Hanley and Kacsandi Win Season Opener

Following a fantastic tournament in IWA Clontarf with entry figures for the season opener that have not been seen since the early 90’s, Rita Kacsandi and Sam Hanley emerged as Senior Classification champions for 2009.

In a highly competitive Men’s event, 16 players were drawn into two groups of 8, with the top seeds joined by qualifiers Corey O’Rourke,  Maciek Szymanski,  Tibor Pofok and Irish cadet player Declan O’Brien. Group A saw John Murphy clash again with Gavin Maguire, with Murphy taking the victory. Indeed former National Champion Murphy was in imperious form, dropping only 4 sets over his 7 matches to progress with a 100% record. Conor Nolan came through in 2nd place following a countback in the Group involving Daryl Strong(who defeated him in the group) and Sam Logue. In Group B, Sam Hanley and Paul McCreery were drawn together and came through a very strong group which also contained leading players Brian Fitzgerald and Peter Graham. They both produced consistent table tennis to progress to the Semi-Finals, with McCreery defeating Hanley along the way.

Into the play-offs then and Hanley produced a top-class performance to eliminate John Murphy over 5 sets before facing Junior International team-mate Paul McCreery in the Final, McCreery having eliminated Conor Nolan in another 5 set match. This was a top class and closely contested Final with Hanley eventually emerging victorious to take the Senior Classification Title for 2009. Other impressive performances  were recorded over the weekend which will have an impact on the next ranking list including Sam Logue, finishing 8th after 5 wins in the Group stage and Declan O’Brien who finished 13th, having gone into the event ranked outside the top 30.

 In the Women’s event, it was a familiar story, with Rita Kacsandi again utterly dominant to finish as Champion, leaving Ulster players Amanda Mogey, Claire Nelson and Ashley Givan all competing for the Runner-up spot.Ultimately, Mogey took 2nd place with losses to Kacsandi and Givan but vitally took a 3-0 win over Claire Nelson. In 5th place, Sara Dolan will be happy with victories over Fiona Dennett and Ashley Givan. Jean Wyse performed best of the qualifiers with a creditable 6th place as she continues her comeback to table tennis.

Main results from the Senior Classification are below with full results to follow:


1. Sam Hanley                                                                     

2. Paul McCreery                                                               

3. John Murphy                                                                 

4. Conor Nolan                                                                  

5. Brian Fitzgerald                                                           

6. Peter Graham                                                             

7. Daryl Strong                                                            

8. Sam Logue                                                                        

9. Daniel Keenan

10. Gavin Maguire

11. Ashley Robinson

12. Tibor Pofok

13. Declan O’Brien

14. Mark O’Flynn

15.Corey O’Rourke

16. Maciek Szymanski                          


1.    Rita Kacsandi

2.    Amanda Mogey

3.    Claire Nelson

4.    Ashley Givan

 5.    Sara Dolan

 6.    Jean Wyse

 7.    Fiona Dennett

 8.    Deirdre Murphy

Mens Semi-finals  – 

Sam Hanley beat John Murphy  6/11  11/9  8/11  11/4  11/9 

Paul McCreery beat Conor Nolan  8/11  11/6  5/11  11/5  11/6

Mens Final –           

Sam Hanley beat Paul McCreery   11/8  8/11  5/11  11/3  15/13