2020 Nationals Trophies @ IWA (1)

Maiden Senior Titles for Finn & Gillen, as Dublin and Ormeau lead the way with three titles each

The much delayed 2021 JOOLA Irish National Championships finally took place on 20/21 November 2021, in Valley Leisure Centre.

With various restrictions still in place, and with a congested calendar, there were a number of changes and redraws from the original Nationals event draw and format, but all the main challengers remained involved from the original entry, and the event went ahead largely as planned. Across nine different decades, through war time, troubles, weather delays, and a pandemic, the National Championships has been running since 1937, and 2021 saw another successful event.

Day 1 saw the Mens and Ladies, Mens U21, and Cadet Singles events get under way. The change in date had impacted a number of players across all events, with illness and missed connections causing the withdrawal of several other players, however there was a high quality field across both Senior events. A number of upset results across the Mens event early in the singles ended up with an all Dublin top half, as Alexander Gillen took on Tom Davis, while Dillon Byrne faced Joey Nelson. Meanwhile, in the bottom half, there was a distinctly Ormeau feel, with the clash of the Skelton brothers, as well as Zak Wilson facing 2020 Silver Medallist Ryan Farrell (DCU). With Gillen coming past Byrne at semi-final stage, and Farrell accounting for James Skelton in a close five-setter, the question to be answered was whether Farrell would go one better than last year and take the Senior title, or would Gillen record his first National Singles title victor at any level. A strong start from Gillen left Farrell chasing the game and, despite conceding the 3rd end, Gillen stepped up a level in set four to take his first National title. The Ladies event saw the late withdrawal of former Champion and top seed Mia O’Rahilly Egan, which left the field wide open for everyone else. An all Ulster top half saw Lucy McIvor come past Erin Thompson, and Rebecca Finn defeat Anna Kelly, both at QF stage, Finn scrapping her way to the final in a tight 5 setter. In the bottom half, Sabina Devereux was comfortable in the quarters against Renata Gadula, but had to dig deeper at SF stage in a see-saw 4 setter against Claire Heller (who had earlier beaten Laura Finn in the quarters), with Devereux winning out to make the final. The SF match had taken it out of Devereux, though, with Glenburn’s Finn never really threatened, easing to a 3-0 victory to take a first Senior title.

In Mens U21, there was danger throughout the draw, but it was a second final appearance of the day for Gillen, coming past Max Skelton at QF stage and Jonny Mooney in SF, Mooney earlier defeating Adam Faulkner. In the bottom half James Skelton eased through to the final, defeating Joey Nelson and Dillon Byrne at QF and SF stages, Byrne earlier defeating Barry O’Keeffe. A very tight match, at the end of a long day for both players, saw Dublin TT’s Gillen take his second National title.

The Cadet events were volatile affairs, with seeds tumbling throughout both draws, however the seeding held true at the top of the draws with Loop’s Gellert Moravcsik confirming his top seed status with a win over Ben Watson (NICS) in the final, having come past Bruce Tan in the semi finals; Watson took his place in the final with a win over Aedan McGivern in their semi final. Cadet Girls also saw the top seed emerge victorious, Anjali Singh defeating Grace Looney in an all Ormeau final, with Singh defeating Lily Smith at SF stage, and Looney coming past Emily Flynn in their semi.

Mini-Cadet kicked things off on Sunday, and with clubs struggling under restrictions, now for a third season in a row, the Mini-Cadet field was smaller than usual. Despite this, some high quality matches saw Grace Looney (Ormeau) take the Girls National title ahead of Lily Parke (Glenburn), while Bruce Tan (Loop) is the Boys National Champion, ahead of club mate Vincent Ni.

The Junior events closed off the weekend, with previous National Champions and Runners Up scattered across both Boys and Girls draws. In the Boys draw, top seed Dillon Byrne had to do it the hard way, defeating the 2nd, 3rd and 4th seeds (Craigavon’s Tom Colvin, and Ormeau’s Jonathan Mooney and James Skelton) en-route to his first Junior Boys National title, with a 3-0 win in the final against Mooney. The Junior Girls finished out the day, with an all Ormeau 1-2, Anna Kelly squeezing through ahead of Lucy McIvor.

As with every event there is a huge amount of work that goes on beyond the scenes, but, even more than usual, this event would not have happened without the effort and contribution of a number of people, who went above and beyond what should have been necessary. Our office team, Shauna & John, had to deal with a huge number of changes and plan adjustments, including managing last minute withdrawals and communications. Our Referee Con O’Ceadaigh, Events Manager Kieran Reilly, and the Events Committee had multiple challenges, dodging land mines everywhere (many of which kept appearing from nowhere!), which they handled with amazing resilience. Volunteers at the event, including Referees Assistant Niall O’Flaherty, and local Umpires Jay McAllister and Adrian Brown, as well as other volunteer Umpires throughout the weekend, made a huge difference to the smooth running of the tournament. With nobody available from the Ulster Branch, we are also thankful to the volunteers from Dublin TT who travelled up early to Valley to set up the hall. Finally, former Ulster Branch Chair Arnold Morgan was the lynchpin, presenting the prizes and working with the office and the Events Committee, as an ordinary volunteer and in an independent capacity, for the good of the whole membership. Without him, the National Championships would not have happened, and the membership owes him a debt of gratitude.

