Munster Girls at Junior British League

The Munster Junior Girls Table Tennis team of Ballincollig’s Emily Burns and Leah Daly, and Kinneigh’s Aisling Healy had a hugely successful weekend at the Junior British League Qualifying event in Grantham, Lincolnshire.
The girls sailed through their programme of matches to a thrilling play-off against Burton Uxbridge at the end of the day.They finished in 1st position, beating their English opponents 3-nil.  Emilly, Leah and Aisling secured a place for the Junior Girls in the next stage of the League in Wolverhampton in October.
The Munster Cadet team of Ballincollig’s James O’Reilly, Gearoid O’Donoghue and Alan Walsh got off to a shaky start with some tough matches against Team London.  They drew that match 3-3 and went on make some spectacular wins. However the match ratio went against them as the day wore on and the team failed to qualify for the next round.  They finished 3rd in their group of 6 – an excellent result for three  u14s in their first British League event.  Better luck next year!
The Junior Boys team of Kinneigh’s Barry and Brian Kelleher, Damien Tobin and Killarney’s Michael Lagan also had a very eventful day.  They faced tough opposition from the very start and though all boys played exceptionally well and won many matches, they didn’t finish in the top two in their group.  The Junior Boys learned a lot from their weekend, got experience against players with different styles of play and look forward to using that experience on the domestic scene from September. 
The Cadet Girls team of Killarney based Valentina Poutkalyte, Devon and Brielle Brady and Courtney Drummond had a great day in Grantham.  They won some fantastic matches.  The young  girls, none of whom have played at this level before, gained valuable experience which will benefit them hugely at Munster and Irish Rankings in the season ahead.
All in all, while the entire Munster Junior British League Team had a successful and enjoyable weekend in Grantham,  the weekend undoubtedly belonged to Emily, Leah and Aisling.  Well done girls and congratulations to Coach, Alan Hurley.
Thanks to Colette O’Reilly for the report and photo