Due to the uncertainties caused by the current pandemic, we regret to advise that the Veterans Home Nations Championships, which had been scheduled for 10th to 12th September 2021, have been cancelled. Our thanks go to all of our sponsors and our volunteers who have helped with the organisation of the event so far. We are most grateful to the delegates on the Management Committee for their support during these challenging times.
Table Tennis Ireland update on the latest round of restrictions issued by the Government of Ireland. On foot of guidance due to be issued today, Friday 18 September, the Senior Classification event scheduled for this weekend, 19/20 September, has been postponed.
The TTI Season Calendar, due to be issued this week, will not now be issued until a later date. While it is hoped that most of the outline season structure can be retained, this postponement is likely to have an impact on the scheduling of the next proposed domestic events, the Junior Classification and DL Open tournaments.
Further details will follow as soon as possible regarding rescheduling and, where necessary, regarding any specific additional local guidance relating to the revision, arising from relevant government restrictions, of any TTI training and practice protocols.
It remains critical that all clubs and members continue to adhere as closely as possible to the TTI ‘Return to Table Tennis – Club/Training Environment’ Protocols, as well as to updated guidance and direction provided by the Board, including, inter alia;
the necessity for the lead Coach/Committee member to take the lead on maintaining hygiene standards in the club environment, rather than leaving it to players;
the necessity, other than in a squad setting, to restrict players from playing multiple sessions across different time slots on the same day, mixing among different groups of players; and
the necessity, other than in a controlled National Squad or Regional Squad setting, to prohibit players from playing or training in more than one Club or training location or among players from multiple Clubs.
It is critical for the reputation of the sport that all members, and specifically the responsible ‘COVID-19 Officer’ in each Club or Squad, take responsibility for implementing the protocols and guidelines.
The TTI Protocols and additional Board guidance, as well as existing ‘Phase 2’ or other local restrictions, remain in place for all clubs and provinces throughout the island of Ireland. Additional limits will now also generally apply to clubs based in Dublin, in line with the ‘Phase 3’ restrictions announced by the Government of Ireland. Clubs, coaches, responsible Committee and players should update themselves on TTI protocols and general DoH/HSE guidelines; on the restriction levels contained within ‘Phase 2’ or their equivalent; and, where appropriate, on the new limits and restrictions contained within ‘Phase 3’ of the ‘Resilience and Recovery 2020-2021’ Plan.
TTI continues to monitor and consider relevant COVID-19 developments, announcements and restrictions, and continues to engage with Sport Ireland regarding ongoing and proposed sporting activities. The Association continues to plan for the Senior Classification event this (19/20 September) weekend, however the situation is constantly evolving. Further information will follow, as soon as possible, regarding any confirmed details, and/or regarding any necessary changes to the scheduling or format of the event.
It was a National Championships held in disrupted circumstances, deferred from April, and partly postponed from the previous week, as sport worked around ongoing governmental COVID restrictions. Despite this, almost all of our top ranked players were in attendance, and the Championships went ahead with solid support from around the country.
Ashley Robinson proved that experience is hard to beat, as he returned from Australia to secure the National Mens Singles title that had eluded him until now. Robinson didn’t have it all his own way, as this seasons Ulster Open Champion, Ryan Farrell, put forward typically gritty opposition in the final, Robinson taking the title 3-1 (8,-9,6,9), while the eventual Champions toughest match came at the semi-final stage against Art McLaughlin, winner of the Mens titles at this seasons Connacht and Munster Opens, Robinson coming through 3-2 (6,8,-10,-4,3). Earlier, Robinson enjoyed an untroubled QF match against Sam Logue, 3-0 (1,5,3), while McLaughlin also came through 3-0 in his QF against Jonny Mooney 3-0 (11,9,7). Farrell had to dig very deep to come back against Daryl Strong in the last 16, trailing 0-2 before taking the match 3-2, a little more comfortable in the QF against James Skelton 3-1, but again in the semi-finals had to battle hard against a consistent Thomas Earley, taking the match 3-2 after again trailing 0-2 (-9,-15,2,7,7); while Earley had previously come through his quarter-final 3-0 against a resurgent Tom Davis.
The Ladies National final saw the latest instalment in the long list of head to head final clashes between the top two female players in Ireland. It was a repeat of the 2019 final, as top seed Sophie Earley retained her Ladies Singles title, with straightforward wins in the quarters and semis against Lucy McIvor (3-0) and Erin Thompson (3-0) respectively, and with a tighter match in the final against old rival and 2018 Champion Mia O’Rahilly Egan, Earley coming through 3-0 (5,10,11). Earlier, O’Rahilly Egan had come past Anjali Singh 3-1 in the quarter final and Claire Heller 3-0 in the semi-final. In the remaining quarter-finals, Thompson had defeated 3rd Seed Sabina Devereux 3-0, while Heller also came through 3-0, against Anna Kelly.
Day 2 saw the Junior and Mini Cadet events take centre stage, with Art McLaughlin picking up where he had left off in the Mens Singles on Day 1, appearing in a 3rd consecutive Junior Boys National final, and on this occasion laying waste to the rest of the Junior Boys field, defeating Jonny Mooney 3-0 at semi-final stage and Tom Colvin 3-0 in the final. Earlier, Colvin had beaten Dillon Byrne in the other semi-final. In the Junior Girls, Mia O’Rahilly Egan, appearing in a 5th consecutive Junior Girls National final two, took her 3rd title with a dominant performance in the Junior Girls round robin, winning all her matches, with Anna Kelly squeezing through to take the silver medal.
