between Katie Dunican and Laura Sutherland, Rahan, and Roisin Ennis and Shona Kelly, Ballycumber, required a countback to separate the pairs after each won 11 games.
On the strength of their high scoring in their losses in the first round, Katie and Laura came out ahead 218 points to 203 to claim third place. and Roisin and Shona had to settle for 4th. Leah Mullen and Aoife Tierney, Boora, finished just off the pace with 10 wins.
Others in the competition were Christina Blake and Aine Leonard, Clonaslee and Boora, Grace Fogarty and Elaine Cogley, Killoughey, Cecilia Flynn and Emma Lawlor, Clonaslee, Nicole Dempsey and Aisling Meaney, Kinnity; and Rachel Scully and Any O’Donoghue, Kinnity. This was a terrific competition. No pair won all their games. and every pair had more than 1 win.
Division 3 Girls
Division 3 girls played best 2 out of 3 sets in the first round, but because of time constraints, and additional players, played only 1 set to 21 points in the second round. One point was awarded for each set won in each round. Tara Phelan and Cliodhna Monahan, Killoughey, finished on top with 5 wins. Robyn Grimes and Sorcha Dempsey, Kinnity, put up a spirited fight to finish Runner-up. Third place was won by Mary Harkin and Rachel Ayres, Ballycumber. The fourth and final spot went to Niamh Carroll and Rebecca Carroll, Kinnity.
Division 2 Girls
Division 2 girls upped the intensity of their games between the first and second rounds. In the afternoon session, the girls were able to continue playing the best two out of three sets as they had in the first round.
Again, 1 point was awarded for each set won. Tara Phelan, Killoughey and Olive Kearney, Rahan, dropped only 2 sets over the two rounds to finish top of the group and claim the winners trophies. Edel Egan and Jayne O’Boyle, Boora, managed to take one of those sets, but fell short in the other two, so had to settle for Runners-up.
Aisling Grogan, Boora, and Mikayla Mitchell, Killoughey, improved their performance from the first round, but still finished behind Mary Harkin and Rachel Ayres. The Ballycumber pair were awarded third place and Aisling and Mikayla accepted the fourth place trophies.
Division 1 and 2 Boys and Girls
With the absences of Helen Norton, the only Division 1 girl in the county, due to illness, Division 1 and 2 became and all boys competition and division 1 became very one-sided. Andrew Cullen and John McCabe, Country Club, were proclaimed Division 1 champions with a perfect record, 8 wins in round 1 and 6 wins in round 2.
Eoghan Phelan and Aaron Goulding playing for Helen Norton, were Runners-up. Darragh Tierney and Donal Grogan just squeaked by to win Division 2 with 8 wins. Hot on their heels were Runners-up from Country Club, Paddy Quinlan and Tony O’Connor. Third place was claimed by David Ayres and Lorcan Kelly, Ballycumber.
The Edenderry pair of Mark Abbott and Shane Cummins slipped into fourth place. Their only losses on the day were to Andrew Cullen and John McCabe and to Darragh Tierney and Donal Grogan. Their biggest scare was from Kevin Bracken and Dylan Leonard, Killoughey, that managed 29 points against the Edenderry pair. If the score were reversed, a countback would have been required to separate 4th and 5th..
Offaly League Results
Offaly leagues have resumed following the Christmas break. In Division 5, Kinnity and Killoughey played to a 2-all draw. Division 6 girls saw Killoughey and Boora play a 2-all draw; Boora score a 3-1 win against Kinnity and Killoughey sweep the match with Kinnity 4-0. Boora and Killoughey will meet in the final on March 9 in Clonaslee Community Centre.
Division 6 Men is still all to play for. Boora, Killoughey and Kinnity are fighting for the top two places with Ballycumber cast in the role of kingmaker. Ballycumber, Boora and Kinnity have each played one game since Christmas. Killoughey have finished their league schedule with 15 points, unless County Club comes back into the competition.
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