Preview 4 – county junior B singles
Junior B Singles semi finals
David Kenny (Castlebridge) v Michéal Busher (Bridgetown), David Stanners (St. Martins) v Robert Byrne (Bridgetown)
Three former winners of this grade as well as the 2018 winner of junior C singles fight out the finish of this championship, which sees David Kenny going for his third title in 4 years writes AOB.
With national grading now dictating promotion from junior B, this championship has become terribly competitive and with that, much more difficult to win than pre 2015 when the grading system changed. David Kenny managed to do so in both 2018 and 2016, Michéal Busher took the title in 2017 while Robert Byrne was victorious in 2014. This time around all three tasted defeat in the group stages but each managed to navigate their way through to the knockout stages. Meanwhile newly promoted David Stanners was impressing in his first season competing at this level by going undefeated in his group, where, amongst other successes, he enjoyed a 21-19, 14-21, 21-5 win over Micheal Busher.
Defending champion David Kenny has appeared almost invincible in this championship at times, but his form so far this season casts doubt on whether he can continue to dominate to the same extent. Michéal Busher lost out somewhat tamely to him in last years final and will be determined to produce his best on this occasion. If he does he has a real chance of overturning the champion.
The other semi final between David Stanners and Robert Byrne is a wide open affair between two very fit and determined players and a real ding-dong battle is in store. Each is very hard to beat and whoever emerges victorious will have ambitions beyond semi final success.
Prediction: It’s not often that a case can be made for all four semi finalists as a possible winner, but this grade appears more open on this occasion due to the fine form and current capabilities of each player. The old saying that ʺits not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dogʺ comes to mind and perhaps more than most, Robert Byrne seems to have what it takes to win under pressure. He gets a hesitant vote to do so again.
Both semi finals take place tomorrow night at St. Josephs.