West Cork Table Tennis Assoc.
NEWS 2000-2001

Archive: 1999-2000 Season

Six West Cork players attended three days of a coaching camp held at the Glenburn Club in Belfast. The camp was run by Jing Yi Gao and four other Chinese Coaches. The facilities and training was excellent and it was a great opportunity for the players to gain valuable experience. The squad were very well accommodated by the Ross family and much thanks has to go to them for opening their doors to the West Cork players. On one evening we all went off bowling Kevin Coffey suprised everyone including himself with his skills. Rebecca only damaged the lane she was on and the two next to her very slightly! The Graham family were far too professional and we won't go into that! This was the first time away for three of the lads and we made it back in one piece. Thanks to the Ulster Branch and all those who helped with the trip.
WCTTA Squad: Girls - Emma Jane Helen, Andrea Shorten, Rebecca Shorten. Boys - Kevin Coffey, Martin Hurley, DJ McSweeney.

Community games - Gold for Ballincollig
Ballincollig boys table tennis team took a well deserved gold medal at this years Community Games and in doing so turned the tables, with clinical efficiency, on Mayo and Cavan, both of who had beaten them last year. In the semi-final against Mayo, Killian Healy, Eoin Hegarty and David Buckley achieved victory with a straight 4 to nil margin.

In the final against Cavan, Killian Healy, Eoin McNally and Mike Spitere produced another 4 to nil result to take the Gold Medal.

The West Cork Summer Camp was held at the Immaculata Sports Hall in Dunmanway, this is the first time that Dunmanway has hosted the annual Summer Camp.

Around 40 children from all over West Cork as well as a number of holiday makers from around Ireland as well as the UK and France took part in the camp that was held over 5 days. The first two days introduced the sport to beginners while the second two days were for intermediate level. 16 were awarded their ITTA 1 Star badges and a further 7 passing their 2 Star. A number of the top West Cork juniors also came together as part of their preparation for the Junior Inter Provincial Championships to be played on September 15th in Dublin.

ITTA PRO Owen Kelly presented the awards during the week. Owen Kelly who is based in West Cork was recently elected as the new Chairman of the Irish Table Tennis Development Committee and this camp was the first in a series that will take place all around the country this season.

West Cork has the largest concentration of qualified coaches in Ireland at the moment and a number were in attendance during the week. Camp organiser Vicky Ridgeway coaches in both Togher National School and Colaiste Carbery in the Dunmanway area. Iain O'Neill who is also from Dunmanway and Ivan Shorten from Kinneigh, who coaches in Scoil Eoin and Colaiste Choilm in Ballincollig, assisted during the week.

On Friday the kids put their newly learned skills into action in a fun tournament. Div.I: 1st Andrea Shorten, 2nd Rebecca Shorten, 3rd DJ. McSweeney. Div.II: 1st Joe Sherlock. 2nd Christopher Ducker, 3rd Joseph Hurley. Div.III: 1st Barry O'Mahony, 2nd John Coffey, 3rd Marie McSweeney.

Killian Healy and Eoin McNally were selected for the Irish Cadet Team and travelled with Emma Jane Helen who was selected for the Cadet Girls. The event was held at Lillishall the English Sports Centre. The facilities were excellent and have been enjoyed by many top athletes and sports stars as part of their preparation for Olympic and World Championships. All three played well and had notable victories. More News

West Cork sent its first ever team to the International Youth Cup in Belgium. the three U14 boys played in the Cadet Division. the first round found the boys in a 7 team group. This lead to 3 matches on the Saturday and three on the sunday, with each player playing two matches each. The first team was Espace Ping from Belgium. The first match of the competition proved to be one of the toughest of the weekend and the Belgium team showed great skill white-washing us 6-0. West Cork then raised its level and put in an outstanding performance against St.Michel's from France. The match was eventually drawn 3-3. The lads finished the day on a high and re-established their confidence defeating Cosmos 1 from Holland 5-1. One small glitch saw Mike Spitere beaten by a 10 year old!. With one win, one draw and one defeat the team begun the second day on an optomistic note beating Howald from Luxemburg 5-1. Arboned Westa another Dutch team proved too strong and won 5-1. The West Cork team rallied again to defeat Nieuwkoop 5-1, finishing one point behind St.Michel's in fourth. The play offs on Monday saw a 4-2 victory by TTSN another very strong Dutch side. Team West Cork then went on to defeat Praha from the Czech Republic 4-1. We were unable to play the 12-13th play off as we had to catch the train, so we finished 13th of 25 teams. there were some excellent performances from all three players. (Eoin Hegarty, David Buckley, Mike Spitere.)
Mike Spitere had the best run in the singles competition winning his first group and then finally being beaten in the first round of the finals by the Japenese No.2.

Another three Irish caps are coming west as Emma Jane Helen (Celtic TT), Killian Healy and Eoin McNally receive their call-ups for the Irish Schools Cadet teams. This will be Emma's third Irish cap making her the most successful West Cork player ever. Eoin McNally receives his first ever Irish cap after working extremely hard this season.

Four West cork players attended the Irish Cadet training Camp in St. Anthony's, Clontarf over the weekend of 26th-27th May. This was only the second camp this season and was well attended. Peter Nilsson, who is the Irish National Coach was in attendance with Irish Captains John O'Donoghue and Tara Bollard there for a large part of the weekend. The camp was organised as part of the preparations for the International Youth Cup, the British Schools Invitational and the European Youths. The camp afforded many of the players an opportunity to develop new skills and perfect existing techniques. It was agreed by all the West Cork players to have been a very worthwhile but tiring weekend. West Cork players attending were: Killian Healy, Eoin Hegarty, Emma Jane Helen, and Eoin McNally.

