Judo players do well at Masters
THIS year the masters event was as usual a top class occasion with players from all over Britain taking part, eight players from Northern Ireland took part in the event, with a total of three gold, one silver and one bronze medals brought back to the city by local players who were in great form.
Bernard Sheerin, Gavin Abel, and Paul Green all reached the final of their respective weight and age groups to win gold medals for the city.
Jim Toland reached the final after winning four fights and was very unlucky not to have earned the gold medal after being at the wrong end of a referee's debatable decision.
A fantastic result by Tony McLaughlin earned him a very well deserved bronze medal position after winning a few fights in the men's under 81kg event. Gavin Abel was easily the best overall performer for Northern Ireland.
Members of the local Northern Ireland Judo clubs from Londonderry were very successful at the recent Cavan open with local schools being represented.
In the minor section Jamie McFadden easily overcame all the opposition to lift the gold medal in the boys' under 28kg event, while Tiernan McGilloway also was in great form to win all his contests and easily reach the final of the boys under 41kg event and take the gold medal.
Paul McMenamin was very unlucky to lose out in the semi-final but went on to take the bronze medal in the boys' under 34kg event.
In the Senior men's event Declan O'Kane, a member of the Longtower Judo Club competed really well in a very tough category, to win a well deserved bronze medal in the under 90kg event. Longtower girl Ashleigh Newton had reached the final with a few very convincing Ippon throws to be just pipped at the post by a strong opponent.
But it was a very well earned silver medal for the local club and Ashleigh's school, St Cecilia's College.
In the Cadet men's section Longtower and St Peter's player Oran Duffy was under pressure to perform in a very tough event but with a good effort managed to lift the bronze medal: this was another good performance from Oran.
The only senior woman from the city who competed was Sarah McDaid; she was in excellent form and demolished all opposition to easily take the senior title back to the Longtower Judo club.
The next main event will be the Kent international which will be held in London later this month when some of the players will be competing for places.