Ulster champion Keith Knox steamrolled the opposition at the Co Antrim Open in Ballyclare on Saturday to win the class one title with ease while Norman Nabney (Belfast) Andrew Davies (Knockagh) and Pawel Sulkowski (Poland) also claimed silverware at the Newtownabbey Borough Council sponsored event.

Tornado Knox plays the game at dynamic speed and in the top 4 showdown he kept his opponents under the cosh for long periods with relentless smashes.  He beat Polish teenager Dawid Sulkowski 3-1, the much improved Mark McGuigan 3-1 and combination bat specialist Amanda Mogey 3-0.  Sulkowski just claimed silver after an entertaining five set marathon with Dangerman McGuigan while Irish international Mogey who had played superbly all day finally met her waterloo against the topspin trio.  

Despite losing to Ashley Given (Dungannon) evergreen Glenburn captain Norman Nabney snatched victory in class 2 on countback from Peter Clarke after beating the Annahilt player 3-1.  Topspin supremo Gary Crawford can count himself unlucky to lose out to both Nabney and Clarke 13-11 in the fifth.  The class 3 section had a bizzare look to it with many top players placed there due to their low Ulster ranking which ensured an extremely high class competition ensued.  At its conclusion local favourite Andrew Davies used his smooth textbook attack to see off both Cookstown battler Mark McAllister and Queens chopper Robin Agnew by 3-1 scorelines to loud cheers from the partisan crowd.

There was a major shock in the veterans class when Portadown defender Randolph Loney used his hocus pocus defence to force class 2 winner Nabney into a 3-0 submission to book a semi final place and McAllister joined him when he just got the better of the popular Barry Dickson in five close sets. However neither made it to the final where Pawel Sulcowski, who was struggling with a foot injury, looked to be down and out against Clarke but survived match points to stage a marvellous comeback to take the fifth and retain his unblemished veterans record.

 Class One

1 Keith Knox (Trillick)

2 Dawid Sulkowski (Poland)

3 Mark McGuigan (Rasharken)

Class Two

1 Norman Nabney (Belfast)

2 Peter Clarke (Hillsborough)

3 Gary Crawford (Doagh)

Class Three

1 Andrew Davies (Newtownabbey)

2 Mark McAllister (Cookstown)

3 Robin Agnew (Belfast)


1 Pawel Sulkowski (Poland)

2 Clarke

3 McAllister