Feb 12th – 14th and Breaffy House Resort, Castlebar, Co Mayo was the venue for a very successful Connacht 2016 Table Tennis Open. All ages and categories were catered for with great participation and competition – from the young and energetic U11’s to the older but no less enthusiastic Veteran’s.
Under the watchful and experienced eye of Tournament Referee Con O’Cedaaigh the tournament ran smoothly from its on-schedule Friday 6pm start for the Seniors right through to the Sunday close with the final point of the U21 final at 4.30pm sharp. Well done Con for keeping us on our toes all weekend, on keeping all events running smoothly and for getting us finished on schedule … a rare and remarkable achievement (take a well-deserved bow!). Thanks also to Con’s more than able assistant referee Joe Finnegan for his unwavering dedication and assistance throughout the weekend. The tournament would not have been possible without you !
The Senior Men’s singles and doubles provided few surprises with Gavin Maguire coming out on top in both events. In the singles final he overcame Sweden based, up and coming Senior International Ryan Farrell, while in the doubles the Leinster man’s excellent partnership with UCD club mate Charlie Fitzgerald wasn’t to be troubled..
Charlie wasn’t quite so lucky in the U18 Men’s division on the Sunday being narrowly overcome in the final in what was probably the match of the weekend where Dylan Grace clinched victory with a 3-2 (12-10) win !
The Senior ladies competition also proved very competitive with the young and very talented Mia O’Rahilly Egan coming through in a hard fought final contest against Chloe O’Halloran.
Mia in fact managed a clean sweep of all competitions she participated in on the Saturday by also coming out on top in the U15 Girls and Mixed doubles finals beating a competitive Thi Li Cashman in the U15’s and partnering with Conor Mullally to defeat Zofia Wawrzniak and Matthew Hynes in the mixed doubles rounding off a successful and proud day for Mia while Chloe O’Holloran made up for defeat in the Seniors by taking the U18 title over Katie McGlone on Sunday.
Saturday also saw Thomas Joyce again experience that winning feeling and do Connacht proud by winning the U15 boys division seeing off a valiant challenge form Conor Nugent in the final. Thomas followed this up on the Sunday by winning the double with a final victory over Jake Adler in the U13 Boys competition.
Class 2 saw the emergence of the young and talented Thomas Earley emerging victorious over the veteran of the game and Connacht stalwart Kevin Devaney in an epic final battle that showed the vibrancy of youth just overcome the never say die attitude of the experienced Kevin.
Kevin was also to the fore in the veteran’s section itself – this time being out foxed in the final by the wily Brain Devereux after a very competitive set of matches leading to a very enjoyable final.
Silke Heinen was the pick of the crop in the U13 girls division ousting the very talented Natasya Barry in the final with Pravesha Raji seeing off a competitive Sophie Earley in the 3rd/4th place playoff.
Sunday also saw Ronan Rooney overcoming John Finn for the Wheelchair Division and Paddy Vaughan seeing off the challenge of Sean Geoghan in final of the Disability Standing Division.
The final events of the weekend was the U21 section where the Ladies division was won by Mair Kelly over Claire Heller while in the Men’s division Brian Dunleavy overcame some earlier disappointments from the weekend’s competition to see off the challenge of Conor Murphy in a fitting end to a great weekend of table tennis.
Thanks to everyone that made the weekend a success and to all those that travelled and participated so sportingly. We look forward to welcoming you all once again in 2017 (bring a few friends !)
The Connacht Table Tennis Committee.