St. Multose Hall in Kinsale may have been freezing but there were some very hot performances from our West Cork gladiators! The U18s were first off the blocks and James Kelly once again cruised through the opening rounds. Unfortunately Erik Olsson and Tom Walsh had to face off in the first round group stages and Erik ran out the winner but with some strong play from an under the weather Tom he still managed to qualify for the next round. Oisin Barrett had a very tough group and showed a much improved performance but was unable to join the others in the ¼ finals and moved into the plate.
James and Erik eventually met each other in the semi finals with James remaining unbeaten at this age group for yet another event. Erik played well and went onto dominate the 3rd/4th play off against John Gould who he beat 3-1. Tom faced off against Ciaran O’Donoghue in the 1/4s and lost 3-1. Tom went on to win both his 5 to 8 playoff matches to finish 5th. James was in very impressive form in the final against the very talented Ciaran and took his impressive 7th U18 Munster Title in a row.
Mair Kelly was our only U21 representative in the competition and was in tenacious form reaching the ¼ Final against Shane O’Connor. She came close to Shane at the last event and was delighted to go one further on this occasion with some great counter hitting and tight touch play she progressed to a semi final against Alan Walsh who went on to win both the U21 and Senior Titles.
Liam Hurley played in the first Munster ID event, a initiative implemented by our new Participation Director Philip Shaw. There was a great entry and buzz in the hall and the final was a superb demonstration of the high standard of ability. Liam reached the Final but was unable to contain the eventual winner but was delighted to take 2nd place and will be working hard on going one better at the next event.
Liam went onto reach a second final in the Band 2 event where he met Tony Higgins. Liam battled away once again but was not able to break down the wily Tralee Vet. Oisin Barrett had one of those nearly days we all experience where he was just unable to claim the win in the final set but there are definite signs of improvement.
Tom moved up a level this time after winning the Band 2 on the last 2 occasions. He joined James and Mair and all three players put in good solid performances but only James managed to move through the opening group. James came up against Shane O’Connor in the ¼ Finals and it was an impressive match with both players taking their opportunities. It came down to the final set where Shane came back in the final few points to take a deserved win.
Taking stock of the first day with James 1st, Erik 3rd and Tom 5th at U18, Mair 3rd U21 and Liam with two second places it could only be described as a good days play from the West Cork Crew.
Another cold morning but with a few extra layers it was at least one or two degrees warmer. The U15s were first off and Erik showed good form in the group stages and even won 17 out of 18 points in a row coming back from 10/4 down in one set against U13 finalist Adam Buckley to win and go on to take the next 11/1, an amazing run of form. He disposed of Jack O’Keefe in the 1/4s but lost out to Jake Adler in the semi final 3-1 in a close match. His 3rd/4th play off was against John Gould who he went onto win 3-1, which he finished off in some style 11/3 with a clean forehand down the line that left his opponent flailing.
In the girls U15s Jasmine faced off in a round robin group of 6 players and showed some of her best form with 3/0 wins against Leeside girls Alannah and Isobelle and followed up with a 3/1 victory over Cloughjordan’s Laura Hayes Jasmine ensured her 3rd place finish.
Eli Reynolds and Seamus Riordan were our U11 representatives and ended up in the same opening group. Eli managed to win the group with Seamus moving into the plate. These youngsters played really well and gain much needed experience flying the flag for West Cork.
Eli was back in action in the older U13 age group and was joined by Daniel Collins, Odhran Somers, Donal Riordan, Cathal O’Driscoll and Ben Horgan. Daniel was the only one who managed to make it through his group which included the eventual winner Cian Ross. Daniel reached the last 16 where he went down to Oisin O’Sullivan in a close match. Odhran, Eli and Ben all made the ¼ final stages of the plate but none were able to go further.
Over a long weekend West Cork had some great results and a lot of experience was gained by others, the next Munster Ranking is not until February so the players will have plenty of time to work on their technique and meanwhile we hope everyone has a very happy Christmas and wish that Santa will be kind!