Ballincollig’s first STIGA Challenger a huge success

Pic: Shane O’Connor Division 1 Winner

On Sunday 13th January Ballincollig Table Tennis Club hosted it’s first STIGA Challenger event in Colaiste Choilm Secondary school. The event was held in a purpose built basketball court which allowed us to fit in 19 tables. We had 96 players of all ability levels. Many players were playing their first competitive event. Tommy Fitzgerald representing STIGA on the day sponsored the first four divisions and prizes were awarded to the first four placings in each division.

Players were split into divisions of 8 based  on ability with the top two players in each division playing off for the first four placings.

In division 1, Shane O’Connor from Ballincollig was too strong for all competition and went unbeaten in the event. Tralee are the up and coming club in Munster and Alan Hobbart took second place. Leah Daly from Ballincollig and Jack O’Brien of Leeside took the final placings.

Division 2 was a closer affair with Adam Lazeryev from Cobh winning the division. Adam is a proving to be a strong competitor at Munster and national level. Once again Tralee took second place with late entry Kevin Johnson Horgan. Erik Olsson from West Cork and Fahad Buiz Mirza were third and fourth.

In division 3 Tralee were once more in contention with Darragh Boyd winning the event.  Shane Murphy from all Ireland primary school champions, Scoil Eoin took second place while Kian Linehan from Ballincollig was third with Conor O’Callaghan from Beech Hill fourth.

Division 4 was a strong event for local hosts Colaiste Choilm with Alan Murphy and Dylan Murphy taking first and fourth place. West Cork took their second placing of the day with Michael O’Sullivan and Tralee completed the placings with Josh Hayes.

Ballincollig would very much like to thank Tony Higgins of Tralee table tennis club and the ITTA for all their support in helping to make this event such a great success.

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STIGA Junior Challenger: Lucan Results

A busy weekend of table tennis was capped off with the STIGA Junior Challenger in Lucan last Sunday.  Following the huge turnout at the National Junior League on Saturday it was great to see almost 60 players turn up in Coláiste Phadraig for this fun round robin tournament.  Many thanks to sponsor Tommy Fitzgerald and all the volunteers at Club Donic who worked had to make the day a success.  Click here to download the full results.

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Stiga Banbridge Junior Challenger Event – Results

A fantastic Challenger Tournament was held at Banbridge this weekend. Please click here for results.

Young players from all over Ulster assembled in Banbridge on Saturday to take part in a Stiga Challenger Table Tennis Competition.  The event is sponsored by the Stiga Table Tennis Equipment Company of Sweden through their Irish Importer,  Fitzgerald’s Table Tennis in Dublin.

Banbridge TT Club hosted the tournament in the King George V Pavilion, which was   jointly organised along  with Table Tennis Ulster (TTU). 

Amanda Mogey Table Tennis Ulster Talent ID Officer was the event Referee assisted by Herbie Ross TTU Participation Officer,  Neil Magrath TTU Finance Officer, and Arnold Morgan Hon Sec TTU and head Coach with Banbridge TTC.

Mayor of Banbridge Cllr Junior McCrum attended  the event and welcomed the many visitors to Banbridge, including  many player’s parents and families present who had travelled from as far away as Donegall.  The Chair of the Irish Table Tennis Association  (ITTA) Mrs Pat Hunter also attended the event.

The emphasis was on fun and participation.  In Ranking terms, the top 15 Boys at Junior Irish level and the top 8 at Cadet level, and Girls ranked in the top 8 at Junior level or the top 5 at Cadet level were excluded from entering this tournament, the round robin format ensured players had as lots of games against opponents of all levels from novice through to some of the rising stars of the future in the sport. 

The overall winner was James McGrath (Glenburn Club, Belfast) who just got the better of Coleraine player Adam Wallace in an exciting and entertaining match for the Division 1 top place.

Banbridge Clubwas well represented in the other sections, with players having great success in the Division 2 final, where Jordan Howard finished in 2nd place and Matthew McClimonds in 5th.  

Division 3 was dominated by local club players with Joshia Burgess in 1st place, Emma Wylie 3rd, Nadia Benallal 4th and Jake Howard 5th

Division 4 saw a similar success for the local club with top positions going to Sophie Cairns 1st, and Scott Dale 2nd with Emma Shaw in 6th.  

