Strong Performance from Irish Juniors at 2014 West of Scotland Grand Prix

Squad: Katie Mc Glone, Hannah Lynch Dawson, Kevin Hutchinson, Tom Davis, Ryan Farrell

Coaches: Sarah Timlin, John Murphy

Five members of the Irish junior squad travelled to Glasgow over the weekend to compete in the new look Grand Prix style West of Scotland Open. The event took place in Scotstoun which will be the venue for the Table Tennis for Commonwealth Games this July.

As there are so many matches and events at GPs this report will try to highlight some good performances.

Saturday Morning Bands:

Both Katie and Hannah started off there tournament in Women’s Band 2, which on paper looked like a very strong event. Both showed some really good performances with Hannah beating Cherith Graham (recent Munster Open Ladies finalist) 3-0 and Katie beating Emily Bolton 3-0. In the end Katie lost out in five sets in the quarter final to Scottish International Linda Flaws and Hannah went one step further losing out 3-0 to Nicole Hall of Wales in the semis.

Kevin and Tom both started there day off in Men’s Band 4. The boys who looked very sharp from the off, they played some good table tennis to cut their way through opposite sides of the draw to meet in the final. Kevin who started the better in the final ran out a 3-0 winner. Kevin had a notable win in the Semi Final 3-2 against former Scottish International Andy Dunlop.


Ryan started in Band 2 which is traditionally a very tough band to win. Ryan started a little slowly in his group but he showed some really good fighting qualities when he looked down and out in the fifth against Josh Band in is final group match, Ryan went on to win 12-10 to qualify in 2nd place. This set up an all-Ireland clash in the last 8 with Ryan taking on Daryl Strong who himself looked impressive winning his group. In a very close battle Ryan came out on top 3-1. This was probably the final as Ryan went on the record 3-0 wins in both semi-final and final and became the Band 2 Champion


Saturday Afternoon Bands:

Both Girls competed in Women’s Band 3. They both looked comfortable in the early rounds but unfortunately ended up in the same half of the draw and meet in the semi-final. With Lucy Elliott of Scotland waiting in the final the girls started their match. The semi-final itself was a very high quality match which really shows what a great level we have in underage girls’ table tennis in Ireland at the moment. Hannah won the and of course it was 3-2. Hannah went on the record a comfortable 3-0 win in the final to become Band 3 champion.


Kevin and Tom both played Band 3. After both coming through there groups to different sides of the draw they looked on course to repeat what they had done in the morning. Kevin met Andy Dunlop again in the last 8 but was unlucky to go down 3-2. Tom was the last man standing and meet Yasir Razouk in the semi-final and in a up and down match he lost out 3-1.

Ryan was in the Men’s Band 1 event which is great event for him with many international standard players in it. In tough group Ryan managed to beat Sephir Bidari 3-0 who he had lost to in the morning. This left him needing to win against either Kim Daybell or Chris Wheeler to progress. Unfortunately he lost 3-0 and 3-1 but it has to said he held every chance against Wheeler leading 1-0 and 8-5. Kim Daybell went on the win Band 1.

Sunday Morning Open Singles:

This is the main event of the weekend. In the Men’s event Tom, Ryan and John Murphy all qualified from the groups to the Knockout stages. Tom was first to fall as he went down 3-1 to Chris Wheeler but had his chance when leading 1-0 9-8. Both Ryan and John progressed to the quarter final with Ryan beating Daniel Swiatek and Yasir Razouk to book his place against world 234 Gavin Rumgay and John beating Saturdays Band 1 winner Kim Daybell to set up a last 8 meeting with Niall Cameroon. This was the end of the road for both players with John going down 3-2 having lead 2-0 and Ryan going down 3-0 but giving a very good account of himself against Rumgay on the TV court.

Other notable Irish performances was Daryl Strong beating Dean Cundy Wales 3-0 before losing out to Rumgay in the last 16 and Peter Graham losing a tight match against Callum Main in the last 32.

In the Women’s event both Hannah and Katie had good wins in the group. Hannah beat Dawn Morgen of Guernsey 3-0 and Lucy Elliot 3-2 and Katie beat Soffi Jenkins 3-1 and Linda Flaws 3-2. Both Qualified as second behind Hannah Hicks and Karina Le fevre. Sarah Timlin also played this event and was unlucky not to win her group losing out to Nicole Hall 11-9 in the 5th but qualified to the knockout stage in 2nd. Hannah and Sarah played in the last 16 which is always a difficult match for both but on this occasion Hannah ran out a 3-0 winner. Katie was straight into the last 8 and she lost out in a close match 3-1 against Nicole Hall. In the last 8 Hannah played Karina Le Fevre who she had nearly surprised back in November at the 6 Nations only going down 3-2 but Karina seemed to be ready on this occasion and Hannah lost out 3-0.

Under 21 Events:

By this stage our young players were starting to get tired, NPC John Murphy said “its good practice for our players to play when they are tired to improve their mental side of their games.”

In the Boys Ryan, Kevin and Tom all came through there groups. Kevin was the first to go when he lost to Daniel Swiatek. Ryan was next losing out to Colin Dagleish 3-1 (Eventual Winner). Tom was the last left in and played some of his best table tennis of the weekend which shows Toms mental and fitness levels are very strong. He had a good last 8 win against Scotlands Sephir Bidari before losing to Dagleish in the Semi Final 3-0.

In the Girls both Katie and Hannah won there groups which left them in opposite semi-finals. Hannah won her semi 3-0. This left Katie playing Linda Flaws for the 3rd time this weekend. Katie lead 2-1 but eventually went down 3-2. In the final Hannah had 2-0 lead but could not put it away and Linda ran out a 3-2 winner.

Other Highlights:

Irelands Daryl Strong won the Vets event in great style and Hannah Lynch Dawson was awarded the player of the weekend for her performances.

Upon returning home John Murphy said “This was a very worthwhile experience for our young squad with some very impressive results. I would like to thank the players for their hard work over the weekend and thank Sarah Timlin for her great work with all the players, she gave them great support both on and off the table.”


Report received from John Murphy, Photos Courtesy of the English Table Tennis Association