This has been perhaps the best badminton year De La Salle has had in quite some time. Every year we improve, our numbers increase and players become more exceptional. And with this are the outstanding successes that the U-14 A and U-16 A teams have made. The U-14 As reached the Dublin finals, while the U-16 As came through to both the Dublin and Leinster Finals and won. Other teams did not fare as well, but they didn't disappoint. All put in their utmost effort, and each of them made the club proud.
One particular thing of note is how famous we must be becoming. Last year, the Dundrum Gazette had an article detailing De La Salle's victory in the U-14 tournament. The article was even on the front page (of the sports section, at least) and we were given a generously big picture as well. Now, however, we have a few more articles in the newspaper. This is perhaps all thanks to our coach's efforts. Again, Ms McCrave has seen the club through another good year.
This year ended with a trip out to Kilkenny. While networking at the Leinster finals, Ms McCrave met the Kilkenny coach, whose team had also reached the final. It was decided then and there that there would be an all out game between both clubs, every team invited. In a surprising twist, all of the games ended as draws. Still, after calculations, all but one of the games was won on points difference by Kilkenny. But it wasn't about winning, not completely anyway; it was for the experience. And it was a good one, though exhausting.
And another meal at the Indian Brasserie was arranged. Organised by Ms McCrave and largely subsidised by De La Salle, we surely hope this event will become a tradition. In appreciation, thanks must be given to the Board of Management and the manager of the restaurant, Deepak.
Towards the end of the school year, school tournaments were played, doubles and singles, for all age groups. Trophies were awarded to the winners of the singles championships, as well as plaques, some of which were given to the runners-up. In the U-14 championship, Aras Mahdy took the trophy with Cathal Swan coming in second. Luke Farrell won the U-14 plate, while Valdas Masalskis was the runner-up. Over with the U-16s, the tournament saw Kevin Flanagan win, Danreb Match right behind him. For the plate, James McMahon and Rico Alayon were set against each other; McMahon ultimately won. And in the U-19 tournament, Aaron McGinnity faced off with Fiachra Swan for the prize, with McGinnity winning. In the doubles tournaments, Mahdy and Masalskis were the victors for the U-14s, McMahon and Stephen Tian in the Open Doubles and Aaron McGinnity and Fiachra Swan for the U-19s.
So, in conclusion, another great badminton year. Every successive year, things seem to get just a little bit better. With this logic, hopes are for even more trophies and prizes next year.
Congratulations to all this year.