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Tierney's top man at leinster open

WITH both the top seeds toppled at the semi-final stages, Niall Tierney of Mount Pleasant beat Lisburn's Conor Hickland to win the men's singles title at the Victor Leinster Badminton Open.

After Tierney took the opening set 21-13, Hickland put up a gallant effort in the second, but Tierney took the match, and the title, 21-12 in the second set.

Defending women's champion Sinead Chambers from Lisburn faced former Irish international Karen Bing of Mount Pleasant in the women's final. Chambers had raced into a 18-13 lead in the first set before Bing clawed her way back into the game. She drew level at 19-19 before taking the set 21-19. Bing then kept up the momentum, winning the second 21-13 and with it her first singles title in some time.

Chambers was having a busy weekend after qualifying for three finals. For the mixed doubles, she had teamed up with Lisburn clubmate Matthew Gleave.

In their final against Pauline Glennon and Dan Magee, the score went to 26-24 in the tiebreaking third set before Glennon and Magee sneaked the title.

Tierney and Magee both took a second title over the weekend when they paired up for the men's doubles. In the final, they faced Aylesbury veterans Brian McGowan and Niall Gannon.

This pair had played on opposite sides of the net a year earlier when McGowan and then partner Mark Topping came out on top.

Tierney and Magee always had the edge winning the title in straight sets.

For the women's doubles decider, Sinead Chambers was back on court with her Ulster partner Emma Callow. Against Leinster's Jennie King and Laura Butler, it was third time lucky for the Lisburn player. This was another close three- setter won by the delighted Ulster pair 21-16 in the tie-breaking third set.

p Newly-crowned Leinster champion Karen Bing will line out for Leinster in their English Inter-County matches against Avon at home this weekend. If they can beat Avon, promotion to Division 1 will depend on the fourth and final round of matches against Wiltshire on March 6/7. Unfortunately, Niall Tierney has had to pull out.

LEINSTER - Men: Dave Gannon, Will O'Neill, Mark Cobb, Brendan Hennessy, Joe Ledwidge. Women: Pauline Glennon, Laura Butler, Jennie King, Keelin Fox, Karen Bing, Kirsty Kelly.