Kleinert and Carey Scoop Top Honours in Lisburn

The Douglas Huston Ulster Open Table Tennis Championships has drawn to a close, with 16 categories finally being settled after a gruelling 3 days play in the ever impressive Lisburn Racquets Club. 

In the end, German surprise package Daniel Kleinert and Welsh number 1 Charlotte Carey grabbed the headlines, as the International duo reigned supreme in claiming the coveted Men’s and Ladies Singles titles respectively.

Kleinert had earlier ended the hopes of top junior Owen Cathcart in a hugely entertaining Round of 16 battle. He then faced the much fancied top seed and Scottish Number 1 Gavin Rumgay of Scotland at the quarter final stage. Unfazed by the stature of his opponent, the 17-year-old German produced an outstanding display of defensive skills to narrowly squeeze past the more senior Rumgay in 5 energy-sapping sets. Unquestionably this was the match of the tournament – capped off by this 39 shot rally at match point in the decider!  Kleinert’s defence and excellent retrieval, interspersed with surprise attacking shots, enthralled the knowledgeable crowd.

Not finished there, Kleinert negotiated his way past new Irish Number 1 Gavin Maguire in the penultimate round, seeing the Dublin native off in four tight sets. Ashley Robinson, who jets off to India later in December for the Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships, was Ireland’s top performer on the male side, as the Clogher man made his way through the other side of the draw to meet the German in the Final. His biggest win came in the Semi-Final, as he defeated International team-mate and second seed Paul McCreery by a 3-1 scoreline, before falling at the final hurdle to the defensive wall that was Daniel Kleinert, in 4 close sets

Charlotte Carey, Welsh No 1 and Six Nations Finalist two weeks ago, won an unprecedented treble of titles – the Women’s Singles, Women’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles. In the singles she always looked in control, taking out Rebecca Finn in the last 8, before halting the run of the weekends star performer, 13-year-old Mia O’Rahilly Egan, in the Semi Final. In the Final she was up against her Women’s doubles partner, Katie McGlone. McGlone had battled well throughout the day, recovering from 2-0 down to overcome Ulster’s Emma Ludlow in the Quarters, before she produced a fine display to beat England’s Kate Cheer in 4 sets in the Semi-Final. In the Final Carey proved too strong for her younger opponent, as she showed her quality to pull away and seal the title with a 3-1 win.

Saturday also saw the Masters, Under 21 and Cadet events being decided. Pat McCloughan proved the surprise package in claiming the Masters crown. Hot favourite and Irish number 1 Daryl Strong was beaten in the Semi-Final by fellow Ulsterman Willie Cherry. However, that was where Cherry’s run would end as Pat sealed the title in straight sets.

The Under 21 men’s was won by the man of the moment, Daniel Kleinert. Despite his Men’s singles heroics, the German somehow kept going all day, before eventually beating German teammate Zak Wilson in the Final. On the Women’s side, Munster’s Chloe O’Halloran took the title, producing an excellent performance to beat England’s Kate Cheer in straight sets.

Sweden based Jonathan McDonald took the cadet boys title, getting the better of Conor Nugent in a tight final. Mia O’Rahilly Egan, picking up her first title of the weekend, wasn’t to be stopped in the Cadet Girls, winning in straight sets against the impressive Natasya Barry.

On Sunday, Owen Cathcart, who trains with the award-winning Ormeau Table Tennis Club in Belfast, went on to take the Under 18’s Title without dropping a set, defeating Ryan McConkey in the Final 3-0. Mia was back again in the Under 18 Girls, producing an outstanding display to win her first ever title at that age group. She overcame Nga Nguyen of York Road in the Final, while she also earlier recorded a win against UK Schools Champion, Rebecca Finn. 

The Under 13 Boys was won by Griffeen Valley’s Art McLaughlin, making it a hat-trick of titles for the Lucan club following O’Rahilly Egan’s double wins on the girl’s side. He got the better of top seed Thomas Joyce in an enthralling 5 set final. On the Girls side, Nicole Scott took the top prize following a fine display throughout the day. Unfortunately, her opponent in the Final, Silke Heinen of Leeside, was forced to withdraw due to an injury picked up during the match. We wish her all the best with her recovery!

The event was supported by Lisburn &  Castlereagh City Council and was praised by new Douglas Huston Ulster Open Champion Kleinert, and many of the 196 competitors, drawn from Scotland, Germany, England, Wales, Sweden and throughout Ireland, as a truly professional event, setting high standards for all international events.

Douglas Huston Ulster Open Table Tennis Championship Results:

Men’s Singles: S/Final: D Kleinert bt G Maguire 3-1; A Robinson bt P McCreery  3-1; Final: Kleinert bt Robinson 3-1

Women’s Singles:   Semis: C Carey bt M O’Reilly-Egan 3-0;  K McGlone bt K Cheer 3-1; Final Carey bt McGlone 3-1

Men’s Doubles: P McCreery/A Robinson bt Z Wilson/P Graham 3-1

Women’s Doubles: C Carey/K McGlone bt H Lynch-Dawson/C O’Halloran 3-0

Mixed Doubles: G Maguire/C Carey bt A Walsh/K Cheer 3-0

Masters Singles: P McLoughlin bt W Cherry 3-1′

Under 21 Boys:  D Kleinert bt Z Wilson 3-0

Under 21 Women:  C O’Halloran bt K Cheer 3-0

Under 18 Boys: O Cathcart bt R McConkey 3-0

Under 18 Girls: M O’Rahilly-Egan bt Nga Nguyen3-0

Under 15 Boys:  J McDonald bt C Nugent 3-2

Under 15 Girls:  M O’Rahilly-Egan bt N Barry 3-0

Under 13 Boys: A McLaughlin bt T Joyce 3-2

Under 13 Girls: N Scott w/o S Heinen (withdrew injured)

Disability Senior Standing: 1st P Vaughan, 2nd C O’Callaghan

Disability Junior Standing: 1st C O’Callaghan, 2nd K Cloake

President’s Award (Best Club):  Ormeau TTC