2021 National Champions

Senior Mens – Alexander Gillen (Dublin)

U21 Mens – Alexander Gillen (Dublin)

Junior Boys – Dillon Byrne (Dublin)

Cadet Boys – Gellert Moravcsik (Loop)

Mini Cadet Boys – Bruce Tan (Loop)

Senior Ladies – Rebecca Finn (Glenburn)

Junior Girls – Anna Kelly (Ormeau)

Cadet Girls – Anjali Singh (Ormeau)

Mini Cadet Girls – Grace Looney (Ormeau)

2020 Nationals Trophies @ IWA (1)

Joola Irish Junior & Senior National Championships

The Board of Table Tennis Ireland is delighted at the return to tournament play this weekend with the premier event of the year, the TTI National Championships, to be held in the Valley Leisure Centre, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim.  It promise to be an exciting competition.

The Board recognises that the cancellation and subsequent rescheduling of this event caused considerable inconvenience and disappointment to our players and volunteers. TTI continues to engage directly with Sports Ireland about Pandemic related guidelines and restrictions, always with the aim of a safe return to sport at the appropriate time.

The Board would like to thank our staff, officials, Management Committee and volunteers for their dedication and perseverance during this difficult period but particularly our players who have been practicing and waiting for the return to competition.

2020 Nationals Trophies @ IWA (1)

National Championships Rescheduled

The 2021 National Championships have now been rescheduled for 20th and 21st of November 2021, in Valley Leisure Centre, Newtownabbey.

In order to work around existing facility bookings, there have been some changes to the timetable, provisional times as follows;

  • Mens/Ladies Singles 09:30 Saturday
  • Cadet Singles 14:00 Saturday
  • U21 Singles 15:00 Saturday
  • Mini Cadet Singles 09:30 Sunday
  • Junior Singles 14:00 Sunday

All existing entries for the previously scheduled Championships will be rolled forward.  If you still wish to take part in the event, no action is required and no further payment is required (if you have already paid for your entry).  

If you wish to withdraw from the event, please contact the office at [email protected] to request a refund by Friday 12th of November.

The Referee and Events Committee reserve the right to redraw some or all categories, in whole or in part, and/or to accept or reject entries, in the event of multiple and/or destabilising withdrawals or other factors.

TTI C19 Protocols, including distancing, masking and capacity/admission requirements remain in place for this event.

2020 Nationals Trophies @ IWA (1)

National Championships not going ahead this weekend

The Board, in consultation with the chair of the Management Committee and tournament organisers, has decided that Nationals will not go ahead this weekend.

Today, we received updated guidance from Sports Ireland which, upon initial reading, would have had the effect of excluding many of our members in Northern Ireland from our National Championships. Sports Ireland have engaged with us this evening but it appears that it is now too late to find a solution. With that in mind the Board believes that the fairest option is to cancel the event until a solution can be found or until new guidelines are in place that would allow all of our members to participate. It is just not possible to run the event properly given the new guidelines.

We apologies for the stress, inconvenience and disruption this has caused and the late notice of this cancellation.

Further updates to follow.

TTU logo

The Robinson’s Ice Cream Ulster Open Table Tennis Championships 2021

The 2021 Robinson’s Ice Cream Ulster Open Table Tennis Championships will take place on the 27th and 28th November at Lisburn Racquets Club, 36 Belfast Road, Lisburn BT27 4AS. All players and coaches are advised to read the Entry Form for full details on the events taking place, tournament regulations and Covid 19 Protocols.

Entries are now open through eventbrite (link below) and Entries will close Wednesday 17th November 2021 at 9.00pm. Late entries will not be accepted and all fees must be paid in advance

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-robinsons-ice-cream-ulster-open-table-tennis-championships-2021-tickets-188899141417

2020 Nationals Trophies @ IWA (1)

2021 Joola Irish National Junior and Senior Championships

The 2021 Joola Irish National Junior and Senior Championships will take place on the 23rd and 24th October at the Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA) in Dublin. Entries are now open through our GoMembership system (see link below) and will close at 5pm on Friday 8th October 2021. All players and coaches are advised to read the Entry Form for full details on the events taking place, tournament regulations and Covid 19 Protocols.

Entry Link   

https://tabletennisireland.azolve.com/workbench/public/events?ref=793225CBF30BB1ADC2ADA32D7F4F440031F5CF0B

Any queries should be sent to [email protected]