Not long into the New Year, and with outside temperatures dipping to several degrees below freezing, TT rivalries were renewed at Neptune Stadium for the Munster Open 2020. Neptune Stadium proved to be a very welcoming venue with excellent cooperation between stadium staff and the Munster Branch Organising Committee giving rise to a well-run event for competitors and a positive experience for visitors. 159 competitors were engaged over the weekend, which commenced at 6.30 pm on Friday 17th and finished at 4.30 pm on Sunday 19th. Notable among the entries were the 21 competitors in the U/11 Boys and the 39 competitors in the U/13 Boys. In fact when added to the entry of 15 girls, the U/13 category had the biggest entry at 54 players. Also notable were the 21 entries in the Para Open category, the highest seen for many years. Finally Munster Open saw the participation of 16 Special Olympics players from Beech Hill, Leeside and Cope Foundation Clonakilty clubs in an invitational event. These latter two events represent the ongoing commitment of Munster Branch to the promotion of inclusion in table tennis and it would be great to see the Para category equally strong at other provincial opens and at the National Championships.
The overall highlight of performances at the Munster Open has to be the five titles won by Mia O’Rahilly-Egan of Griffeen Valley/Dun Laoire – Women’s Singles, Women’s Doubles, Mixed Doubles, U/21 Women and U/18 Girls. Has this feat ever been achieved before, one wonders?
Looking across the results there were winners from all four branches, which is great to see. Leinster led the way with a total of eight winners – alongside Mia O’Rahilly-Egan, Art McLaughlin from UCD won the Men’s Singles and Alex Gillen and Joey Nelson, also from UCD, won the Men’s Doubles. In second place were Munster with five winners, the Vets winner in Mykola Koval (Beech Hill), the Restricted Singles winner in Mathew Haynes (Leeside), Paddy Vaughan (Ballincollig/UCC), winner of the Para Singles, Ciaran O’Donoghue (Ballincollig),winner in the Mixed Doubles and Zofia Wawrzyniak (Leeside), winner in the Women’s Doubles. Ulster with Anjali Singh (Ormeau), winner of the U/13 Girls, Jonathan Mooney (Ormeau), winner of the U/15 Boys, Lucy McIvor (Ormeau), winner of the U/15 Girls and James Skelton (Ormeau), winner of the U/21 Men’s Singles had four winners. Connacht had one winner with Kristijonas Dapkus (Bunninadden) in the U/18 Boys. U/11 results not to hand.
Finally, but not least, thanks go to Tournament Referee, Con O’Ceadaigh, and to Top Table officials, Dave and Sharon Gibbs, for their efficient and effective management of the many matches played over the weekend.
Please click HERE to download the results overview for each category.