The last weekend in August saw the start of the Irish domestic table tennis season with another large entry at the National Senior Classification event. With 115 entries, all of Ireland’s top ranked players were in attendance seeking to establish early position on the Butterfly Senior Ranking list.
In Group A, favourite Paul McCreery claimed a 100% record to qualify for the play-offs. Gavin Maguire also looked to be in great form, recording a 3-0 victory over National Champion Murphy and pushing McCreery close in a match he could have won. He qualified in 2nd place with 6 wins from 7 – fans were delighted to see the 2009 National Champion back competing at the very highest level. In Group B, Ashley Robinson claimed the group comfortably, with UCD’s Ryan Owen claiming 2nd to qualify.
Into the decisive play-offs, Maguire eliminated Robinson to set up a Final against McCreery who had knocked out Ryan Owen. McCreery took the title on a 3:1 scoreline, with Maguire pushing him all the way(5, -9, 10,9). Robinson claimed 3rd for a solid start to his first season outside of the Junior ranks. Other notable performances included Anthony Redmond who claimed 12th place following a gruelling two days for the Qualifier.
The Finals was all about one player – Amanda Mogey – who was absoloutely dominant. Having suffered some injuries last term, Mogey appears to be back to her very best and controlled the event in style. She had a 100% record, including a straight sets win over Junior Ashley Givan – these two players look set to dominate the Womens’ National Rankings this season. In fact, in her 7 wins, Mogey only dropped one game to qualifier Ros Carpenter. Givan claimed 2nd place while 3rd went to Veteran Tersea Devanney following a countback. There were some thrilling games, not least Sarah Timlin’s narrow 2:3 loss to Givan – Timlin will be disappointed with her 8th place finish although there was very little to choose between the players outside of the dominant duo from Ulster.
Click here for full results