Leinster on the up after six-year drought O'Callaghan pulls the strings in Arklow Juniors on board to make major waves Olympic hopefuls facing a French exam Bonnar and McHugh set to have final say Youngsters hold own against big guns
BADMINTON: After a break of six years, the Leinster badminton team have won promotion to Premier 'B' division of the English Inter Counties League. In the play-offs, the Leinster team began their campaign with a narrow 6-5 victory over Kent. Later the same day they took on Norfolk, beating them 7-4. Victory over Northumberland a day later ensured that they would win promotion for next season.
Over the past few seasons the Leinster side have made steady progress. At senior level, the team won promotion from division 2 last season, while the U21 side won their league this season.
Player-manager was Joe Ledwidge, backed up by Siobhan Grehan. Making up the squad last weekend were Karen Bing, Clare Flood, Keelin Fox, Pauline Glennon, Norma McIntyre, Eddie Cousins, David Gannon, Niall Tierney and Mark Topping.
O'Callaghan pulls the strings in Arklow
RACQUETBALL: After being troubled by a knee injury for much of the season, multiple Irish champion Noel O'Callaghan of Fermoy bounced back to beat Arklow's Adam Neary in the men's singles final at the Irish Racquetball Open in Arklow. O'Callaghan and Neary also won the doubles, defeating Sean Keane and Jonny O'Keeney. Newport's Donna Ryder won the women's singles, defeating Katie Kenny of Castlebar. Kenny partnered Majella Haverty to win the women's doubles.
Juniors on board to make major waves
SURFING: A team of 19 young surfers heads for the European Junior Surfing Championship in Viana do Castelo, Portugal, tomorrow. Seasoned international Aaron Reid flies the flag for Ireland in the U18 boys division along with Conor Maguire. Iarom Madden Travers and Cian Cagney lead the charge in the U16 boys, while Gearoid McDaid and Aaron O'Hare will compete in the U14 boys. Niamh Kelly and Ayesha Garvey will represent Ireland in the U18 girls.
Of the bodyboarders, Rory Tuohy and Aaron Devaney go in the boys' U18 class, Odhran McGovern and Kevin McGowan in U16s, and Rachel Cahalan in U18 girls. World-class bodyboarder Shane Meehan will travel with the team as a judge and coach. Cillian Ryan will be travelling as junior judge and U18 reserve.
Olympic hopefuls facing a French exam
CANOEING: A team of four travels to Vichy, France this weekend for the opening round of sprint canoeing's World Cup. Vichy will be the venue for the first Olympic qualifying event in 2011, so teams from 40 countries are expected.
Barry Watkins will compete in men's K1000m and 500m events. Jenny Egan goes in the women's 500m and 200m, while Peter Egan has teamed up with Sean Marchetti in a K2 boat for the first time. The pair will compete in the 200m.
Bonnar and McHugh set to have final say
SNOOKER: Anthony Bonnar will play Richard McHugh in the master's final at the RIBSA National Snooker Championships on the weekend of May 22 at the Ivy Rooms, Carlow. Bonnar beat Joe Delaney, while McHugh got the better of Brendan Thomas in the semi-finals. Michelle Sherwin and Teresa Keegan earned their places in the women's finals after wins over Michelle French and Catherine Fitzsimon.
Through to the intermediate semi-finals are Martin Divilly, Darren Flaherty, Joe Corrigan and Sean Conway. The opening rounds of the RIBSA National Championships (to last 16) take place this weekend in Carlow.
Youngsters hold own against big guns
SWIMMING: Despite the presence of 52 swimmers from the American national junior team and a strong entry from the UK, local swimmers held their own at the National Swimming championships in the NAC, Dublin. Dubliner Andrew Meegan won both 1500m and 800m freestyle titles, while Shauna Smith won the women's 50m butterfly.
CANOE POLO: Canoe polo returns to George's Dock in the IFSC this weekend for the annual Docklands Cup. Canoe polo, a cross between team handball and water polo, is full of thrills, spills and splashes. Spectators are welcome -- and newcomers are always welcome to try out this fun and skilful sport.
Canoeing: WWCK Junior Ranking 7.5k Race, Lucan, Sat 12pm. Kilcullen Marathon (Ballymore Eustace to Kilcullen), Sun 12pm. Docklands Canoe Polo Tournament, Dublin, Sat/Sun.
Hockey: Irish Hockey League Men's wild-card play-offs: YMCA v Lisnagarvey, Serpentine Ave, tomorrow 8.15; Lisnagarvey v Bandon, Grange Rd, Sat 2.0; Bandon v YMCA, Grange Rd, Sun 11.15.
Snooker: RIBSA National Championships(to last 16), Ivy Rooms, Carlow, Sat/Sun.
Surfing: Lahinch Open, Sat.