UCD Challenger: Belfield a big hit

Over 100 players took part in the latest round of the Stiga Challenger Series, on 21 January in UCD Belfield.  Belfield proved an excellent venue for the event, with plenty of table space and spectator seating, as well as the Café overlooking the event area, the only complaint being the broken TV resulting in a faint hope of an afternoon watching Leinster in the Heineken Cup, while simultaneously ‘supervising’, being cruelly dashed!

 The normal format of the event was followed, with an initial grading round leading to the players being broken up into 4 divisions based on their grading round results.

 Semi Finalists in Division 4 were Andrew Timmins (St. Colmcilles), Derek Mulholland (Raven), Jack Carroll (Ballyroan) and Conor McShane (Blackrock), with Mulholland defeating McShane in the final.

 In Division 3, the semi finalists were James Carroll (Ballyroan), Mimi Nguyen (Deansrath), Ian Manley (St. Tiernans) and Claire Handcock (Rathdowney), with Manley defeating Carroll in the final.

 Division 2 quarter finals saw an all York Road matchup between Joe Proudfoot and Ali McCool, with McColl coming through; Jessie Hayes (Mountrath) defeated Kenneth Lyons(Blackrock); Andrew Mansfield (Rathdowney) came through against George Goodson (Mountrath), while James O’Connor(Blackrock) won his match against Paudi McDonald(Ballyroan).  Hayes and O’Connor were the final matchup after wins over McCool and Mansfield, with O’Connor taking the Division 2 win.

 In Division 1, the 5-8 places were made up of Katie Hayes (Mountrath), and Andrew Robinson, Tim Maguire and Bernard O’Sullivan (all Blackrock).  It was a Midlands monopoly in the semi finals, with Scott Jestin (Mountrath) overcoming Diarmuid Whelan (Ballyroan) in the first semi final, while Eoghan Whelan (Ballyroan) was the winner over John Mansfield (Rathdowney) in semi final 2.  A close final was taken by Eogan Whelan, beating Scott Jestin into 2nd place.

 UCD would like to thank everyone who supported the event, and look forward to seeing everyone again at another event in Belfield in the future.

 Thanks must go to Con O’Ceadaigh and Maria Gallagher at the control table for putting some shape on the chaos(!) that is a Challenger event, to the Committee and team members who assisted with running the event as well as with the hall set-up and also to Tommy Fitzgerald of Stiga for providing the prizes for the event.


Division 1             1              Eoghan Whelan                   Ballyroan

                           2             Scott Jestin                         Mountrath

                          3-4          John Mansfield                     Rathdowney

                                         Diarmuid Whelan                  Ballyroan

                          5-8          Katie Hayes                          Mountrath

                                         Tim Maguire                         Blackrock

                                         Bernard O’Sullivan                 Blackrock

                                         Andrew Robinson                   Blackrock

Division 2              1              James O’Connor                  Blackrock

                            2              Jessie Hayes                      Mountrath

                            3-4           Ali McCool                          York Road

                                           Andrew Mansfield                 Rathdowney

                           5-8          George Goodson                  Mountrath

                                           Kenneth Lyons                     Blackrock

                                           Paudi McDonald                   Ballyroan

                                           Joe Proudfoot                      York Road

Division 3              1              Ian Manley                           St. Tiernans

                            2              James Carroll                       Ballyroan

                            3-4           Claire Handcock                    Rathdowney

                                            Mimi Nguyen                        Deansrath

Division 4              1              Derek Mulholland               Raven

                            2              Conor McShane                  Blackrock

                            3-4           Jack Carroll                        Ballyroan

                                            Andrew Timmins                 St. Colmcilles