Sunday, 17th Novembe, 2013
Goleen, Co. Cork
Tralee had players entered in about half of the dozen events at the West Cork Open. A distinct lack of interset among girls in Tralee means that we still have not had a single girl playing in a Munster Ranking event! Hopefully that will change soon.
Our youngest representative this time out was Liam Magee, who reached the quarter finals before losing to Isaac Leahy from Leeside, but after the diasppoinment of losing to Isaac, won his next two matches to finish an excellent fifth in the competition!
He played again in the Under-14s, the standard was very high and he lost out to Donard Calnan in the Plate semi-final. Kevin Browne and Darragh Boyd both topped their groups, giving them a favourable seeding in the knockouts. Darragh beat local boy Niall O'Driscoll to earn a match against the ever-improving Conor Leahy in the quarter finals. They were very evenly matched, and only an 18-16 score in a very tense final set separated them! What a match!
Kevin also reached the quarter finals, but came up against Usaamah Hussain who has really improved this season.
They both won their next play-off match to set up a 5th-7th play-off between the two Tralee boys. We know how closely they are matched, and this time it was Darragh's turn to edge the match in the deciding set.
We had a big entry in the Under-17s. Best of the Tralee boys was Alan Hobbart, playing superbly (despite the early start - Alan is not a morning person!) in the early stages to top his group thanks to a good win against Eoin Foran from Killarney. He progressed easily to a quarter final, against Usaamah who claimed a second Tralee scalp oin the day. Alan should not be diasppointed, he played really well and finished sixth. Remember, this is our first Tralee player to reach a Junior (U-17) Boys quarter final in a ranking tournament!
Darragh, Adam, Stephen, Kevin J-H, Ronan and Michael all came through the group stages, with Reece recovering well to win a couple of matches and reach the Plate Semi-FInal, and Kevin Browne, despite his tender years, going one better to reach the Plate Final. Excellent for a player who is in his first year under-14!
This was the first tournament to feature a "shield" competition, aimed at giving first round losers a couple of extra games, and Michael Creagh won a couple of matches to win the runner-up prize in this consolation event (including a win against Adam... who had earlier disposed of Ronan!)
And we weren't finished yet! Tony came his usual fourth in the Veteran's Event (you're not allowed to ask how many entered), and Brian Monaghan did very well to beat Ivan Shorten in the semi-final and play Philip Shaw, a seasoned campaigner, in the final.
A full report of the tournament and all results are on the Munster Web-Site. Click here. Lots of pictures!