Monday 21 January 2019

Leinster lean on their class and courage to hold own in Cardiff

While the Irish rugby team were battling against France in Aviva Stadium on Sunday, Leinster's U13 team (pictured) rose to the challenge of representing their province in the annual Celtic Challenge tournament which was a feast of badminton matches against teams from Wales, Lothian (Scotland) and Ulster in Cardiff.

For those 12 U13 players chosen to represent their province, this will be a great memory to relish throughout their badminton career.

The atmosphere in the Sport Wales National Centre was absolutely electric. Four teams battled for the ultimate prize and 48 stars of the future plied their skills on court.

On Saturday morning, Leinster played their local rivals, Ulster, in an epic match going right down to the last mixed as Leinster won 8-7.

Wales played Lothian and won 13-2. It was very evident that Wales, defending the title, were the team to beat. In the afternoon Leinster took on Wales. Leinster fought valiantly but lost 11-4. The score did not bely the standard of the very exciting and at times very vocal performances of the players, four matches were fabulous three-setters that just went against Leinster.

On Sunday morning Leinster played Lothian and the players, although quite exhausted, rose to the challenge. The result, 13-2, was a convincing win for Leinster. Defending champions Wales took the title for the fifth time. Leinster coaches were Sian Williams, a native of Wales, and Dublin's Robbie Wall. The final placings were Wales first, Leinster second, Ulster third and Lothian fourth.

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