Dundrum was the venue where the Master’s began their season last weekend with 45 eager entries hoping to kick start their season in a positive fashion.
Tommy Caffrey took the 70’s event as Kieran Burke won the 60’s event. William Cherry overcame a tough field to take the 50’s event and Daryl Strong started his season well with a victory over Robbie Gavin to claim top spot in the 40’s event. After being crowned last year’s National champion, Teresa Devaney started her 2015/2016 season in style as she won the ladies section.
After Martin Pickles topped last year’s 70’s ranking list he would have been hoping for a good start to retain his top spot on the ranking but that wasn’t to be. Tommy Caffrey had different things on his mind as he overcame Pickles 11-7, 11-8 and 12-10 in the final to bring home the Master’s Classification honour. This win was not surprising as Caffrey was crowned national champion for the 2014/2015 season.
Caffrey wasn’t finish yet. When it came to the 60’s event he put in a massive effort but he came up just short as Kieran Burke, returning from a sabbatical, showed his level by nicking a closely contested final. In what was perhaps the match of the day, Caffrey made him work for it in a tightly fought 5 setter with Burke taking the 5th set 11-6. Norman Nabney finished tied 3rd along with Martin Pickles, who capped a fine days work following his runners up finish in the 70’s event.
Following the drama of the 60’s, the 50’s decided to join the party. With Terry Dolan opening the season at the summit of the ranking list he would have been hoping for a good day but with a strong field including William Cherry, last years National champion, it was never going to be easy for Dolan. Dolan and Cherry made the final with wins over Burke and Pender respectively. Dolan took the first set 11-8 with Cherry weighing in with an 11-6 win in the second. From here it was nip and tuck all the way. Cherry went 2-1 up with a 14-12 success in the third but Dolan bit back with a 12-10 win in the fourth. So 2-2 it stool coming into the final set where Cherry upped the pace and finished the final off with an 11-9 victory in the fifth to seal a 3-2 win over Dolan and with it, a Master’s triumph.
With the 40’s event attracting the most entries, it was sure to be an eagerly contested event with a strong field lining out which included the likes of Robbie Gavin and former Senior International Daryl Strong. Pat McCloughan and Kariem Sabir fought hard to reach the semi-final’s alongside Gavin and Strong who played amazingly in the final to excite the crowd. Strong showed his better side in the final but Gavin wasn’t going to back down at 2-0 as he took the third 11-6, but Strong was too much for the Connacht man in the end as he powered on in the fourth and final set to take it convincingly 11-5.
The women also showed up with a strong crowd and they did not disappoint. Teresa Devaney, Gillian Richardson and Sharon Brien proved the strongest in this event as they took the top 3 spots respectively. With Devaney waiting in the final, Brien and Richardson battled it out to join her. Brien started the stronger of the pair, taking the first set 11-9. From here on in it was all Richardson as she upped the pace and took the next three sets 6,6 and 9 to join Devaney in the final. Devaney showed her pedegree in the final as she overcame Richardson 11-5, 11-6 and 11-7 to take top spot at the Master’s Classification.
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