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Competition/Activity Update 18 September

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.

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Events Update 17 September

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.

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Report on the Joola Irish National Championships 2020

Earley and Robinson take the National Senior crowns, McLaughlin takes two National titles, with nine titles decided over 3 days in Clontarf.

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.

National Champions 2020

  • Mini Cadet Boys – Matthew Mooney (Ormeau)
  • Cadet Boys – Max Skelton (Ormeau)
  • Junior Boys – Art McLaughlin (UCD-Dublin)
  • U21 Men – Art McLaughlin (UCD-Dublin)
  • Senior Men – Ashley Robinson (UCD-Dublin)
  • Mini Cadet Girls – Anjali Singh (Ormeau)
  • Cadet Girls – Lucy McIvor (Ormeau)
  • Junior Girls – Mia O’Rahilly Egan (Griffeen)
  • Senior Ladies – Sophie Earley (Ormeau)

Connacht Open 2020 – entries now OPEN

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


Masters Munster Open

Fortified with New Year resolutions, fresh tactical approaches and some with steps over a new age threshold, TT rivalries were renewed at Pingzone for the Munster Open 2020. Some smashing encounters were served up among the 58 competitors, with many very creditworthy performances. The Ladies event featured several sparkling confrontations with no shortage of thrust, counter and riposte to banish any thoughts of Christmas bargains from the scene. Highlight among four five-set matches must be Annemarie’s victory over Teresa on a scoreline of -10,13,-10,8,9. Some of the rallies were breathtaking, and it set the tone for the remainder of the competition. Gillian beat both Teresa and Paula in tight fifth sets. Ger eventually won out overall, but all of the ladies can derive satisfaction from elements of their individual performances. Well done!

The 40s groups saw some cracking matches, with one three-way tie decided by just ONE point. Tibor scored a notable win over Rory to reverse their Ballymena result. Brian Devereux seems to be developing his long pimple skills to good effect, beating Dave Pemberton in five, and taking a game from Daryl in the semi-final. Daryl eventually triumphed over Pat McCloughan in the final. Normal service restored, so!

The 50s saw good wins for Paul Norgrove, Dave Gibbons and Mark McAlister in the early knockout stages. However, pick of the bunch must be Sean McAnaney beating Kieran Burke on a scoreline of -10,-10,7,9,8 and following up with a victory over Branko in four. Some of his returns against Kieran were outstanding, disguising float with chop, and really subverting Kieran’s confidence. Pat beat Mark in a close semi-final, but he beat Sean comfortably in the final.

How can one extol the substance of Kieran Burke’s performance in the 60s? Listening to Dylan on TIME OUT OF MIND coming to the tournament actually set him up for Eugene O’Neill’s LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT! Playing Robby in the first knock-out round, he was 1-5 down in the fifth, Robby spanking winners for fun. Kieran clawed back to 8-9, then levelled at 10-10 after Robby’s time out. Kieran hit a good forehand for 11-10, and then Robby served off! Kieran beat Finn in three straight, then again in four in the 50s before losing to McAnaney as outlined above. Next, he gave a wonderful display to beat Tommy Caffrey 9,10,9 in the semi- final of the 60s. He just went loop, roll, kill to drill sergeant specifications!! However, he was 8-3 up in the third, but Tommy did level at 9-9. Shaw beat Branko -7,9,6,8 in the other semi-final. The final saw both players hit very wide winners which the opponent actually returned with interest! Kieran led 9-6 in the first, wobbled somewhat, and lost 10-12 when Philip just hit winners for fun on both wings. The second game followed the same pattern, Philip coming back to win by the narrowest margin again. Fortunes were reversed in the third game, with Kieran overturning Philip’s healthy advantage to sneak it 11-8. The fourth game was key; very tight, with errant serves being roundly punished by both players. Kieran eked out a lead, and just edged home 11-9. Kieran raced out to a 4-1 lead in the fifth, won a great rally to go 6-1, and just kept going away to win out. Fatigue obviously affected both players, and may have banished any negativity from Kieran’s mindset. A disappointing finish to a fabulous match!

