Congratulations to the Under 15 Badminton team from Broadford/Kilbane/Kilmore who secured Gold in the HSE Community Games National Finals at the weekend (28-30th May 2010). Full team: Damien Kiniry (Capt), Shane Taylor, Diarmuid Moloney, Stiofan Marsh McMahon, Shane Kiniry, Lorraine Kiniry, Aoife Dillon, Cliona O'Brien, Roisin O'Connell & Siobhan O'Connell.
The south-east parish of Broadford achieved national success in Athlone last week, when the Under 15 badminton team took home 10 gold medals after beating Tagman of Wexford in the National finals, held in the well appointed venue of the Marist college. The team lead by Damien Kiniry, had great hopes of taking a national title this year, after coming so close in 2009, beaten by the Leinster Champions, Tagman, in the All Ireland final.
On this occasion the team had invaluable experience under their belts and were certainly motivated as for eight of the squad, this was their last shot at the title, as they are overage for 2011.
The Clare and Munster champions met Connachts' Ballaghadreen, Roscommon, in the semi-final and won comfortably 5 games to 0. Tagman were pitted against Monaghan town, in the other semi-final, beating the Ulster champs 5-0.
A re-match of the 2009 final beckoned and first up for Broadford was the girls doubles pairing of Aoife Dillon and Lorraine Kiniry. After winning the toss to serve, the girls never looked back and won the first set 21-16, delivering for their team, an exhibition in teamwork and skill that certainly set the pace for the games to follow. But the Wexford girls were not for giving up. Clare had to fight for every point, prevailing in the end, winning the game for a finish, 21-19. The tension in the complex was rising, as both supporters and neutrals anticipated a very close match in the offing.
Stiofán Marsh McMahon and Damien Kiniry made their way onto the court, to face a fancied Wexford pairing, responsible for the demolition of a very good Monaghan pairing. These were the games of the day, as it is at this point in
a match, which will make or break a team. The steel McMahon and Kiniry displayed under pressure was magnificent, as on a number of occasions the Wexford management attempted to unsettle the Clare lads, by calling timeouts
just as they were flowing through scores. No one would deny a team using such tactics, the Clare outfit kept their composure and got on with the business in hand, taking the first set 21-18. They boys obviously drew
inspiration from Dillon and Kiniry in the first game and went on to take the second set 21-17.
Up next were the Mixed pairing of Cliona O'Brien and Shane Taylor. Wexford took the first set 21-16, and looked set to take the second until Shane Taylor found an extra gear, aided by the excellent O'Brien and won the second
set, 21-15. The third game was nip and tuc, neither side folding under pressure until it came to 19-19, when two unforced errors from the Broadford pair, gave the set to Wexford.
2 games to 1. Two more games to play, Clare lose and it's down to the final Mixed, Clare win, .....Glory. This was the pressure point in the match, which faced Aoife Dillon and her partner Diarmuid Moloney.
Starting off nervously, as the Wexford supporters began to find their voice, the Broadford pair were trailing initially in the first set, found wanting at the net in particular, but fought back level with Wexford. Both Moloney and
Dillon dug deep and won a gritty game, 21-18. The second game started as the first, Broadford behind again, but clawed back to draw even. At this point both teams exchanged points, until Moloney decided to test himself and serve
up some delightful precision drop shots which the Wexford girl could not meet. This was badminton played at the very highest level and his partner, Dillon, appeared to feed off a new found confidence believing Glory was
theirs, if they wanted it.
It was, at 20-18 in the second set, Dillon pounced and gold was Clare's. Supporters and teams mates flooded onto the court, extatic with the win, the disappointment of 2009's loss, a distant memory.