In Division 5, Aaron Peden played his way to a well earned 3rd position, with Robyn Willis 4th, Harry Patterson 5th, and Alex Jordan 6th.

For most local players this was their first opportunity to experience a real table tennis competition.  Many if not all the local players taking part were introduced to the sport at Primary School  by TTU coaches, with  some  later moving on to Banbridge Academy, Banbridge High or New Bridge,  having joined Banbridge TTC to continue training and playing their chosen sport. 

Congratulations to  all the players taking  part, who will have gained a lot of  experience of competition from the event which training can not always provide.  

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Stiga Challenger: Beech Hill TTC

StigaChallenger Event – Beech Hill Table Tennis Club, Cork Sunday 25th June 2012

There was a good turnout for the Stiga challenger event run at Beech Hill Table Tennis Club last Sunday. Players from Cobh, Cork City, West Cork, and Tralee attended. All the players got lots of matches and with coaches taking a back seat for the event it was a very relaxed and enjoyable event for all. The players were classified into groups on ability first then they were divided into three divisions.  

Thanks to event organiser Philip Shaw. On the day Philip was assisted by Rory O’Connor, Mike Nash, Ben Haughton. A number of parents also helped with umpiring.

Event sponsor Stiga was represented by Tommy Fitzgerald who provided all the prizes. The Beech Hill Club is grateful to Tommy for his support.

Div 1: 1st Usaamah Hussain, 2nd James Barry, 3rd Bogamile Lazaryev
Div 2: 1st Darren Chester, 2nd Zofia Wawrzyniak, 3rd David Halley
Div 3: 1st Andrew Gainey-O’Brien, Roy Martin, Silke Heiney 

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Starball Junior Ability League Round 5

Winners at the Starball Jun Ability event Round 5

Round 5 of the Laois Starball Junior Ability League took place on April 14th in Castletown.  The event had another fine attendance with 10 divisions in all. 

Results were as follows:

Division 1 –  1st  Dylan Grace,   2nd  Luke Dempsey
Division 2 –  1st  Justynne Fabian,  2nd  Daniel Owczarek
Division 3  – 1st   Matthew Taylor,   2nd  Paudi McDonald
Division 4  – 1st   Brian Whelan,     2nd   Paddy Vaughan
Division 5  – 1st  Nicole Moynan,    2nd-Jack Carroll
Division 6.   1st  Benjamin Duffield  2nd Tiegan O’Connor
Division 7    1st  Hailey Hayes,    2nd  Sarah O’Connor
Division 8.   1st  Robbie Yocotan,  2nd Caoimhe Flannery
Division 9    1st  Una Rafter,     2nd  Adam Shirley
Division 10  1st John Moynan,  2nd Jessica Shirley

Many thanks to Jimmy Hayes for organising and running this event. 

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STIGA Junior Challenger : Tralee Report

L-R: Adam Buckley (Div. 2 winner), Michael Lagan (Div. 1 winner), Ronan Magee (Div. 3 winner).

Tralee Table Tennis Club was the venue for the STIGA Junior Challenger event on Saturday, 25th February. There was a large local contingent joined by players from Killarney Table Tennis Club, Topspin Killarney, Kinneigh and West Cork.

 Play started bang on time at 10 am with a Group stage to settle players down, and a few of the adults joined in this stage to give every child three games before the serious business began! Then players were assigned to one of four divisions according to their ability with the top two divisions divided into “A” and “B” sections.

In the fourth division, Josh Hayes from Tralee took home the top prize in his first ever tournament, and Ronan Magee from the home club did likewise in Division Three. The future looks bright for Tralee Table Tennis Club.

In the higher divisions, the local heroes had to work harder but Adam Buckley from Tralee Table Tennis Club defeated Killarney’s Sam Tamir in the final to make it three division wins for Tralee! 

The First Division was a different matter, however, with the imported talent proving too much for the Tralee players, and all four semi-final places were taken by players from other clubs. Player of the Tournament was Kerry O’Mahoney who topped her Division unbeaten and lost out only in the semi-final to Roman Puotkalis. The other semi-final saw Michael Lagan (Killarney) beating James Barry (Kinneigh) and Michael went on to finish the day without losing a match by beating Roman in the Final.

Balls and prizes were supplied by Tommy Fitzgerald/STIGA.

