Three players attened the Conaught Open this weekend in Breffey House, Castlebar, Co. Mayo. It was a long journey for the lads but they had plenty of matches and had fun meeting up with their friends from the other provinces.
Colm, Shane and Niall travelled along with coach Dave and chairman Seán. Colm and Shane played the U17 and Niall played U12.
Shane got off to a shakey start losing his opening match but then bounced back in great style to beat Tom Davis ( eventual 3rd place ) in a great match. Shane qualified in second place in the group which resulted in him being thrown into a very tough second round group which included top 8 players Tobias Woulfe and Trevor Knox. He had no luck here and qualified for a Band 1 playoff event.
Colm got off to a good start by winning his opening matchs and won his group. In round two he got off to a flier and went 2 sets up on Tom Davis, but Tom fought back and won 3-2. Colm then lost to Ryan McConkey 3-1 which resulted in Colm also qualifing for the Band 1 playoff event also.
They playoff events were held towards the end of a very long day. Neither Shane nor Colm performed to the best of their ability and both players were knocked out at semi final stage. Shane had a great match and just lost out to Krid Foster 3-2 which COlm went down 3-0 to Evin McGovern.
Ryan Farrell, Ireland’s number one U17 went on to beat Zak Wilson in the final 3-0.
Niall Brown kept the flag flying for Ballincollig once more. Niall has had a great year and his concentration on the U12 event has paid dividends. Niall won his open group matches without too much bother.In round two he came up against a very hot Jamie Vegas (penhold) from Connaught and he lost that match to finish second in the group.
In the quarter finals he was drawn against Eddie Ditchburn and Eddie went 2-0 up, however he dug in deep ( after a few words from coach Dave ) and fought back to win 3-2.That was his second fightback from 2-0 down.
He was then drawn against the eventual runner up Dylan Grace and and got off to a slow start which made a fight back very difficult. Unfortunatley it was a bridge too far on this occasion but a great result nevertheless and he ended up in improving his ranking once again.
The eventual competition winner was James Kelly from West Cork.
The lads are now looking forward to the National Junior Championships where we hope we will have a few more players taking part.