The lightning fast Pawel Sulkowski (Poland) gave a topspin masterclass at the Ulster Open Veterans championships in Glenburn at the weekend on a day when reigning champion Willie Cherry made a shock exit in the preliminary rounds of the blue riband over 40’s event and it was left to the incredible Ted Mahaffy to spare the Ulster blushes with an over 70’s win.
Sharpshooter Sulkowski has an amazing repertoire of shots and entertained onlookers throughout the tournament. He was devastating in his semi final clash with Balbriggan legend Tommy Caffrey running out a straight sets winner with a series of vicious smashes. Giantkiller Mark McAllister (Cookstown) knocked out fancied runners Cherry and seasoned campaigner Norman Nabney (Belfast) but his impressive run was ended by Peter Clarke (Annahilt) in the semis. In the final Clarke took the game to Pawel but was left battered and bruised by the silky skills of his opponent who really went into overdrive to record a 3-0 victory.
Athlone attacker Karim Sabir was a class act in the over 50’s class beating Gormanstown defender Brian Finn in three closely fought sets to take the title and the multi capped Caffrey came from two games down to just get the better of combination bat supremo Martin Pickles in an entertaining over 60’s final.
The evergreen Ted Mahaffy has retained his swiftness of foot over the years and had a great battle with Ronnie Drayne (Newtownards) coming out on the right side of a 3-1 scoreline to add yet another over 70’s title to his impressive roll of honour.
Pawel Sulkowski (Poland) bt Tommy Caffrey (Leinster) 3-0
Peter Clarke (Ulster) bt Mark McAllister (Ulster) 3-0
Sulkowski bt Clarke 3-0
Karim Sabir (Connacht) bt Brian Finn (Leinster) 3-0
Caffrey bt Martin Pickles (England)
Ted Mahaffy (Ulster) bt Ronnie Drayne (Ulster) 3-1