BADMINTON: Junior prospect Stuart McCollam celebrates title treble

Junior badminton prospect Stuart McCollam
Junior badminton prospect Stuart McCollam

Stuart McCollam, seeded No.1 in the Leinster Under 11 Open after his victories in the Ulster Under 13 Open, was in fine form at Baldoyne as the young player lifted a hat-trick of titles.

In the Boys Singles McCollam dropped only eight points in his opener against Darragh Ahern and while the semi-final against Vincent Pontanosa was a closer affair, in the first game the Moira Primary School 10-year-old was always in control, booking his place in the final 21-16 21-12.

There had been an upset in the bottom half of the draw when No.2 seed Mattie O’Flynn lost 21-13 21-17 to Niall McCabe, who was in turn knocked out by Scott Guides, who had also ended the hopes of Dylan Noble.

However Alpha’s McCollam was never troubled, taking the first of his three titles 21-10 21-13.

In the Boys Doubles, not surprisingly, there was only likely to be one winner and that was the top seeded pair from Alpha Stuart McCollam and Matthew Cheung, who came through their semi-final against Ronan Dunne/Niall McCabe 21-11 21-3 and then beat No.2 seeds Noble and Pontanosa 21-17 21-11. In the mixed doubles McCollam and Chloe Woods captured the title after a straight sets victory over the top seeds Niall McCabe and Nessa Flynn.

With Sophia Noble taking the Girls Singles title, Alpha’s Chloe and Paige Woods came within a whisker of the Doubles title, winning the opening set 21-18 off Sarah Barry/Sophia Noble.

Even though they saw their opponents snatch the second 23-21, they kept up the pressure only to have the title snatched from their grasp 23-21 in a 45 minute encounter.