Veterans 6 Nations

The stunning success of our Ladies Over 50s team propelled the Irish Veterans to a tremendous medal haul at the 2012 Six Nations Tournament in Cardiff. Early on Saturday afternoon, Teresa Devaney, Jenny Harrison and Helena Dennett retained their title in emphatic fashion! Against England B, Teresa saved several match points when defeating great friend and rival Marilyn Bawden 16-14 in the fifth. In the crucial match, the combined strengths of Jenny and Teresa were too much for England A, whom they defeated 4-1. Notably, Helena won all of her matches.

The Gents Over 70s team of Ted Mahaffy, Ron Drain and Tom Burke won silver medals, with a notable victory over a depleted England team. In fact, Ron lost some tight five set encounters by the narrowest of margins. George Evans  expressed enormous satisfaction in finally securing a team gold medal for Wales on home territory! The Over 60s Mixed team, astutely captained by Martin Pickles, won silver also. Audacious Audrey Robinson, vivacious Viv Barry, evergreen Tommy Caffrey, and multi-tasking Brian Finn along with Martin all contributed handsomely to a splendid team effort. Indeed, England’s Maurice Newman, despite emerging victorious over Tommy in five close sets, confessed to suffering from exhaustion. Topspin can exact a heavy toll when forced into overindulgence!!!!

The Gents Over 40s team won bronze, while our other Ladies and Gents team members gained valuable experience competing against highly skilled opposition.

The medals awards were celebrated in fine style at the Presentation Dinner at the SWALEC Centre on Saturday night. The cabaret was most enjoyable, but the festivities were over all too soon!

On Sunday, Teresa and Jenny picked up where they had left off, winning the Over 50 Ladies Doubles title in fine style. Teresa then crowned a scintillating tournament by winning the Over 60s Ladies Singles event. After exchanging tense opening sets in the final against Penny Perry, Teresa found her rhythm in the third set. She closed out in the fourth set, hitting several forehand winners with a relaxed freedom. Her tremendous performance just confirms the consistent progress she has made throughout an exceptional year.

Tibor Pofok, making his debut in the Over 40s Singles event, played superbly when losing a tremendous tussle with Richie Venner 11-8 in the fifth set. Constant microphone interruptions did not help either player during this absorbing match. In the Gents Over 50s singles semi-final, Kariem Sabir put in a feisty performance against Mark Romano. Having been 2 sets to 1 up, he lost narrowly in the fifth. Earlier, he had completed a remarkable comeback to beat Geoff Hunter of Scotland in an enthralling encounter.

Speaking today about the success of the team, ITTA President Joe Hickey stated;

“Our Veterans are deserving of enormous praise for their great success at the 6 Nations last weekend. Most of our medal winners have been ever present on Irish teams for many years but Teresa Devaney is truly the ‘golden girl’ of vets tt. Brian Finn is also deserving of enormous praise for the work he has done since taking on the role of managing vets tt and he will be even busier in the year ahead, with the organisation of the event in Ireland in 2013 ! “

It now falls to Ireland to host the 2013 event. The achievements of Steve Eades and his hard working Welsh organising committee will be a hard act to follow. Our thanks to STIGA for their generous support of our efforts!