Interprovincial-Champions

Inter-provincial Championships 2024

The Inter-Provincial Championships took place on the 13th and 14th April in the Irish Wheelchair Association. This year was the first year that Para has been included int he event. Day one was Seniors, Veterans, U21 and Para Events. While day two was the Junior event.

U21 Event:
1st: Ulster (Euan Hanna, Alex Lo, Junior Close, Grace Looney, Niamh Mason and NPC: John Colvin)
Runner up: Leinster (Ben Glennon, Sean Patterson, Ruth Goodhead, Adam Tunney)

Para Event:
1st: Leinster (Michael Cunningham, Sean Geoghegan & Aaron Mellows)
Runner up: Ulster (Jude Sheldon, David McCaughern, Alex Edwards, NPC: Francis Shirely)
3rd Place: Munster (Conor O’Callaghan, Kevin O’Callaghan, Patrick McCormick, Aoife Kelly)
4th Place: Connacht (Caoimhe Folan, Alicia Winters, Gerry Cummins)

Veterans Event:
1st: Leinster (Eduardo Da Silva, Artur Lewanczuk, Tibor Pofok, Rita Kacsandi & NPFC: Brian Finn)
Runner up: Ulster (Daryl Strong, Phil Wallace, Rodney McKirgan, Mary Toland, Ruth McGillgan & NPC Norman Nabney)
3rd Place: Munster (Piotr Stankiewicz, Philp Shaw, Catherine Morrissey)
4th Place: Connacht (Kariem Sabir, Kieran Burke, Robbie Gavin & Jonna Zeweld)

Senior Event:
1st: Ulster (Conor Nugent, Joe Sheard, Adam Faulkner, Ben Watson, Emily Flynn, Anjali Singh & NPC: John Fall)
Runner up: Leinster (Thomas Davis, Winnie Poon, Cillian Kirby, Colin Judge, Baiyeang Gao)
3rd Place: Munster (Sean Loughnane, Kevin O’Keefe, Ben Loughnane, Caoimhe Deane, Alessandra Fadda & NPC Alan Hurley)
4th Place: Connacht (David Noonan, Pawel Abram, David Taylor, Rachel Taylor & Amanda Taylor)

2024 Tommy Caffery
Adam Faulkner

U19 Event:
1st: Ulster ( Aeden McGivern, Tom Irwin, Peadar Sheridan & NPC Tomasz Toman)
Runner up: Leinster (Diarmiad Byrne, Jack O’Connell, Daniel Patterson, Connor Sheehan)

U15 Girls Event:
1st: Ulster ( Lea Gal, Advika Rao, Nuria Goldston & NPC Susan Irwin)

U15 Boys Event:
1st: Ulster ( Aaditya Singh, Toby Caldwell, Christopher Allsop & NPC: Joe Sheard)
Runner up: Leinster (Hexi Duan, Sam Brennan, Harrison Yeun & NPC: John White)
3rd Place: Munster (Sean Buckley, Conall Conroy, Ashamed Collins & NPC: Philip Shaw)

U13 Boys Event:
1st: Leinster ( Peter Cao, He ming Duan, Adam Hedderly, Caleb Jiang, Andrew Low & NPC: Branko Jakovetic)
Runner up: Ulster (Karsten Close, Ashvik Rao, Erdem Mehmed & NPC: Daniel Irwin)
3rd Place: Munster (Olaf Chmeielewski, Atilla Magyar Junior, Florian Lotowski & NPC: Phillip Shaw)

U13 Girls Event:
1st: Ulster ( Polly Smith, Eimear Hutchinson, Jane Wilson & NPC: David Hutchinson)
Runner up: Leinster (Kim Dinh, Jessica Farrelly, Naeto Ozougwu, Angel Peprah & NPC: Annette Murtagh)
3rd Place: Munster (Samanta Pusinskaite, Nicki Konya & Emma O’Callaghan

Overall Junior Winners:
Ulster

Colum Slevin Award 2024
Tom Irwin


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Report: Paralympic Inter Provincial Competition 13 April 2024

History was made at the recent Inter Provincial Championships when a competition for our Para players was included in the lineup of events on the Saturday for the very first time in TTI’s existence. All four provinces entered teams, which was great to see. The outcome, perhaps those close to the Para squad will not be surprised to read, was that Leinster steamrolled their way to an overall victory and took the shield back to Dublin.  The Leinster team, consisting of Sean Geoghegan, Mick Cunningham and Aaron Mellows, ended up undefeated throughout the competition defeating Connacht, Munster and Ulster by 6-0 in each round. The line up thereafter is that Ulster were second, while Munster defeated Connacht 4-2 to finish third.

