April 13, 2024

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Day With badminton

Offaly Badminton Ladies rule in U19 Leinster

7 min read

Colaiste Naomh Cormac boys and girls U19 badminton teams travelled to Baldoyle Badminton Centre in Dublin to compete in Division 2 Leinster Finals, and Banagher College Colaiste na Sionna boys and girls U19 teams travelled to play in Division 3.  What a way to celebrate Women in Sport week with two Leinster titles for the two girls’ teams!  CNC boys weren’t far behind, returning home with Runners-up medals in Division 2.  Three girls, Emily-Rose Johnson and Sarah Meacle, CNC, and Emma Grogan, BCCNS, finished their competitions undefeated as did Adam Screeney for CNC Boys.

Division 2 Girls: 

Colaiste Naomh Cormac fielded the same team that played in the Offaly Blitz, Emily-Rose Johnson, Caroline Meacle, Sarah Meacle and Emma Rosney.  For the Leinster Finals, the team used a different line-up, with Emily-Rose joining Sarah for 1st doubles and Caroline partnering Emma in 2nd doubles.  Emily-Rose also took the lead singles position.  The changes paid off big-time for the team. 

CNC v Presentation Kilkenny:  Emily-Rose Johnson led off with a massive 30/5 win.  Sarah Meacle followed this with a 30/6 win.  Caroline Meacle kept CNC on a roll with a 30/21 win.  Emma Rosney, the least experienced member of the team suffered a defeat in 4th singles.  Emily-Rose and Sarah were ruthless in 1st doubles with a 30/2 win.  Caroline and Emma fought hard in their game, but finally succumbed 24/30.  As well as winning the match 4-2, CNC rolled up a massive 147/94 scoring difference. 

CNC v St. Mary’s Naas:  There is history between St. Mary’s and CNC.  CNC have never beaten St. Mary’s.  The last time the teams met in the Leinster Finals, St. Mary’s finished with a 1 point win when points scored by both teams in their head-to-head were totalled.  Points do matter.  This CNC team rewrote history.  Emily Rose Johnson led off with a hard-fought win, 30/12.  In 2nd singles, Sarah Meacle accomplished what no Kilcormac school players have done since 1997.  Sarah made no mistake on serves or play, winning 30/0.  In 1997 in an All-Ireland league final, Fiona Nevin and Patricia Molloy also held their opponents scoreless.  Caroline Meacle carried on CNC’s winning streak, 30/6.  Emma Rosney met a more experienced opponent and suffered CNC’s first defeat.  Emily-Rose and Sarah combined to win doubles 30/7.  Heartbreak for Caroline and Emma. They fought point for point with their St. Mary’s opponents but unfortunately, St. Mary’s got the last shuttle to the floor, winning 30/29.  Another 4-2 win for CNC with a margin of 155-85. 

CNC v St. Joseph’s Cluny, Killiney:  Emily-Rose Johnson and Sarah Meacle scored identical 30/5 wins in 1st and 2nd singles, and Caroline Meacle wasn’t far behind at 30/6.  Emma Rosney built up her biggest score, before finally losing 19/30.  Emily-Rose and Sarah scored a 30/6 win before Caroline and Emma lost 21/30.  Another 4-2 win, another hugh scoring difference, 160-82, and Colaiste Naomh Cormac were the 2022 Leinster Division 2 Girls Champions.

Division 3 Girls:  Banagher College Colaiste na Sionna added two more players to their team of Aoibhe Dooley, Naoise Dooley, Emma Grogan and Leanne Mahon that finished 2nd to CNC in the Offaly Blitz.  Lorna Kelly and Ambre Le Blanc Hugon joined their teammates in Dublin. 

BCCNS v Kilkenny College: Kilkenny College were Banagher College’s first opponents.  As a boarding/day school, Kilkenny College had been training all during Covid, so were sharp coming into the Leinster Finals.  They proved to be Banagher College’s toughest opponents.  Leanne Mahon fought hard in 1st singles before she went down 27/30.  Emma Grogan was clinical as she disposed of her Kilkenny opponent 30/6.  Naoise Dooley was a match for her opponent, winning 3rd singles 30/26.  Aoibhe Dooley didn’t fare as well, losing 18/30.  Emma and Leanne put Banagher back in front 30/19.  When Kilkenny won 2nd doubles against Naoise and Aoibhe, 30/20, the pens and calculators were out adding up scores.  The results, a 3-3 draw, with Banagher College ahead on points 155-141. 

BCCNS v Mt. Temple:  Mt. Temple, Dublin, were not in the same class as Kilkenny College.  Leanne Mahon led off with a 30/19 win in 1st singles.  Emma Grogan followed with a 30/6 win.  Naoise Dooley stumbles, losing 27/30, but Aoibhe Dooley picked up the baton for Banagher, winning 30/18.  Leanne and Emma showed no mercy, winning 30/8.  Naoise and Aoibhe followed with another win, 30/18.  5-1 to Banagher College. 

