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Rugby: Murphy and McCourt catch eye of selectors

The U15 Leinster Celtic Challenge team will not be picked for a while as the event is not until April, but still the selectors were there in attendance at the Victor Leinster Christmas Juvenile Close tournament.

Nicholas Murphy (Good Counsel, New Ross), from Taghmon BC, and Fionnualla McCourt (St Vincent's Dundalk) made it a hat-trick of titles each at U15 level. Wexford's Taghmon BC is producing many talented badminton players. Unfortunately for Terenure College boy Niall Reynolds, Murphy beat him in all three finals.

In the boys' singles, Murphy took the opening game 21-13, the Terenure boy dug deep and used all his skill in the second game to outwit his opponent, but the very fit Murphy won his first title of the day by winning the second game 21-13. Murphy then teamed up with fellow Good Counsel New Ross student Noel Dunne, who earlier had won all three titles in the U13 age group.

Their opponents were Terenure College students Niall, again, and Robbie Neill. Although there were some great rallies in this match, the Wexford boys were on fire and they went on to take the title 21-18 21-17.

With Reynolds hoping for a win in the mixed tournament, he teamed up with the very talented Rachael Boyle (Portmarnocks CC) -- their opponents were Murphy and McCourt. The opening set was a tough game but Murphy and McCourt were too strong on the day and took the title 21-13 21-14.

In the girls' singles, McCourt came up against her old rival and doubles partner, Karen Butler (Coláiste Bride, Wexford). In this outing McCourt took the title 21-18 21-16. They both paired up to play against DLR's Rachael Murray and Terenure's Nora O'Gorman in the girls' doubles final and went on to take the title 21-5 21-4.