The All Ireland 40x20 Colleges finals took place in Kingscourt in Cavan last Saturday and there was plenty of interest from Mayo, with representatives from St Colman's College in Claremorris and Balla Secondary School taking part in the finals.
Patrick Murphy from St Colmans already had a great achievement in coming through a tough Connacht final against Diarmuid Mulkerrins from Galway. Patrick's opponent in the U19 section semi-final was Shane Dunne from Kilkenny. The Claremorris man started with a lob serve and looked the sharper as he took the opener (15-11 ). Dunne got on the front foot in the second and took an 11-4 lead. While Murphy's comeback fell just short (14-15 ), it gave him momentum going into the tie-breaker. Patrick's low serves to the left proved decisive (15-9 ) in securing at least a silver medal.
Murphy then had a gold medal match to look forward to against Tadhg O'Neill from Cork. O'Neill has gained great experience over the last two years, having competed in some senior tournaments. Murphy kept the pressure on, but O'Neill's low deceptive serves had him on the back foot. The Cork man took gold on a 15-8, 15-7 scoreline.
Heather Burke and Cuilleann Bourke from Balla Secondary school competed in the girls u15 doubles competition. Their semi-final pitted them against Edel Mullholland and Noelle Dowling from Kilkenny. It was a tough game and the Balla girls just missed out on a silver in the tie-breaker. The Kilkenny girls went on to take gold in the final. All three of the Mayo players and all three can compete in the colleges again next year.