BCCNS v Moate:  Banagher College were living on the edge against Moate.  Leanne and Emma got the Offaly school off to a great start with 30/19 and 30/6 wins.  Naoise and Aoibhe rolled up big scores, but lost out in the end, 26/30 and 27/30.  BCCNS were well ahead on points at this stage, but couldn’t afford a slip in doubles.  Leanne and Emma rose to the occasion, winning 30/12.  Banagher were guaranteed a draw.  When Naoise and Aoibhe lost 23/30, a draw is what they scored.  Again pens and calculators were out, and again BCCNS came out on the long end of a 166/127 score.  Leinster badminton counts match wins first, and every match must have a winner, so when games are even the head-to-head scores matter.  Banagher College were crowned Leinster Division 3 Girls’ champions on scoring difference in their two drawn matches.  This is the second Banagher College team to hold a Leinster crown.  Banagher boys became the first Offaly school to win a Leinster Final in the new badminton era when they won Division 3 in 2012.

Division 2 Boys:  The Colaiste Naomh Cormac team went into the Boys’ Division 2 competitions with great expectations of a win.  The boys were reigning All-Ireland U14 Champions from 2019, and since the All-Irelands have not been played since, they were the champions.  The team of Richard Bracken, Richard Casey, Andrew Johnson, James Mahon and Adam Screeney was the same as in 2019.  

CNC v Kilkenny College:  Kilkenny College entered the competition with the same expectations as CNC, to emerge as Leinster champions.  Adam Screeney got the start for CNC that they wanted, a 30/19 win in 1st doubles, but Adam had to overcome a slow start to win.  Andrew Johnson was another slow starter, was never allowed to hit his rhythm, rallied after the end change, but still lost 24/30.  James Mahon suffered another loss, 19/30.  Kilkenny College scored their 3rd singles win against Richard Casey.  In the doubles, Adam and Andrew got one back for CNC, 30/22, but when James and Richard C lost 2nd doubles, CNC were down 2-4. 

CNC v Sutton:  Sutton were a different class than Kilkenny College.  Adam Screeney led off with another win, 30/17.  Andrew Johnson followed up with a 30/9 win in 2nd singles.  James Mahon played his opponent point for point until he fell away at the end of the game and lost 26/30.  Richard Bracken answered back with a 30/15 win in 4th singles.  Adam and Andrew were decisive in a 30/12 doubles win, and James and Richard B ground out a 30/26 win in second doubles, leaving the score 5-1 to CNC. 

CNC v Blackrock College:  CNC got off to a flying start in their singles matches with wins by Adam Screeney, 30/16, Andrew Johnson, 30/19.  James Mahon faced a stronger opponent, but with his very competitive, never-say-die attitude, he pulled off a 30/28 win.  Richard Casey did much better in this match, scoring 20 points, but lost 20/30.  Adam and Andrew scored another doubles win, 30/16, to leave Adam with a perfect competition, 6 wins and no defeats in the three matches.  James and Richard C only slipped up at the end of their match when they lost 28/30.  With 1 loss and 2 wins, Colaiste Naomh Cormac finished in second place on a better game difference than the third place school.  Colaiste Naomh Cormac boys arrived back in Kilcormac as Leinster U19 Runners-Up.

Division 3 Boys: 

The Banagher College Colaiste na Sionna team arrived in Dublin determined to emulate the first Banagher team to reach the Leinster finals when the team of Declan Boylan, Enda Flynn, Fergal Hanamy, and Darragh Tierney won Division 3.  Banagher College played in a group of three, the winner to go through to a final against the winner of Pool B.  This left no wriggle room for BCCNS.  They had to win 2 matches. 

BCCNS v Newbridge College:  Banagher College got off to the flying start they wanted, a 6-0 win against Newbridge.  Kieran Clancy won 30/7.  Cathal Flannery followed with a 30/15 victory.  Martin Gorman rolled on for BCCNS, 30/13.  Conor Mahon scored a whopping 30/5 win.  Doubles were both single digit wins for BCCNS.  Kieran and Conor won 30/8, and Cathal and Martin won 30/9.  Unfortunately, Castleknock, the third team in the group, scored the same win against Newbridge. 

BCCNS v Castleknock:  BCCNS v Castleknock became a semi-final for the Leinster title.  Kieran Clancy led off for Banagher.  Kieran fought hard in a game where the lead changed hands several times, but in the end, Castleknock prevailed 28/30.  Cathal Flannery suffered the same fate, with a 19/30 score.  Martin Gorman played a do or die game for BCCNS.  If they went 3 down in singles, it would be very hard to finish with a draw.  Unfortunately, Martin met a very strong opponent and lost 11/30.  Conor Mahon scored better, but unfortunately, the results were the same, a loss, 23/30.  Kieran and Conor salvaged some pride for Banagher College when they smashed the last shuttle of the game to the floor on the Castleknock side of the court for a 30/29 win.  Cathal and Martin were unable to pull out a win, losing 14/30.  A very disappointed team of boys made the trip back to Banagher.  

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