Strong prevails once more in Ballymena

This Masters event provided several memorable matches during an Action packed day at Ballymena. Defending champion, Daryl Strong, prevailed once more in the Over 40s. He overcame Brian McRandall in the final on a scoreline of 11-5, 12-10, 11-3. However, Brian can be pleased with his overall performance. Having beaten Rory Scott in an early round, he emerged victorious in an absorbing semi-final with Dave Pemberton. Trailing 8-10 in the fifth, he hit a service return winner to gain the momentum, going on to win 12-10. Obviously, his match sharpness had been well honed after a recent training session with Gavin Maguire!

Worthy of note was a remarkable scoreline of 24-22 for Brian Devereux over Willie Cherry in their first game at the group stage! The restricted 40s event was won by Rory Scott, who also won doubles with Dave Pemberton. John Fall and Francis Shirley were runners up.

Gillian Richardson won the Ladies event, beating  Jackie Devine in the final.

Dave Pemberton came through to claim the 50s title, beating Pat McCloughan on a scoreline of 7, -7, 5, 10. The 60s event was diminished by late withdrawals and time constraints. Norman Nabney was disappointed to concede a walkover at the semi-final stage. Barry Dickson, reigning champion, put up a resolute defence of his title, beating Jim Storey in his semi-final. However, he succumbed in the final to Brian Finn, despite beating Brian at the group stage.

Oliver Adamson won the 70s event, beating Liam Perris in the final. Again, several leading contenders had withdrawn through injury or illness. Nonetheless, Balbriggan old boys had a successful as well as an enjoyable sojourn!

Our thanks to Norman McBride and Brian Orr for organising matters. The willingness of players to umpire when called upon helped to keep proceedings to a tight schedule.