The Mini Cadet events finished off Day 2, with Anjali Singh fulfilling her top seed position in Mini Cadet Girls with an unbeaten performance in the round robin, Niamh Mason taking the silver medal with her only loss coming against the eventual Champion. The Mini Cadet boys saw some of the performances of the entire Championships, with very little separating many of the seeds, however it was the top two seeds that unsurprisingly came through to contest the final, Matthew Mooney fulfilling his seeding to take the title 3-1 ahead of Senan Sheridan. Earlier, in the semi-finals, Sheridan had come past Rory O’Brien 3-1, while Mooney had defeated Aedan McGivern 3-2.
Day 3 began with the U21 Mens Singles, with danger throughout the draw, no straightforward groups here. Ultimately, it was Art McLaughlin who came through to take his second title of the Championships, 3-1 in the semi-final versus Zak Earley and 3-2 in an extremely close and hard fought final against James Skelton. Earlier, Skelton came past Thomas Earley 3-2 in the semi-final.
The final event of the Championships was the Cadet Singles. Max Skelton took the Cadet Boys title, to add to his Mini Cadet Boys crown from 2018, taking the semi-final 3-0 against Gellert Moravcsik, and the final 3-0 against Jonny Mooney. Earlier, Mooney defeated Niall Lane 3-0 in the semi-final. The Cadet Girls final was the last match of the day, ultimately taken by the top seed Lucy McIvor on a 3-1 scoreline against Emily Flynn. In the semi-finals, McIvor defeated Anjali Singh 3-1, while Flynn came past Lily Smith in a close match 3-2.
Thanks are due for the support shown by the Clubs in taking part in the event, and the patience shown by the membership as TTI worked within the restrictions and guidelines brought upon us all at this time. We are especially indebted to all those who Umpired matches, and in particular to the two National Umpires who showed up for all three days, Ian Erskine and Cecilia Armelin; to our Referees and event team, Con O’Ceadaigh, Tony Martin, Niall O’Flaherty and Eoin O’Flaherty; and to the hall setup crew.
We have resolved the issue with processing payments through GoMembership. The deadline for entering the Senior Classification has been extended to 9am on Saturday 12th September. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. If you are having any other difficulties entering, please email [email protected]
These Championships at Pingzone brought the Masters competitive season to an early close. With the holder absent, John Bowe adding spice to the mix and Champion status on the line, the Over 40s was bound to produce some fireworks. Standout of the early rounds was Phil Wallace saving three match points to beat John 13-11 in the fifth. Mark McAlister and Pat McCloughan impressed also; a harbinger of things to come. Phil beat Rory Scott in one semi- final, while Daniel Molzenberger edged out Pat in the other. The entertaining final produced some cracking exchanges. Phil emerged as a deserving victor on a scoreline of 8, -5, 2, -8, 6. No doubt he enjoyed bringing the Harry O’Prey Trophy back home in his own right!
The Ladies event saw two very good victories for Paula, and some tight fifth set wins for Sharon and Gillian. However, at the crunch, Anne Marie prevailed over Ger to seal the title on a scoreline in the fifth of -5, -10, 8,7,2.
In the 50s, Philip Shaw beat Jeremy in the fifth for the second time during the day, having done so already in the 60s. However, he lost to Pat 6-11 in the fifth afterwards. Paul Gallagher impressed with two five set victories over Dave Gibbons and Kevin Mackey. As alluded to earlier, Pat and Mark contested the final, Pat winning out 7,6,-10,11.
The 60s saw the welcome return of Jimmy Robinson to competitive action. However, engaging with Jeremy early at the KO stage was not in his plans. Kariem edged a hard-fought victory over Norman, winning 11-5 in the fifth. Likewise, Philip pipped Jeremy 11-9 in the fifth, which set him at a disadvantage facing Finn in the semi-final. Brian chiselled out a win in four, to set up the final against Tommy Caffrey, who had eliminated Kariem elsewhere. Much later, brute force and ignorance had no place in this absorbing final. Red herrings, powder puff assaults, deft ripostes laced with insidious intent were de rigueur in this battle of minds and will. Converting the first from 8-10 down, Brian was always in control to win the second 11-8. His mammoth fight back from 2-10 in the third fell just short, but a time-out had been used up by his exasperated opponent at 7-10. Changing tack at the start of the fourth,Tommy began an assault with long fast serves. However, this was rebuffed, with no little skill. Leading 5-1, Brian aced a service delivery which pierced the maestro’s defences. Completion anxiety avoided, he finished as a worthy winner, 10, 8, -9, 7! A first national title is indeed to be savoured, as Phil will readily agree.
David Jacobson put in a tremendous performance in the 70s with a win over Liam, and a fabulous -11, 5, -10, 5, 9 victory over Jim Storey in the semi-final. However, it was good to see Jim back to much better form than of late, hitting some trademark forehand winners with authority. In the final, there was no disgrace in David losing 12, 2, 4 to Tommy Caffrey. The absence of Martin Pickles was noted.
The inspiration and tenacity of Jack Cash in staging the very first of these National Championships in Newtownards must be applauded! How they have developed into such a highlight of our TT season is absolutely marvellous! Our thanks to Sharon, Ger, Viv, Anna, both Daves, Jim, Roman and all who helped with running the event this year. The readiness of all competitors to umpire is greatly appreciated in moving matches along to schedule. Overall, it has been a very successful season. Our best wishes go to members coping with serious illness or bereavement at this time.
The 2020 Connacht Open will take place at the Breaffy House Resort, Demesne, Castlebar, Co. Mayo.
Please click HERE to download the entry form and tournament information
Entries should be emailed to [email protected] or should be posted to Niall O’ Flaherty, Glenascaul, Oranmore, Co.Galway. Please note that players from Northern Ireland can pay organisers on the day of the tournament.
Closing date for entries is FRIDAY 14th of FEBRUARY 2020. Late entries may be accepted after this deadline but a late entry fee of €20 will be applicable