Wednesday, April 26, 2017

KBC’s cracker in Carlow,

Kilcullen’s two Grade 3 Mix Teams contested the South West Knock Out Cup Final in Carlow Lawn Tennis Club and what a cracker it turned out to be, writes Kilcullen Badminton Club PRO Enda O’Neill.

Kilcullen’s Mix A team captained by Owen Wallace had already made the League Final, but hoped to go one better this time and take the cup home. It was going to be a difficult task for the A team as the B team had a four-point advantage.

Mens 1 got the Final under way with Owen and Mick Cass from the A Team taking on the two O’Neills from the B team, Enda and Barry. Owen and Mick won the first set but the O’Neills dug deep and took the second. The third and deciding set was a cracker with both teams fighting hard to win the vital points. In the end Barry and Enda won the deciding set putting KBC’s Mix B team 1-0 up.

Ladies 1 were next on court with the two female O’Neills, Tara and Karen representing the A’s playing Chelsey Cox and Sarah Walshe representing the B’s. Again this game went the distance of three sets with Chelsey and Sarah taking the first set before Tara and Karen composed themselves and took the remaining two sets. Both sides now level 1-1.

Second Ladies graced the court for the third game with Bernie Smyth and super sub Siobhan Willis representing the As and B’s captain Jen Monaghan and Kathrin Logan playing for the Bs. Again the Bs got off to a flying start winning the first set. Bernie and Siobhan showed calmness and control in the remaining two sets giving the As the advantage now ahead 2-1 in games.

The second mens doubles were out next with Ray Dalton and John Mullen playing for the As while the ever dependable B pair were Vincent Coller and Oisin Egan. Oisin and Vincent narrowly beat Ray and John 21-20 in the first set. The second set went Vincent and Oisins way as well and the Bs triumphed taking the game 2-0. The match was tied at 2-2 but importantly the KBC B team had a set advantage going into the mix games.

First mix saw Tara and Mick from the As take on Chelsey and Vincent from the Bs. Tara and Mick played exceptionally and justified why they were mix 1. The beat the brave Chelsey and Vincent in two sets now giving the KBC A team a 3-2 advantage.

Second Mix proved another tough game with Karen and Owen from the As clashing with Kathrin and Enda from the Bs. Kathrin and Enda took the first set in a hard fought close game. The second set proved to be an even closer affair with Kathrin and Enda just pipping it, 21-19 in a nail biting contest taking their game in two sets. The match now stood at 3 all, if Jen and Barry could take their mix in two sets that would cause the shock of the season with Kilcullen Mix B winning the Grade 3 Cup home.

It was the turn of Bernie and Ray to take court for the As against the might of Jen and Bardy for the Bs. This wasn’t going to be an easy ride for Bernie and Ray as the KBC B pair have been undefeated all season in the South West League. Jen and Bardy took their first set in a cracking display of badminton. winning the first set, this strengthened their resolve and they won the second set 21-14 crowning the Grade 3 Kilcullen Mix B team Cup Champions. Well done to our Grade 3 B team on their fantastic win.

Thanks to Lynsey Walshe, David Jackson, Catherine Dalton, Rita Cass, Murt Dunne and Sinead Kelly for travelling down to cheer us all on.

Finally the reason why I love Kilcullen Badminton Club was shown last night with the response from both teams before, during and after the final. Win or lose we all were congratulating and encouraging one another and showing great club spirit. You could even hear the As and Bs shouting “good shot” or “well played” to each other. Watching the games was like “being torn between two lovers” there was elation that your team had won, tinged with sorrow at seeing your club mates and in most cases team mates from other teams loosing their match. On April 25 in Carlow Lawn Tennis Club there was only one Grade 3 Cup winner and that was Kilcullen Badminton Club. Up the Rags!

Also good luck to our two Ladies teams captained by Sinead Kelly and Tara O’Neill who play in the Division 2 and Division 4 Dublin District League Final on Friday 28 April in Baldoyle.

Pictured top are Grade 3 Cup Champions, back row Vincent, Oisin, Enda, Barry and (front) Chelsey, Sarah, Kathrin, and Jen. Below: All the Kilcullen finalists.