David Jacobson continued his good form from the 60s to lead Tommy Caffrey 2-0 in the final of the 70s. However, in the crunch, Tommy changed tack at the start of the third, opened up a big lead, and David just could not find a way back. He can be well pleased with his performance having changed to half-long pimples. Shay O’Reilly and Jimmy Fleming also played very well. Sadly, Jimmy misplaced his camera during the day. It has not escaped our notice that Jim Storey finally registered an all-important victory over Martin. A new decade indeed!

Our thanks to Sharon, Ger, both Davids and Jim for the successful completion of the tournament. A 40s Round Robin was even completed! Willingness to umpire matches greatly helped, and Ray seemed to enjoy testing out his long lenses. Hopefully Roman enjoyed the event as much as everybody else. Anna’s assistance was greatly appreciated.

Tournament results can be downloaded HERE

We offer our condolences on the recent passing of Peadar Wiley, a member of Crofton and Terenure. Team mate of a young Jim Langan, he was a fount of knowledge on hard bat players from a bygone era. Formerly Captain of Lucan GC, he played on two Barton Cup winning teams. Les Whittaker, a great friend of Irish veterans table tennis, has also died. Both of them will be greatly missed by those fortunate to have known them. Our best wishes go to all of our members who are coping with serious illness at this time.

muster featured

Results and Report from the Munster Open

Not long into the New Year, and with outside temperatures dipping to several degrees below freezing, TT rivalries were renewed at Neptune Stadium for the Munster Open 2020. Neptune Stadium proved to be a very welcoming venue with excellent cooperation between stadium staff and the Munster Branch Organising Committee giving rise to a well-run event for competitors and a positive experience for visitors. 159 competitors were engaged over the weekend, which commenced at 6.30 pm on Friday 17th and finished at 4.30 pm on Sunday 19th. Notable among the entries were the 21 competitors in the U/11 Boys and the 39 competitors in the U/13 Boys. In fact when added to the entry of 15 girls, the U/13 category had the biggest entry at 54 players. Also notable were the 21 entries in the Para Open category, the highest seen for many years. Finally Munster Open saw the participation of 16 Special Olympics players from Beech Hill, Leeside and Cope Foundation Clonakilty clubs in an invitational event. These latter two events represent the ongoing commitment of Munster Branch to the promotion of inclusion in table tennis and it would be great to see the Para category equally strong at other provincial opens and at the National Championships.

The overall highlight of performances at the Munster Open has to be the five titles won by Mia O’Rahilly-Egan of Griffeen Valley/Dun Laoire – Women’s Singles, Women’s Doubles, Mixed Doubles, U/21 Women and U/18 Girls. Has this feat ever been achieved before, one wonders?

Looking across the results there were winners from all four branches, which is great to see. Leinster led the way with a total of eight winners – alongside Mia O’Rahilly-Egan, Art McLaughlin from UCD won the Men’s Singles and Alex Gillen and Joey Nelson, also from UCD, won the Men’s Doubles. In second place were Munster with five winners, the Vets winner in Mykola Koval (Beech Hill), the Restricted Singles winner in Mathew Haynes (Leeside), Paddy Vaughan (Ballincollig/UCC), winner of the Para Singles, Ciaran O’Donoghue (Ballincollig),winner in the Mixed Doubles and Zofia Wawrzyniak (Leeside), winner in the Women’s Doubles. Ulster with Anjali Singh (Ormeau), winner of the U/13 Girls, Jonathan Mooney (Ormeau), winner of the U/15 Boys, Lucy McIvor (Ormeau), winner of the U/15 Girls and James Skelton (Ormeau), winner of the U/21 Men’s Singles had four winners.  Connacht had one winner with Kristijonas Dapkus (Bunninadden) in the U/18 Boys. U/11 results not to hand.

Finally, but not least, thanks go to Tournament Referee, Con O’Ceadaigh, and to Top Table officials, Dave and Sharon Gibbs, for their efficient and effective management of the many matches played over the weekend.

Please click HERE to download the results overview for each category.