The victorious Leinster team receiving the Para Inter Pro shield from TTI President Pat Hunter – left to right: Aaron Mellows, Sean Geoghegan, Mick Cunningham

The general response from players and officials alike was that the competition was a success, and we can look forward to the Para category being a permanent feature of the Inter Provincial Championships for the future.

Report by Eoin Kelly.

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Ireland secure a slot for the 2024 Paralympic Games

With the 2024 Paralympic Games on the horizon, Table Tennis Ireland are pleased to announce that we have been allocated a singles qualification slot. Congratulations to our HP Para team, whose hard work and dedication over the past three years has paid off, as the slot was allocated based on world rankings. The player who will take a seat on the short flight to Paris has yet to be selected, with a Team Ireland announcement expected later in the year prior to the Paralympic Games taking place from 26th of August to 8th of September’.

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Table tennis Ireland – “Sport for All Disability” Supports Club Fund APPLICATION FORM

 
TTI are now inviting Applications for the “Sport for All Disability” Supports Club Fund .  The fund will support the initiation or enhancement of disability specific activities within grassroots sports clubs. Clubs must apply directly to Table Tennis Ireland using the application form attached.
 
Clubs can apply for Funding up to €2,500 (with a possible increase of €500 depending on the quality of the application) to support the following areas:
 
  • Disability Supports Education & Training
  • Disability Supports Programme Activation and Delivery
  • Disability Supports Small Scale Equipment and Infrastructure
 
Your Club must be registered with the Active Disability Ireland ‘Sport Inclusion Disability Charter’, https://activedisability.ie/sport-inclusion-disability-charter/ . Please download the charter sign and return with your application.
 
Please read all relevant details and Terms & Conditions on attached application form.  Complete the application form and return it to [email protected] by Monday April 29th 2024.  
Application can be found HERE
 
TTI will hold an information webinar on Wednesday 27th march at 7pm to explain the application process further and will also be an opportunity to ask any questions about, eligibility, your project plans and ideas and hopefully point you in the right direction.  Further details will be announced on social media and website in the next week.
 
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Malmo Open 2024

The Malmo Open Parasport event took place between the 9th and 11th February in Sweden where Ireland sent twelve players compete in the table tennis event alongside representatives from Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and the UK.  This event is an annual highlight for our growing and improving Para Development Squad and this year was no different.  

Friday was the first day of action with the doubles event being played in the morning. Each of the Irish pairings acquitted themselves well and the rose to the challenge of the difficult doubles format. The best result of the standing doubles event was Seán Geoghegan and Aaron Mellows who lost out in the quarter final to the pairing of former Paralympic champion Will Bayley and Class 7 women’s European bronze medalist Bly Twomey who were representing Brighton TTC. The Irish team did however pick up their first medals of the competition in the Wheelchair doubles event where Gerry Commins and Kevin O’Callaghan teamed to take silver in the Plate final, losing out to another Brighton TTC pairing of Class 5 Paralympic bronze medalist Jack Hunter-Spivy and Jack Silberston.  

Friday afternoon saw the group stages of the Performance singles event which saw players placed in ‘banded’ groups based on ability level. Each of the Irish players put in some solid performances with progression to the knockout stages on Saturday morning being achieved by many. The highlight of the knockout stages was undoubtedly Sam Brennan who came through some tight five set matches to take the gold in the Performance 2 event defeating Swedish opposition in the final. Aaron Mellows and Seán Geoghegan lost out in the quarter finals of the higher Performance 1 event while Caoimhe Folan won a silver medal in the Performance 3 Plate losing in a tight five set final.  

Saturday afternoon saw five Irish players compete in the Youth (u15) and Junior (u19) boys events. Once again, each of the lads gave very good accounts of themselves with successful results being achieved. In the Junior boys event, Aaron Mellows secured a bronze medal, while Jude Sheldon took home the gold medal in the Plate event. Notably Jude completed a fantastic comeback win from 2-0 behind to win 3-2 in his plate semi-final match. Kevin O’Callaghan won his second silver medal of the tournament in the Junior Wheelchair event, while Sam Brennan went one step further to add a second gold medal to his collection in the U15 boys defeating Victor Gran from Sweden 3-1 in the final.  

