Frank Spalding Tournament Report

Donegal Topspin ace Pat McCloughan won the Frank Spalding Ulster Masters Closed tournament in Downpatrick when he defeated Willie Cherry, Jeremy Lappin and Maurice Rooney in the top four shoot out. The event was held in the De La Salle Sports Hall and proceeds went to the RVH Childrens Scanner appeal.

After dispatching the hard hitting Lappin and the entertaining Maurice Rooney in straight sets McClaughan was pitted against No1 seed Willie Cherry, the only player to have represented Ulster at all levels, from cadet to veteran.  Stylish Pat plays with great spin variation while Cherry relies on spectacular power shots from both backhand and forehand. Pat was also seeking revenge after losing to the former Commonwealth player in their last outing and in this highly charged encounter gained the upper hand from the off with a tactical game that forced Cherry to make uncharacteristic mistakes whilst his own topspin placement was superb and he ran out a comfortable 3-1 winner. Fermanagh champion Lappin secured bronze when he got the better of an exhausted Rooney in a gruelling five setter.

Performance of the day must go to Civil Service Defender Rooney after his giant killing acts on three of the favourites Jack Cash, Norman Nabney and Martin Pickles.  However the loudest cheers of the day were saved for Downpatrick player Stevie Galbraith when he beat Donegal attacker Paul Gallagher in a thrilling consolation final.

Frank Spalding Top 12

1 Pat McCloughan

2 Willie Cherry

3 Jeremy Lappin

4 Maurice Rooney

5 Mark McAllister

6 Norman Nabney

7 Roy Coard

8 Brian Martin

9 Martin Pickles

10 Barry Dickson

11 Jay McAllister

12 Ronnie Drain