Commonwealth Games – Team NI Story So Far
A strong Northern Ireland team are currently in action at Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. The Table Tennis event has been played in a fantastic atmosphere with lots of the Northern Ireland team’s matches featuring on the live stream or on BBC. Below is an update from Scotland on the story so far for Team NI with just two players left alive in the singles competition, McCreery and Robinson. In the Doubles, Mogey and Givan have progressed to the last 32.
Team – Men
In the pool stage, Team NI claimed wins over Guyana and Vanuatu, before facing off against India. McCreery lost 3.1 to Achanta before Robinson pushed Ghosh all the way in a 5 set thriller, eventually losing 11-9 in the final set.
India claimed the Doubles against Robinson & Peter Graham for a 3.0 match win. To place this result in some context, Robinson will be happy with his performance against Ghosh who is 138 in the World and would have been a fantastic scalp for him. Achanta at WR 38 is one of the top seeds for the event. McCreery and Robinson are World Ranked 445 & 508 respectively.
The two wins were enough to qualify the team to play in the main draw 1st Round versus Nigeria. Robinson was first up, and in a thrilling match which set the tone for the whole fixture, claimed his biggest win of the event so far over Onaolapo, WR 353.
McCreery was in next against Nigerian No.1 and WR 138 Aruna, and Aruna claimed the win by 3.1. Team NI fell 2.1 behind with a straight sets loss in the Doubles, before McCreery levelled matters at 2.2 with a huge win over WR150 Toriola, which went all the way to deuce in the final set. This was a huge win for McCreery and really shows the class of our top player.
In the deciding set, Peter Graham could not match the firepower of Aruna and Team NI bowed out of the team event, but not without some big results and a fantastic fighting performance against the highly rated Nigerian team.
Team – Women
The NI Team of Emma Ludlow, Ashley Givan, Amanda Mogey and Hannah Lynch Dawson lost out in their early pool matches to both Singapore and Sri Lanka. This left the team out of the main stage of the competition and facing positional play-offs against first Mauritius and then Ghana, before eventually playing-off versus Scotland. The team performed really well with 3 wins from 3 in the play-offs. Against the hosts, the team produced their best performance of the event with Lynch Dawson recording two wins and Givan also registering a win. Following the disappointment of the group phase, this was the best the squad could have hoped for – they are a young squad and will have benefitted massively from their Commonwealth experience.
Dominant in the group stages, Irish National Senior Champion McCreery claimed wins over opponents from Lesotho and Belize, before dominating Scottish player Sean Doherty 4-0 in the 1st Round this morning. McCreery faces a massive battle to progress tonight against England’s Liam Pitchford, who is ranked in the top 100 in the World and will look to produce a huge performance.
Graham dominated his group with wins over Sierra Leone and St.Lucia. This morning he faced a tough Trinidad left-hander and came unstuck, despite racing into a 2.0 win. The veteran Dexter St.Louis, with a top 300 World Ranking, showed all his experience to stay in the match and eventually progress on a 4.2 scoreline.
Robinson crusied through his group in fine style, with wins over Pakistan and St.Lucia. Tonight he faces a huge challenge against Achanta from India. Achanta has a 3.1 win over McCreery for the Team event, so Robinson can go out and play freely and without pressure in an attempt to claim the biggest result of his career.
Ludlow recorded 1 win and 1 loss in the pool stage, beating Grant of Sierra Leone 4.0 before losing out to New Zealand’s Yang by 4 games to 2. Look out for the final instalment of Emma’s blog after a huge few months for the young player, recording an Irish National Senior title win, an appearance at the European Youths and of course the Commonwealth Games.
Mogey defeated opposition from Papa New Guinea and Pakistan in the initial group stages in the singles and then produced a big performance to beat Gou from Canada in the Last 64 in straight sets on the show court and the live stream. She faced top class opposition in Li Chunli of New Zealand in the last 32 and unfortunately could not progress to the next round, losing out to the veteran player 4 -0 .
In the group stages, Givan registered her best win of the event with a 4.0 win over Guyana’s Lowe who is 70 places above her in the World Rankings. Givan also recorded victories over Mauritius and Jamaice, before eventually being eliminated in Round 2 against Lay of Australia, who is ranked 115 in the World.