A most enjoyable day was had by all, and every child had at least eight games. For many players this was their first experience of tournament play, although the upper divisions contained many seasoned campaigners.


Division 1

  1. Michael Lagan (Killarney Table Tennis Club)
  2. Roman Puotkalis (Topspin Killarney)
  3. Kerry O’Mahoney (Topspin) & James Barry (Kinneigh)

Division 2

  1. Adam Buckley (Tralee)
  2. Sam Tamir (Killarney)
  3. Nykyta Puotkalis (Topspin) & Dwyer Tobin (Tralee)

Division 3

  1. Ronan Magee (Tralee)
  2. Darragh Boyd (Tralee)
  3. Fiachra Ryan-Browne (Tralee) & Paul Browne (Tralee)

Division 4

  1. Josh Hayes (Tralee)
  2. Liam Magee (Tralee)
  3. Kate Lynch O’Doherty (Killarney) & Aislinn O’Donovan (Killarney)

Umpiring Awards: Matthew Pop, Jake Coughlan, Eoin Buckley and Jack Enright.

Click here for full results

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STIGA Challenger Series – Donic Report

Club Donic held their second STIGA Challenger tournament this season on Sunday 26th February.  90 players had preregistered for this event and the format was slightly different for this tournament, with players put into divisions before the tournament commenced.  

There were 5 divisions, with 2 groups of 9 in each division, meaning that all players got a minimum of 8 matches.  In each group of 9, the winner of Group 1 played the runner-up of Group 2 in each division.  The format proved to be a great success with terrific matches in all of the divisions from Division 1 down to Division 5.  

Results are as follows:
Division 5:  Third Place:  James Drumm and Eoin Kane (both from Delvin)Second Place:  Ben Lacey (Raven)First Place:   Charlie Drumm (Delvin) 
Division 4:  Third Place:  Derek Mulholland and Stephen Lowe (both from Raven)Second Place:  Sean Fox (St. Tiernans)First Place:   Nathan Caulfield (Raven)
Division 3:  Third Place:  Shane Mulready (St. Johns) and James Carroll (Ballyroan)Second Place:  Paddy Vaughan (Mountrath)Third Place:  Conor O’Reilly (St. Johns)
Division 2:  Third Place:  George Goodson (Mountrath ) and Dylan de Ruscio (Salesians)Second Place:  Charlie Whelan (Ballyroan)Third Place:  Dylan Grace (Rathdowney)
Division 1:  Third Place:  Scott Jestin (Mountrath) and Michael Saly (Club Donic)Second Place:  Kate Whelan (Ballyroan)Third Place:  Luke Dempsey (Carlow)
Well done to all who took part and many thanks to Club Donic and our generous sponsors STIGA Ireland


STIGA Challenger: Carlow Report

STIGA Challenger:  Carlow Report by Ray Cleare

A 69 strong field made up of eight clubs showed up to contest the recent challenger event held at the Presentation College Carlow. The action got underway at 10.00 am with 5 divisions offered in a very competitive field.

The tournament had at least 15 players playing in their first event which is exactly what the Challenger series was designed for – to encourage players of all levels to compete in a fun atmosphere. 

In Division 1 there were 7 entries and after the round robin 4 players emerged :Luke Dempsey, Kate Whelan, John Mansfield and Tadhg Downey.

After two very entertaining semi-finals Kate Whelan (Ballyroan) and Carlow’s own Luke Dempsey progressed.  The final was a hotly contested affair with Luke winning out 3-0 but it was a lot closer affair than the score line suggested.

The Division 2 final saw Justynne Fabian (Carlow) up against Jessie Hayes (Mounrath) with Justynne winning 3-1 in a very close affair.   Katie Hayes finished 3rd and Daniel Owcazarek


The Division 3 semi-finals were an all Carlow affair with Matthew Taylor, Sophie Kenny-Cleare, Ayo Oke and Bishal taking up the spots.

Matthew and Bishal progressed to the final with Matthew running out the eventual winner 3-0.

In Division 4 the semi’s were made up of Radek, Nathan Caufield, Benjamin Duffield and Ryan Fitzgerald.

Nathan Caufield (Sacred Heart, Finglas) and Radek (Carlow) got through to the final but Carlow were to be denied with Nathan winning 3-1 in a very close final.

