BADMINTON: Double delight for Watt at Irish Masters

Michael Watt at full stretch
Michael Watt at full stretch

Michael Watt dominated the Irish badminton scene for more than a decade, but he now looks set to stamp his authority on the Masters circuit.

The Baldoyne Badminton Centre played host to a total of 84 players involved in age groups Over 45 to Over 65 and Watt came through to lift the Mens Doubles and Mens Singles in the Over 40 age group.

The Alpha player came through the round robin group section unscathed with wins over Gordon Chambers 21-11 21-11 and Dean Dowling 21-10 21-13 and Chris Chambers fared little better in the semi-final going down 21-10 21-8 in just over twenty minutes but in the final Kevin Donnelly provided much sterner opposition despite dropping the opening set 21-8.

For the second set was a totally different game and Watt had to call on all his nous and experience to come through in two sets 21-19 in a match lasting 43 minutes.

Michael Turkington (Ballyclare) teamed up with Michael in the Mens Doubles and were worthy winners of the title though Alan Colgan and Seamus Halpin gave them quite a fright with the seeded pair only edging through 21-19 21-18.

With Barry and Shane Guildea semi-final victors over Karl Crawford and Andrew Fenner in straight sets the experienced Turkington/Watt partnership raced through to the title 21-10 21-15.

Willie Stevenson and Sylvia Campion may have ended Turkington’s double bid with his wife Valerie in the mixed doubles semi-final booking their place in the final 21-10 1921 21-18 but it was former international Mark Topping who was to land the title with Dorothy McCullough.

Tony Clarke had to be content with runners-up in both the Mens Singles Over 65 and Mens Doubles Over 65.

In the Singles he lost to David Kenny 21-12 21-13 in his opening match but went on to beat Michael O’Malley 21-10 21-8 and Bob Evans 21-10 21-11 and, partnering David Kenny in the doubles they were to fight back from one set down to to take the second 21-18 only for Tom McGrath and Jim Morgan to clinch an important victory 21-13.