The 2016 Junior Interprovincial Championships took place over the weekend as the four provinces came together for one of Table Tennis Irelands most prestigious events.
DCU Sports Complex was the venue and the stage was set on Saturday morning for a thrilling days play as the top juniors did battle in the colours of their home province.
Following Ulsters Clean Sweep at the Senior Interprovincials the week previous, Leinster were out for revenge as the juniors lined out, with the famous Victor Barna Shield on the line for top province. The province didn’t disappoint as their home advantage proved the difference in the end as they narrowly won back the shield for the 5th consecutive year, beating Ulster into second place.
However, they certainly didn’t have it all their own way. Firstly, Ulster emerged Under 13 Girls events, with player of the tournament (and recipient of the Colum Slevin Award) Sophie Earley starring for the young Ulster team here, while her older brothers, Zak and Thomas, played a key role in securing gold in the U18 Boys event. With Munster’s Girls team sweeping all before them to claim gold in the U15 event and Ulster claiming second, this meant Leinster needed to take gold in the remaining 3 categories in order to retain the shield.
They duly obliged, as Leinster U15 & U13 Boys, as well as their U18 Girls, all came to the fore and secured top spot as play came to a close. Katie McGlone and Mia O’Rahilly Egan were Leinsters star performers on the Girls side, while Art McLaughlin was in impressive form for the boys, going away as the player of the U13 event following 9 straight set victories, an excellent performance by the Griffeen Valley boy.
Congratulations to Leinster for hosting what was an extremely successful event, and indeed for their achievement in once again retaining the Victor Barna Shield.
Junior Boys: 1. Ulster; 2. Connaught; 3. Leinster.
Cadet Boys: 1. Leinster; 2. Ulster; 3. Munster.
U-13 Boys: 1. Leinster; 2. Connaught; 3. Munster.
Junior Girls: 1. Leinster; 2. Ulster; 3. Munster.
Cadet Girls: 1. Munster; 2. Ulster; 3. Leinster.
U-13 Girls: 1. Ulster; 2. Munster; 3. Connaught.
Overall Winners of the Victor Barna Shield ; Leinster
Colum Slevin Award for Best Player; Sophie Early (Ulster).