Masters Classification – Event Report

The well appointed interiors of Wayside Celtic Clubhouse were a haven of refuge for the 40 competitors at the IVTTS Masters Classification tournament. The heavens truly were open for business outside! This first event of our season provided some memorable encounters. The efforts of the intrepid Rory Scott to reach the venue paid a handsome dividend. Using his long pimples with some audacious counter attack, he secured a hard fought triumph over Dave Pemberton in the fifth. This set up a repeat of the final at our National Championships with Daryl Strong. On this occasion, Rory emerged the winner from an absorbing contest on a scoreline of -5,7,-8,5,8. Rory’s recent training regimen has been well rewarded indeed! Paul Gallagher’s progress to the semi-final was also noted.

The Ladies event provided some good matches, without any major upsets. Sharon Brien’s efforts at the World Championships in Alicante have honed an edge to her game, and she extended Teresa in five close sets. Engaging performances here from Susan and Ger augur well for the Six Nations and British League next month.

Paul Gallagher continued the upward trend in his recent performances in the Over 50s. Victories over Dave Pemberton and Jim Storey to win his group were most impressive. Both matches went to five sets, and he saved two match points against Jim. Dave went on to beat Pat McCloughan in a high octane semi-final in five sets. Old rivalry with Kariem Sabir was rekindled in the final, but Dave was always in control of the exchanges.

The Over 60s saw some notable performances, especially with a reinvigorated Ollie Adamson. Eyebrows were raised at some backhand winners from Denis Kelly in a strong showing against Kieran Burke! Denis obviously benefits from his new committee status. Norman Nabney put in another sterling effort against Tommy Caffrey, but two committed forehand winners towards the end saw the maestro prevail 11-8 in the fifth. Umpire Jim Fleming is to be commended. Caffrey then overcame Adamson by a similar margin in the semi-final, before beating Kieran Burke in the final.

There was unstinting effort from all concerned in the Over 70s event. Warming to his task, Ollie took Tommy Caffrey to five sets in the group stage; beat Martin Pickles in the semi-final and succumbed to Caffrey again in the final. An impressive performance, not having touched a bat in eighteen months! However, Tommy just continued on from where he left off last season… Great to see Ron Drain, Ted, and Neil back in contention.

The withdrawal of several entrants was disappointing for the organisers and those competitors who did play. Travelling conditions may have been a mitigating factor, however. Ger, Sharon and Dave, supported by Jim and Brian, did a very able job in running things. The catering was greatly appreciated by all. We are grateful to Wayside TTC, Terenure TTC and Table Tennis Ireland for their support.

Our best wishes go to Willie Cherry for a speedy recovery!

Good Luck to all of our teams at the Six Nations in Ellesmere Port!

The Masters Leinster Open is on 22 October, venue to be confirmed.