STIGA JUNIOR CHALLENGER Kiltimagh 2012 / 2013
64 players from Connacht travelled to Kiltimagh to play in the Challenger Event hosted by St Louis School on Sunday 24th February 2013. Four hundred matches were played on eleven tables with a constant stream of games. Each player played an average 13 matches starting at 10-00am and concluding at 5-30pm. The format was 16 groups of 4 in the first session to determine the ability of players, session two then consisted of eight divisions of eight players, with the top four in each division proceeding to the semi-finals and the remaining four players in each group going into groups of four to determine 5th to 8th place standings.
DIVISION 1Was filled with talent as all 8 players were Connaught team players, with the favourite Dylan Carson from Sligo being seeded number 1. The division was represented by players from Sligo Roscommon and Mayo. In what was a difficult Division filled with quality everyone had to be on the top of their game. After 6 hours of play the semi-finalists were Dylan Carson (Sligo), James Joyce (Mayo), Amanda Taylor (Sligo) and Eddie Ditchburn (Mayo). In the first semi-final Dylan beat James 2-0 and Eddie Ditchburn defeated Amanda Taylor in the second semi-final. The final was Dylan Carson verses Eddie Ditchburn. Unfortunately Eddie had to withdraw from the final and forfeit the match. Dylan won the final by default.
DIVISION 1A Also proved to be a difficult affair with 5 of the 8 being Connaught interprovincial players- three of the players being under 10 years of age. Even at such a young age the u10 players were not out of their depth as all three youngsters reached the semi-finals. The first semi-final was David Taylor (Sligo) against Kristyjonas Dapkus (Mayo). It was an outstanding match between the two youngsters and after 30 minutes of play Kristyjonas was the victor by 2 games to 1 with scores of 11-8, 12-14, 11-9. The second semi-final was an all Mayo affair between young Thomas Joyce and Matthew McNeive both from Knock. Thomas proved too strong for Matthew and quickly raced to a 2-0 victory. This set up a final with both players being u10. Thomas was in a determined mood and was played outstanding table tennis to secured a 2-0 victory.
DIVISION 2 Had a mixture of 3 girls and 5 boys. The girls weren’t overshadowed by the boys as the final of the division was an all-girl affair. The semi-finals saw Michaela Webb (Knock), against Colin Breakell (Claremorris), Michaela was the more experienced of the two and proved too strong for Colin and secured a 2-0 victory. The second semi-final saw Chloe Tansey (Mayo) play Aiofe O’Dowd from Sligo. It was an evenly matched pairing which saw Chloe win 2-0 but the scores were very close 12-10,12-10 in both games. In the final Chloe was playing great shots and went 1-0 up Michaela fought back in the second winning 11-9 to level 1-1. In the decider Chloe held her nerve to secure a 2-1 victory and clinch the division.
DIVISION 2A Was evenly matched with intermediate players and was an interesting group. The semi-finals were contested by Aaron Walsh, Saoirse Jordan, Jack Costello, and Brian Tansey. In the first Semi-final Jack Costello defeated Brian Tansey 2-0, the second Semi-final saw Aaron Walsh defeat Saoirse Jordan 2-0. The final was a close affair which saw Jack Costello defeating Aaron 2-1 with scores of 11-6, 5-11, 11-8
DIVISION 3 Was for beginners who had been playing for only a short time. But that didn’t stop the players producing some excellent table tennis. There were some outstandingly close matches in the division and entertained the crowd that was watching. The semi-finals were contested by Amna Mandal, Gareth Gallagher, Dara Mulkeen, and Galan O’Reilly. The first semi-final was between Amna and Gareth, Amna was playing well and won the match 2-0 with a score line of 11-8 11-3. In the second semi-final Dara Mulkeen beat Galan O’’Reilly 11-7 12-10 to set up a final against Amna. In the final Dara proved too strong on this occasion for Amna and took victory by a score of 2-0 with the games being 11-8 11-7 Amna wasn’t disgraced in the final and there is more to come from this young girl
Division 3A This division was contested by up and coming youngsters, who have taken to the game early. None of the youngsters were overawed by the hall and event, and showed a lot of promising talent. After a long day of table tennis the semi-finals were contested between Connor McDonald Sean McNamara, Darren Tansey and Tigue O’Sullivan. In the first semi-final Darren Tansey defeated Tigue O’Sullivan 2-0, and Connor McDonald defeated Sean McNamara in the second semi-final 2-0. In the final Darren Tansey was in fine form and won by a score of 2-0, Connor had to settle for runner-up on this occasion.
Division 4 This was a fascinating division and threw up a few surprises. The semi-finals consisted of Grace Hodgins from Sligo against Paul Costello. The second semi-final was contested by Aaron Tansey and Kyle Gormley. Grace played well and defeated Paul by two games to one with the scores being 9-11 11-6 11-4. Aaron won the second semi-final by a score of 2-0 to set up a final appearance against Grace. Aaron went on to win the final by a score of two games to nil.
Division 4A The semi-finals of the division were Johnny Conlon against Oisin Jordan, and Jude Clark against Daniel Lavelle. Both Oisin and Jude won their Semi-finals 2-0 to set up the final between them. In what was a close final Oisin took the first game 11-8, but Jude fought back in the second game and levelled the match 1-1 with a sore 11-8. Into the decisive third and what a match! Both were playing in top form but Oisin held his nerve to take the third by a score of 11-9 to take the title.
Kiltimagh T.T Club would like to thank St Louis School for the use of the venue, And a special thank you to Michael Joyce, Patrick Connor and Chris Walsh for supplying refreshments and helping the shop to supply refreshments and food for the players and parents. Also a big thank you to the players for supporting the event and to the parents who stayed to watch.
A special thank you to Tommy Fitzgerald and Stiga Ireland for coming to Mayo and supplying the prizes for the event and finally thanks to the I.T.T.A. for granting Kiltimagh the opportunity to hold the Event
Report by E. Ditchburn