In Division 5 the 4 players who progressed were Natasya Barry, Alan McWey,  Davin McEvoy and Liana Riba. The final saw Natasya (Athlone) up against Alan from (Ballyroan) with Natasya winning out 2-0 in a close final.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Tommy Fitzgerald for generously sponsoring the prizes,  Presentation College for providing a great venue and to all the parents and coaches who helped out on the day.

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UCD Challenger: Belfield a big hit

Over 100 players took part in the latest round of the Stiga Challenger Series, on 21 January in UCD Belfield.  Belfield proved an excellent venue for the event, with plenty of table space and spectator seating, as well as the Café overlooking the event area, the only complaint being the broken TV resulting in a faint hope of an afternoon watching Leinster in the Heineken Cup, while simultaneously ‘supervising’, being cruelly dashed!

 The normal format of the event was followed, with an initial grading round leading to the players being broken up into 4 divisions based on their grading round results.

 Semi Finalists in Division 4 were Andrew Timmins (St. Colmcilles), Derek Mulholland (Raven), Jack Carroll (Ballyroan) and Conor McShane (Blackrock), with Mulholland defeating McShane in the final.

 In Division 3, the semi finalists were James Carroll (Ballyroan), Mimi Nguyen (Deansrath), Ian Manley (St. Tiernans) and Claire Handcock (Rathdowney), with Manley defeating Carroll in the final.

 Division 2 quarter finals saw an all York Road matchup between Joe Proudfoot and Ali McCool, with McColl coming through; Jessie Hayes (Mountrath) defeated Kenneth Lyons(Blackrock); Andrew Mansfield (Rathdowney) came through against George Goodson (Mountrath), while James O’Connor(Blackrock) won his match against Paudi McDonald(Ballyroan).  Hayes and O’Connor were the final matchup after wins over McCool and Mansfield, with O’Connor taking the Division 2 win.

 In Division 1, the 5-8 places were made up of Katie Hayes (Mountrath), and Andrew Robinson, Tim Maguire and Bernard O’Sullivan (all Blackrock).  It was a Midlands monopoly in the semi finals, with Scott Jestin (Mountrath) overcoming Diarmuid Whelan (Ballyroan) in the first semi final, while Eoghan Whelan (Ballyroan) was the winner over John Mansfield (Rathdowney) in semi final 2.  A close final was taken by Eogan Whelan, beating Scott Jestin into 2nd place.

 UCD would like to thank everyone who supported the event, and look forward to seeing everyone again at another event in Belfield in the future.

 Thanks must go to Con O’Ceadaigh and Maria Gallagher at the control table for putting some shape on the chaos(!) that is a Challenger event, to the Committee and team members who assisted with running the event as well as with the hall set-up and also to Tommy Fitzgerald of Stiga for providing the prizes for the event.


Division 1             1              Eoghan Whelan                   Ballyroan

                           2             Scott Jestin                         Mountrath

                          3-4          John Mansfield                     Rathdowney

                                         Diarmuid Whelan                  Ballyroan

                          5-8          Katie Hayes                          Mountrath

                                         Tim Maguire                         Blackrock

                                         Bernard O’Sullivan                 Blackrock

                                         Andrew Robinson                   Blackrock

Division 2              1              James O’Connor                  Blackrock

                            2              Jessie Hayes                      Mountrath

                            3-4           Ali McCool                          York Road

                                           Andrew Mansfield                 Rathdowney

                           5-8          George Goodson                  Mountrath

                                           Kenneth Lyons                     Blackrock

                                           Paudi McDonald                   Ballyroan

                                           Joe Proudfoot                      York Road

Division 3              1              Ian Manley                           St. Tiernans

                            2              James Carroll                       Ballyroan

                            3-4           Claire Handcock                    Rathdowney

                                            Mimi Nguyen                        Deansrath

Division 4              1              Derek Mulholland               Raven

                            2              Conor McShane                  Blackrock

                            3-4           Jack Carroll                        Ballyroan

                                            Andrew Timmins                 St. Colmcilles


STIGA Challenger Kicks Off…

The first STIGA Challenger Series of the season took place in Lucan last weekend, hosted by Club Donic. As usual, this event which seeks to support ITTA participation projects by offering new and developing players a chance to play a tournament in a fun environment was a great success, with 140 children taking part. Well done to all who entered and to our sponsor STIGA for providing the prizes.

Divisional Results