The team was buoyed by the great success of the tournament and heading into the last events of the weekend; the Para Class events, confidence was high. Once again, the Irish team fought and competed well against the international opposition. In Class 1-3, Alicia Winter had two excellent wins to progress to the knockouts but bowed out with a loss in the quarters. In the same event, Kevin O’Callaghan performed brilliantly to take home the gold medal in the Plate and his third of the tournament overall. Gerry Commins was close to repeating that success in the Class 4-5 Plate final but had to settle for silver after defeat in a close match to Jack Silberston from Brighton. Positive results from the Irish players continued in the standing classes with Patrick Sweeney, Aaron Mellows and Patrick McCormack all qualifying for the knockout stages of Class 11.  Aaron progressed the furthest and was unfortunate to be drawn against the eventual winner Tobias Hansson. Aaron fought hard but lost out to Hansson in the quarter final. In the Class 11 plate, Aoife Kelly took home a fantastic bronze medal.  In Class 6, Des Ryan progressed as group winner, however missed out on a medal in the knockout stages. Caoimhe Folan in Class 7 came up just short of the medals in the plate event despite some good performances along the way. Sam Brennan continued his excellent form across the weekend to qualify from his Class 8 group but unfortunately a third medal was out of reach with defeat in the Last 16 while Jude Sheldon took him silver in the Class 8 plate. Seán Geoghegan was the most successful player on the final day of play with a run to the final of Class 8 losing out to the Class 8 World Number 3 and former European Champion Emil Andersson of Sweden in the final.  

In total the Irish team of twelve came home with thirteen medals and a clear improvement on results from last year with more players progressing to the knockout stages of events than previously. There is no doubt that the results achieved over the weekend highlight the bright future and potential of Irish para table tennis and each player conducted themselves excellently both on and off the table. A big thank you must go to National Para Coach Sam Logue and coaches Mick Cunningham and Tara Fusco who accompanied the team whose advice and support to the players was invaluable throughout the tournament. Thanks also to Para Managers Gavin Maguire and Eoin Kelly along with Sam for their continued support and development of the Para programme. Finally a special mention must go to the travelling parents and supporters whose support to the programme and dedication to their children cannot be understated and helped contribute to a fantastic weekend enjoyed by everyone. A compilation of videos taken across the weekend by Eoin Kelly to highlight the experience of the squad will be available to view on the Table Tennis Ireland YouTube channel soon so keep your eyes peeled for that! 

The development squad look forward to next year and once again trying to build upon results and performances.  

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Munster Masters Open 2024 – Report

The first event of 2024 was held in Palmerston on 6 January with a total entry of 97 across the 5 events, marginally more than Leinster. We had some withdrawals, mainly from illness/injury, including Messrs Burke, Caffrey, and Finn. Kieran would have been making his 70s debut. Oleg also withdrew, which left a gap in the 40s seedings. The number of competitors was 13 ladies, 18 40s, 25 50s, 28 60s, and 13 70s.

Generally it wasn’t a good day for No.1 seeds. Susan is ranked 1 in the Ladies. She came safely through to the semis but ran into the unseeded Rita, who had missed the first 3 events. Rita had beaten Sharon 8 4 5, and then dropped a game before beating Susan 7 -8 6 8.

In the bottom half Anne Marie beat Catherine Morrissey 5 8 8, but then Ger beat her in 3 close games 7 10 13.

Rita won her first event of the season, beating Ger in a high quality match 10 9 7.

The 40s was one of several occasions during the day when players met twice with the results being reversed second time around. Rory’s “reward” for winning group A in the absence of Oleg was to go straight to Daryl who had lost in his group to Artur. Daryl won 3-1, with the 3rd game crucial, 6 -8 11 4. Rita made her way to the semi with a win over Rod 9 8 7, but Daryl was victorious against her 8 4 9.

2nd seed “fast Phil” lived dangerously in the last 8 against Pat who had come through 3-1 against Tibor. Pat won the first 2 games, the 3rd was 9, and then Pat led 10-8 in the 5th. Scores were -9 -8 9 5 10. Artur had a surprisingly comfortable win over Eduardo who was playing his first Masters event of the season, 3 5 6. In the semi-final, Artur  beat Phil 7 10 7. Phil’s consolation is that he is now ranked 1 in the 40s (and also the Ulster 40s for good measure).

In the first of the day’s reverses however, Daryl beat Artur 3 9 5. After losing in the group Daryl was always in control in the final and imposed his game on Artur throughout.

Moving on to the 50s, top seed was Pat who reached the semi with a straight sets win over Rod, who had beaten him in the 40s, the scores were 8 7 5. This was a half totally dominated by Ulster players, with considerable local rivalry and “bragging rights”! Rod had beaten Mark 3-0, Des dropped a game to Gus and another to travelling companion Sean who he beat 5 10 -7 6. Pat reached the final by beating Des -6 5 7 7.

In the bottom half Daryl reached the semi with an unusually comprehensive win over Philip Shaw. Philip is so unorthodox and normally troubles Daryl, but this time it was 2 7 5. Philip had squeezed through in the last 8 against Fergal O’Hagan 5 -10 -10 4 9. Tibor’s route to the semi was a 3-1 victory over Dave Gibbons and a recovery from a 2-1 deficit against Dave Pender (good to see you back Dave) with the scores 2 -8-8 8 4. Tibor nearly always raises his game whenever he plays Daryl, who was relieved to win the second game at deuce after losing the first, scores were -7 10 6 6.

