FZ Forza Nationals Grade C & F Review


FZ Forza Nationals Grade C & F Review

This was the first National graded event since the National scene took on a new format. Players competed at Baldyole Badminton Centre on the 15th December in the Grade C & Grade F Nationals. The finalists instead of playing at the next day in Baldoyle, will now compete in the first National Graded Finals Day. This showcase event will be held at the National Indoor Arena on the 18th May 2019 in an Irish Open style event.


Below is a breakdown of the Finals that will be playing in May.

MS Grade C Final – Sean Patrick Laureta vs Matthew Cheung

Cheung & Laureta are two young bright prospects in Irish badminton and they showcased their ability in the Men’s Singles competition in Baldoyle. In the first semi-final Laureta played an extremely tight match against Jack Davies, with Laureta coming out as the winner in 3 games (21-12, 19-21, 21-14). After a tight Quarter-Final match against Daniel O’Meara, Cheung managed to beat his opponent in straight games in the second semi-final of the day (21-15, 21-13). Both Laureta and Cheung should provide an exciting final at the National Graded Finals Day.


WS Grade C Final – Kerry Fallon vs Lucy Fox

The Women’s Single final will be a showcase of two highly skilled players in Kerry Fallon & Lucy Fox. Fallon won an exciting Quarter-Final matchup against Alexandra Troy 19-21,22-20,21-19. With little to show between the players, Fallon used this match as momentum for her Semi-Final match against Sabrina Steinberga, who she beat in two games (21-16,21-13). Fallon will play against Lucy Fox who dug deep to secure her place in the final as she beat Molly Davies in three games (21-14, 17-21 & 21-12).


MD Grade C Final – Wayne Carter/Cathal Whelan vs Vincent Pontanosa/Matthew Cheung

Carter/Whelan won two three game matches. The first against Kingston/O’Connell in round two and the second against Armstrong/Byrne in the MD Quarter Finals. After a strong performance against McDonald/O’Connor in the Semi-Finals (21-17,21-12), Carter & Whelan will feel confident going into the final against Cheung/Pontanosa. Cheung/Pontanosa made a remarkable comeback in their Semi-Final match as they lost the first game to Hayes/Moynihan 15-21 before picking up their game to win the following two games 21-19, 21-12. Cheung now has the opportunity to win two Grade C National titles as he qualified for the Men’s Singles final early in the day.


WD Grade C Final – Lucy Fox/Aisling O’Meara vs Molly Davies/Jennifer Lalor

Davies & Lalor managed to win a nervy Semi-Final against Dawn Carter & Laura Coe. Davis/Lalor came from 1 game down to win the second 22-20 and win the third game 25-23. This sets up a final against Fox/O’Meara who didn’t drop a game on their route to the final. Lucy Fox will be competing for two Grade C National titles as she qualified to the Women’s Singles final.


XD Grade C Final – Wayne Carter/Dawn Carter vs Declan Bennett/Jennifer Lalor

The two mixed doubles Semi-Finals where both tightly contested. Carter/Carter managed to beat Paul Kingston & Maeve Twomey in two games (22-20, 21-19). They will face Bennett/Lalor who came from behind to win 2-1. After losing the first game 18-21, Bennett/Lalor won the second 21-9 before winning the third game 21-11. This Mixed Doubles final should be a very high standard with both pairings playing very well in the competition so far.

Click here for Grade C Results


MS Grade F Final – James Boyd vs Micheal O’Loughlin

Both finalists had to overcome a three game match to reach the Men’s Singles final in the Grade F. James Boyd defeated Ronan Keegan 21-12, 16-21, 21-16 in the Semi-Finals, whilst Micheal O’Loughlin beat the 2017 Men’s Singles runner up Steven Howard 20-22, 21-16, 21-17 to reach the finals in May.

WS Grade F Final – Molly Hong-Minh vs Anais Charbonner

After receiving a bye in her first round Hong-Minh beat Tara Phelan in the Semi-Finals of the Grade F Women’s Singles in three games (17-21, 21-15,21-14). Molly Hong-Minh will play against Anais Charbonner in the final after Charbonner beat Laura O’Reardon 20-22, 21-14,21-18.  

MD Grade F Final – Benjamin Darragh/Scott MacBeth vs James Boyd/Robin Sun

Darragh/MacBeth overcame a tight encounter against Gopalakrishnan/Joseph 23-21, 19-21, 21-18. This was the second time in the competition that Darragh/MacBeth won in three games. The pairing may need to keep this trend going as they face tough opposition in the final in Boyd/Sun who themselves have been good form in the competition. Boyd/Sun beat Keegan/Rabbitte in the Semi-Finals to progress through to the finals (21-13, 21-16).

WD Grade F Final – Katie Browne/Ciara O’Donovan vs Molly Hong-Minh/Tara Phelan

After playing each other in the Women’s Singles Semi-Final Hong-Minh & Phelan paired up in the Women’s Doubles final. The pair progressed to the final after two solid performances in the competition. Hong-Minh/Phelan beat Harron/Northey 21-17, 21-14 to reach the final where  they will play Browne/O’Donovan. Katie Browne & Ciara O’Donovan won both their Quarter-Final & Semi-Final matchup in three games. They beat the strong pairing of Charbonner/O’Keeffe in the Semi-Final 21-18, 14-21, 21-15.


XD Grade F Final - Scott MacBeth/Courtney Harron vs  Benjamin Darragh/Alanna Northey

The road to the final for both pairs was not an easy one. MacBeth/Harron overcame Steven Howard & Tara Phelan 21-18,21-18 to reach the final. Meanwhile Darragh/Northey won their Semi-Final against John Paul O’Connell & Roisin Flynn in three games 26-28, 21-14, 21-18.

Click here for Grade F Results


The finals will take place on the 18th May 2019 at the National Indoor Arena.

Click here to view the official photographs

Click here to watch the stream on YouTube

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