A week after we celebrated the 75th Anniversary of the ITTA, Team Ireland had a record breaking weekend in Guernsey at the Senior Six Nations.
The Womens Team of Na Liu and Ashley Givan were in fine form as they continue to inspire young girls across the country. On Friday they started the weekend with a 3-0 win over Jersey and a 3-1 win over Scotland. On Saturday Morning they beat Wales 3-0 and in the afternoon they beat Guernsey 3-1 with Ashley Givan only narrowly losing to Alice Loveridge in the 5th set. This meant that as both England and Ireland had won all their matches up to this point their match was the title decider. It was level at 1-1 after the opening singles. The doubles would be crucial if Team Ireland were to hold on to their title. Na and Ashley went 2-0 down but came back to win the next three and ultimately the title, a great fighting performance by the ladies. It was a routine victory for Na Liu in the last singles as Ireland Women claim only our second Womens Gold and for second year in a row.
The Mens team of Paul McCreery, Gavin Maguire and John Murphy were keen to add to the success the other teams have been having at the Six Nations events in 2012. It was Murphy and Maguire who teamed up to beat Jersey 3-1 to start off their weekend. Then it was over to McCreery and Maguire to take a 3-0 victory over Scotland with McCreery beat Sean Doherty 11-2 in the fifth set. The same pairing saw off Wales in another 3-0 victory. McCreery and Maguire sealed a 4th victory over home side Guernsey 3-0. Similarly to the Women the Men had to battle England for the title. McCreery beat David McBeath 3-0 and Maguire lost 3-1 to Gavin Evans. Again it was going to leave the doubles a very crucial match. The sides shared the opening two sets to leave it 1-1 but cruciallyIreland lost the third 12-10. They pulled it back to 2-2 but the English pair came out on top in the 5th. McCreery also had a gruelling battle with Evans and was defeated in 5 sets. Therefore the Men had to settle for Silver.
As the Results came in and the tallies were added together Team Ireland added a first ever Gold Medal in the Combined Team Championship.
On Sunday it was the turn of the individual.
Paul McCreery and Na Liu won their opening groups with Maguire, Murphy and Givan all going through in 2nd place.
Ashley Givan got a tricky QF draw against the 2nd seed Alice Loveridge of Guernsey, Givan had narrowly lost in 5 sets in the team event and got off to a fantastic start taking the opening two sets. Loveridge pulled back the third but it was the fourth which was to be a momentous battle and deuce after deuce the game eventually went to Loveridge 20-18, that win seemed to give Loveridge the momentum she needed to take the match 11-6 in the fifth. On the other side of the Draw Na Liu saw off Angharad Phillips (Wales) and Gillian Edward (Scotland) to set up a final with Loveridge. Na Liu had too much experience for the home star and took the Gold Medal in straight sets. To give Na her third Gold medal of the weekend.
McCreery overcame Garry Dodd (Guernsey) and Maguire beat Craig Howleson (Scotland) in the quarters. However for 5 times National Champion John Murphy the quarters saw him exit with a 3-1 defeat to Evans of England. The Semis was an English/Irish affair and like the team event it was England who came out on top, McCreery lost to Evans and Maguire lost to McBeath.