Irish Start Grand Prix Season in Spectacular Fashion

A large contingent of Irish players travelled to the first ETTA Grand Prix of the event last weekend for the Liverpool Grand Prix. It was to be a fantastic start to the season for the Irish, with several impressive performances and event victories.

Top result of the weekend was Paul McCreery, who recorded his first Grand Prix win beating Gary Dodd and David Meads before facing Chris Doran in the Final. In a tight affair, McCreery fought back from 2-1 down to claim the match and title. He was not finished there however and recorded success on the double by claiming the Under 21 title – Daniel O’Connell would be his opponent in the final. The final finished 3-1 after Paul’s early 2-0 advantage was pegged back by Dan.

In the Women’s Singles, Ashley Givan was in superb form, having beaten Yolanda King and winner of group one Chloe Whyte to book her place in the final, both in four sets. In the final she was beaten by Karina LeFevre but was later named Tees Sport Player of the Tournament for her performances to reach the women’s singles final from an unseeded position and her attitude over the course of the weekend. 

Ashley is pictured here with Alan Ransome OBE receiving her prize. All Irish table tennis fans will hope Amanda Mogey has recovered from the injury that ruled her out of Liverpool in time for this weekend’s Senior Classification.

Other strong performances over the weekend included Edel O’Reilly claiming the Women’s Band 2 singles title. Edel came off the better in the all Ireland quarter-final against Sarah Timlin before defeating Scotland’s Lucy Elliot to book her place in the final. The final was a marathon effort against Corinna Whitaker with 3 points being the biggest winning margin. The title finally went to Edel 11-9 in the fifth set. Emma Ludlow also claimed the Band 4 Ladies title – a great win for the Ulster player. 

Declan O’Brien continued the Irish success in the Men’s Band 3 event. Declan beat Luke Savill in his quarter-final before advancing past Shaun Murray. Against Matthew Main in the Final, Declan fough hard to seal victory and another Irish title.

Ireland looked to maintain their success in the Women’s Band 3 singles event. Katie McGlone came from behind to win a five set battle against Paulina Orzechowska, before dispatching Gosia Muda 3-0. In the other half of the draw Lucy Zhu had her own five set battle against Nicole Finn before beating Zoe Cheesmen. The luck of the Irish wasn’t with Katie this time as she fell 3-0 to the youngster Lucy Zhu.

Congratulations to all of the Irish in action at the weekend, particularly to McCreery and Givan who will now look to bring their good form into the Senior Classification event this weekend.