Being more used to freezing temperatures for the Munster Open, in its more usual calendar slot of January, it was a pleasure to hold the 2022 Open in relatively balmy temperatures of 14 degrees C in the picturesque town of Kinsale, Co Cork last weekend. The venue was the Saile Sports & Community Centre. The Saile Centre proved to be a very welcoming venue with excellent cooperation between staff and the Munster Branch Organising Committee giving rise to a well-run event for competitors and a positive experience for visitors. 82 competitors were engaged over the weekend, which represented a drop of 50% on the numbers from the last Munster Open in 2020 and, thus, the event ran under a significant financial cloud. The Open commenced at 9.30 am on Saturday 21st and finished at 5.00 pm on Sunday 22nd. Competition was offered at all the usual categories with the exception of the Under 11s singles and the doubles in all categories.
There were a number of double winners among the 11 categories offered. Notable here were young Peadar Sheridan from Ormeau, a winner in both the Mini Cadet and Cadet Boys, Rory Scott, from Horsham Spinners Club, a winner in both the Vets and Restricted categories – Rory nearly achieved a hat trick in finishing second to Alex Gillen in the Men’s Singles – and Ciaran O’Donoghue, a winner of both the Junior Boys and U/21s. Honourable mention must go, also, to Niamh Mason, also from Ormeau, who won the Cadet Girls and was runner up in both the Women’s and Junior Girls’ Singles. Special mention must to the Sheridan brothers, Senan and Peadar who competed against each other in the Cadet Boys category final. It will stay long in the memory of the Munster Open, such was the quality of the competition, that it took 6 hours to complete the final stage of the Cadet Boys category on the Saturday. We cannot forget to mention other siblings competing in the Open, namely Megan and Lucy Lou O’Brien, Anjali and Aaditya Singh, Boris and Stefan Bonchev, Sean and Ben Loughnane and Alex and Jack Healy. It could be said that the family that plays table tennis together stays together!
The senior titles went to Alex Gillen (UCD), current Men’s national champion,and Sabina Deveraux (Wexford). Looking across the results there were winners from three branches. Ulster led the way with a total of 5 winners, Munster were second with 3 winners and Leinster had 1 winner.
Finally, but not least, thanks must go to Tournament Referee, Con O’Ceadaigh and Assistant to the Referee, Niall O’Flaherty, for their efficient and effective management of the many matches played over the weekend. In this regard they were ably assisted by Brenda Burns, umpire, and Shauna Fox, Sports Executive with TTI. Until next year…….
1. Men’s Singles – winner Alex Gillen UCD, runner up Rory Scott Horsham Spinners
2. Women’s Singles – winner Sabina Devereux Wexford, runner up Niamh Mason Ormeau
3. U/21s Boys – winner Ciaran O’Donoghue Ballincollig, and runner up Matthew Collins Beech Hill
4. U/19s Boys – winner Ciaran O’Donoghue Ballincollig and runner up Sean Loughnane South Coast
5. U/19s Girls – winner Anjali Singh Ormeau and runner up Niamh Mason also Ormeau
6. U/15s Boys – winner Peadar Sheridan Ormeau and runner up Senan Sheridan Ormeau
7. U/15s Girls – winner Niamh Mason Ormeau and runner up Anjali Singh Ormeau
8. U/13s Girls – winner Emily Zmudka Leeside and runner up Ahna McDonnell Pingzone
9. U/13s Boys – winner Peadar Sheridan Ormeau and runner up Stefan Bonchev UCD
10. Restricted Singles – winner Rory Scott Horsham Spinners and runner up Raino Soikkeli Loop
11. Para Open Singles – winner Matthew Collins Beech Hill and runner up Aaron Mellows Balbriggan
12. Vets Singles – winner Rory Scott Horsham Spinners and runner up Philip Shaw Beech Hill