Impressive Medal Haul for Irish at Senior Six Nations

Amanda Mogey

The Irish Senior Squad travelled to the Isle of Man over the past weekend to take part in the Senior Six Nations Championships. Good results are important for the Irish players as well as for the country as this prestigious tournament carries World Ranking points. Paul McCreery and John Murphy formed the Men’s Team with Peter Nilsson coach. Amanda Mogey and Claire Nelson represented the Women’s team with Arthur Brett as NPC.

Following a disappointing 4th place finish in the 2009 event in Dublin, the Men were keen to register at least a medal performance in the Team event and they did not disappoint. They got off to a flying start, with 3-0 victories over Wales and Isle of Man on Friday night. England were next up, with the highly world ranked Darius Knight and Chris Doran looking formidable. While the Irish lost 3-0 here, the highlight was the spirited effort by McCreery in bringing Knight, ranked 358 place above him in the ITTF World Rankings, to a final set decider. Ireland then defeated Guernsey 3-0, John Murphy battling to a five set victory over Gary Dodds, the Guernsey Number One. The final match was to decide 2nd place against Scotland. This was a thrilling match, with McCreery taking two wins and Murphy with the other. McCreery’s performance in a titanic struggle against Scotland’s Craig Howieson showed off the Ulster man’s full array of skills. Ireland thus claimed 2nd place in the Team event and Silver Medals.

Mogey and Nelson came in to this event full of confidence following their performances at both the Senior European Championships and the Commonwealth Games. They recorded impressive wins against Wales, Scotland, Guernsey and the host nation. Key results included Mogey’s win over Alice Loveridge, who went on to win the Ladies Singles in the Individual Event. The Irish Women also claimed  Silvers in the Team event, which meant that the team took the overall Silver Medals for the combined Team Event.

The Irish medal haul was not yet complete, with McCreery winning a bronze in the Individual Men’s Singles Event, losing out to Darius Knight in 4 close sets in the Semi-Final. Claire Nelson also scored a bronze, losing to eventual winner Alice Loveridge in the Women’s Singles Semi-Final. Mogey did not progress from a very tough group which included 2 good English and Welsh players, while Murphy made it to the last 8 before succumbing to Howieson of Scotland in a thrilling 5 setter.

Overall, this was an excellent performance from what is still a very young Irish team squad and their coaches in bringing home 3 Silver Medals and 2 Bronze Medals.

 Congratulations to all involved.