A young Irish cadet squad travelled to Bridlington on the English east coast over the weekend, to compete in the East Yorkshire Cadet Open – a 4 star ranked tournament – which attracted over 100 players, including some of the top Cadet players from England, Scotland and Wales.
The squad consisting of the BoysTeam of Ryan Farrell, Neil Irwin, Kevin Hutchinson and Johnny Porter and Girls Team of Sarah Cooney, Katie McGlone, Elayna McGlone and Orla Timlin was largely a developmental squad that included players that will have another 1,2,3 or in some cases, a further 4 years at the Cadet level. Under the direction of the NPC’s Shay Logue and Louise Long, and the ITTA’s Technical Director, John O’Donoghue, the players had the opportunity to compete against some of the top UK Cadets, and the experience and information gathered over the weekend will be invaluable in their future training programme.
The highlight of the weekend proved to be Katie McGlone’s performance on Saturday in the U12 singles where the 9 year old finished runner up to the number 1 seed and English Champion, Tin Tin Ho. The prospect of playing England’s finest did not faze the talented Katie, who displayed a spirited performance , but was defeated by the experienced Tin Tin. This was Katie’s only defeat during the event, which included an impressive win over the number 2 seed, Emily Bolton.
The Irish did not compete in the U12 Boys event, which was won by the Scottish 10 year old wizzard, Christopher Wheeler.
The Cadet Team event pitched the 4 Irish teams against strong opposition in the group stages, and despite some spirited performances from Neil Irwin and Sarah Cooney, with some 15 deuce games that went against the Irish, the teams did not progress to the knockout stages. The Boys event was won by DHS Greenhouse who surprised by beating the English number 1 team, while the Girls event was completely dominated by England, who included the talented Cathy Bates.
In the Cadet Girls Singles on Sunday, competition was very strong for the younger and inexperienced Irish players.
The event was won by Tressa Armitage who defeated Jessica Dawson 3-1 in the final.
In the Cadet Boys Singles, Sam Walker (Eng) validated his number 1 seeding by beating Igor Morais (Greenhouse) in an exciting final on the scoreline of 3-1.
Best of the Irish boys was Ryan Farrell who progressed from his group to the knockout stages, where he met Ashley Facey-Thompson.
Despite taking the first set with some attacking forehand winners, Ryan was beaten to the last 16 on a score of 1-3 with tight set scores of 9, 9 and 8.
Overall, the standard of this event and quality of the players will prove to be an invaluable experience for these young Irish Cadets, and will provide the NPC’s and Technical Director with a solid benchmark with which to assess their progress in future events.
Gratitude to Shay Logue and Louise Long – NPC’s for the weekend, and to Butterfly, our Official Equipment Sponsor to the National Tea