Leeside Ranking 2014
Seven Tralee players travelled to Leeside to take part in the Junior Ranking at Leeside on 16th November.
We had our best ever result in the Junior Boys' event (Under-18) when Alan Hobbart reached the semi-final. He topped the "group of death" by beating James Barry, unseeded because he had missed the first tournament, but highly rated and playing very well. He followed this up with a win over his team-mate Darragh Boyd, who is running Alan very close in their recent encounters. He faced number 4 seed in the quarter final, and had a 3-1 win, but lost in straight sets to the top seed James Kelly of West Cork. In the third-place play-off Alan came out second best to Trevor Tobin, an old nemesis, losing 3-1, but his performance today will earn him his highest ever U-18 ranking, Munster No. 4!
Our only other representative in the main Knockout Draw was Adam Buckley, second place in his group earned him a match against Conor Leahy who was just too strong for him and restricted Adam to just one set.
Darragh Boyd missed out on the Knockout, as did the Browne brothers and Alex Flynn, and the presence of all four Tralee players in the top half of the plate draw ensured a Tralee finalist, and it was Stephen Browne who came out on top and defeated up-and-coming William Jefferys in the Plate final.
In the Under-15s, both Kevin and Darragh lived up to their potential, Darragh topping his group with a good win over Isaac Leahy. Kevin had a harder route to the semi-final, losing in the final set of his first group match to Conor O'Callaghan of Beech Hill despite leading by two sets. He learned from this, however, and had wins in two more five-setters against Ciaran O'Donoghue and Joe Linehan (both Ballincollig), only to meet the invincible James Kelly in the semi-final. Darragh had good wins against Jake Adler from Cloughjordan and Conor O'Callaghan, but Leeside's imported Alexander Ahl was too good for him.
So Kevin and Darragh faced off for third place, the last match to finish on the day, and this time it was Darragh who came out on top to work his way up the Munster Rankings.
Meanwhile Alex had a near impossible task in his group, and so progressed to the plate event, reaching the final against William Jefferys.
Our youngest entrant was Michael Guerin, who played well to reach the Plate semi-final and gained valuable experience which will stand him in good stead for the next ranking event in February.
On the Saturday, Tony Higgins and Dani Porojan both took part in the Senior Men's event, which had a record 24 entries.
Click here for full results on Munster web-site.