The final was a classic. Pat played superbly, Daryl struggled to put the ball past him, Pat can be vulnerable on his backhand but he was as steady as a rock. The first 4 games were shared, at the start of the fifth it was hard to pick a winner. It’s been said before (possibly by me!) that Daryl always finds a way. When Pat led 4-2 it looked as if this might be the exception. The next 3 points were absolutely game-changing. Pat’s return of serve had been almost perfect, Daryl caught him with 2 serves, and then Pat served off. Change ends 5-4. The momentum had swung, Daryl literally made no mistakes and a 4-2 deficit became an 11-4 victory. Scores were 6 -8 7 -9 4. The very difficult double of 40s and 50s had been achieved, at almost 1030pm – another record!

On the other hand, the 60s is becoming a procession. Des has won all 4 events so far, and has rarely looked troubled. Top seed obviously, he beat Kariem 8 4 7 and Sean 3 2 7 to win through to the final. In the bottom half Gus Agnew was the surprise package. Playing in his first 60s event, he won his group with a win over Kariem, then beat Breandan O’Fiaich in 5 games, -11 8 -8 6 6, Breandan had a good day and had put out Jim Storey. Philip beat Tommy Fitzgerald in 5 and Barry Dickson in 3 deuce games 10 10 10, before ending Gus’ day in the semi 4 8 5.

Des lost the first game of the final to Philip but was relatively untroubled after that, winning  -6 5 9 8.

The last event was the 70s, again a bad day for the top seed, this time Norman. Jim Storey got better as the day went on, and was a deserved but close winner over Norman in the last 8, coming from 2 games down and a deuce in the fourth. His renowned forehand rarely missed and his backhand was consistent. The scores were -5 -16 9 10 8. Ken Peare was his next “victim” and Jim won 6 9 7. In the bottom half Jeremy beat David Jacobson 8 7 3, and Barry Dickson beat Jack O’Meara 8 5 6. Matches between Jeremy and Barry are inevitably 5 games, frequently deuce, but not this time. Jeremy played a more controlled game than his usual, and won 9 10 7.

The final ebbed and flowed. Jeremy and Jim had met in the group with Jeremy coming out on top. Jim took a 2-set lead, Jeremy won the next 2, Jim had a lead in the 5th, Jeremy fought back to 8-8 and looked favourite. Unusually Jim then played a more cautious game and won 3 of the last 4 points, scores were 6 7 -7 -7 9. Jim was buzzing, saying it was the first 70s title he had won.

Next event in this travelling “circus” is the St. Anne’s Ulster Masters at Dungannon on 17 February This was excellently run last year by “Rod’s motley crew”, make sure you get your entries in as soon as the forms are out. Book early to avoid disappointment, as they say.

And finally, we always appreciate the stalwarts at the top table, most of whom combine their duties with playing. Thanks to Dave and Sharon, Ger, Anne Marie and especially Lorraine.

REPORT BY NORMAN NABNEY

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Report: St Noet’s Para Open Championships

Three players from the TTI Para Development Squad travelled to the British Para Open Championships in St Noets in the UK last weekend.  Kevin O’Callaghan, Jude Sheldon and Des Ryan were accompanied by coach Mick Cunningham. Kevin played very well in Class 4, this being his first Para competition outside of Ireland, and showed lots of potential going forward. He made it to two semi-finals where he won two bronze medals. Likewise Jude played very well in class 8 and got to two semi-finals but lost in very close games. Des was carrying an injury which did not allow him to play at his very best in class 6. All told the travel, early starts and the concentration of games into one day made a great demand on the players’ focus and concentration, but it was a great learning experience.

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Colin Judge wins Bronze at ITTF SQY French Para Open

The ITTF SQY French Para Open took place on from 9th – 11th November 2023. Colin Judge and Paddy Vaughan were in action in the Mens singles class 3 and class 7 event.

Day one of the event saw the group matches take place. Paddy Vaughan lost his first two games against Despineux (BEL) and Rosenast (SWI). He won his last game against Dourbecker (FRA) to finish 3rd in his group.

Colin Judge started his event with a 3-0 win against Sincar (TUR) before an impressive win against world number 5 Jenson Van Emburgh (USA) 3-0. In his last group game he stayed unbeaten with a 3-0 win against Geuljans (FRA).

As a result of finishing top of his group Colin got a bye into the quarter final were he beat Svatos (CZP) 3-1 to secure bronze medal.

Unfortunately Colin’s tournament ended with a 3-0 defeat in the semi-final against Panfeng (CHI).

Overall it was a very impressive performance from Colin who managed to not drop a set in the group stages and the highlight was beaten world number 5! This is another step to his journey to Paris 2024.

Special mention to Sam Logue who travelled as coach for Paddy and Colin.