A team of three U14 boys will represent West Cork at the International Youth Cup for the first time this year. The team travels out to Belgium on the 31st May to compete against some of the best teams in Europe. Two of the team had to be 'Dropped' when it was announced that they would be playing for Ireland! However the West Cork team has shown great depth with the selection of Eoin Hegarty, Mike Spitere and David Buckley. The team has been sponsored by Skibbereen Sports Centre and the Centre's new Manager Aidan O'Reilly presented the team with the 'Special Edition' shirts. Aidan was a table tennis player himself and won an U13 All Ireland Schools Medal with Rochestown College. How many years ago Aidan? He was unwilling to give out this information but it was some time ago! West Cork has once again received generous support from table tennis retailer CELTIC TABLE TENNIS you can check all the leading brands of equipment at their excellent website

Emma Jane Helen (Celtic TT) and Killian Healy have been called up for the U14 Irish Team travelling to Hasselt in Belgium for the International Youth Cup. West Cork will also be sending a representative team to the event for the first time. West Cork Team: David Buckley, Eoin Hegarty, Mike Spitere. Owen, Kate & Family! Will all travel on the 31st May 2001.

Andy (TDC Financial Services & Celtic TT) returned from The British Primary Schools after showing some great end of season form. Andy who works hard at the training scheme at the Kinneigh Club celebrated a bronze medal at the games with her team mates after finishing the first day undefeated in all matches. On the second day Andy lost a match in her opening round to the English No.1 and found herself in the Consolation event, Andy made it to the final eventually loosing in the third.

The final West Cork Ranking was held at the Kinneigh Club on Saturday 21st April. Two other ranking events had to be cancelled due to the Foot and Mouth crisis which left many players disappointed. Andrea Shorten (TDC Financial Services & Celtic TT) who has dominated the U12's for 2 years missed her first WCRanking as she was away playing for Ireland, this left the field wide open in bothe the U12 and U14 events. Emma Jane Helen (Celtic TT) who attended the event chose not to play as she had already wrapped up the U14 title and is at present training hard in anticipation for Irish selection during the summer. Deirdre Cotter was in jubilant mood as she made the most of the situation taking her first ever Gold medal in both U12 and U14 events. There were a number of new faces at the tournament, due to the efforts of the new coaching schemes in Dunamanway and Ballydehob. Two notable new players were Alan Sheehan who upset the favourites in the U10 boys taking second and Jack Twomey also in the U10's who has finished third overall this season. The fiercly competitive U12 boys was won by Darragh O'Leary who beat the favourite and up till now undefeated at U12, Barry Horgan in an exciting final. With over 86 entries in the West Cork Rankings the series has grown considerably and a second division event maybe needed next year. This is a healthy indication of the state of the sport in West Cork today. The final rankings are available in the ranking section of the site.

The end of season trip is being organised to the Aqua Dome swimming complex in Tralee, Co. Kerry. After last year's successful trip to the Trabolgan holiday park outside of Cork City last year, a bus is again being arranged for this year. Players from all over West Cork will get an opportunity to socialise and mingle in a non-competitive environment, a number of Cork City players will also be invited to join the squad of over 50 players. If you would like to come along email me at owen@ttireland.com

Andrea Shorten Selected For Ireland 19/04/01
Andrea shorten was selected for the Irish Primary Schools Team to play in Largs, Scotland. This is Andrea's second cap and she will travel to Scotland on the 20th April. Andy has had a great season finishing 3rd in the U12 Irish Rankings. Andy is disappointed not to be able to play in the West Cork Rankings but wishes everyone the very best of luck. I'm sure we will all be wishing Andy good luck in the tournament in which she last year reached the final of the Consolation.

Ballydehob Open, Munster Senior Rankings. 29th Oct
The top Munster Senior players arrived in Ballydehob for the third day of the West Cork Table Tennis Festival. The Ballydehob Open launched the new Munster Senior Rankings and had all the major players entered. The final of the men's singles was between the favourite Brian Fitzgerald the current Irish No.1 and Mark White also ranked in the top ten. Many considered the match a formality and Brian took the first set comfortably 21/15. The good crowd was stunned by the speed of the returns in the second game with some very good backhand winners by the youngster Mark White. Brian tried to come back from a five-point deficit but Mark took the winner with a fine forehand drive. The final set saw Brian take a dominant lead and at the 11 point change over it was unlikely that Mark would be able to get back into the match. Brian who had not played in West Cork for 10 years took the gold medal, he will soon be leaving Ireland for the lights of Paris, France. J.P.Murphy of Macroom was the highest placed West Cork entrant picking up a third place along with Cork Veteran Dan Foley. J.P.Murphy and Paul Lynch were surprise finalists against Brian Fitzgerald and Mark White in the doubles and collected a fine second place. Brian picked up his third gold medal when he teamed up with Linda Mountjoy in the Mixed doubles, with both players holding top honours at National level it was unlikely they would be toppled. Mark White and Linda O'Sullivan produced a fine doubles final against them and almost caused the sensation of the tournament. Linda added add to her fine mixed doubles victory, beating Louise Long, who had beat the No.1 in the opening group. Linda recovered to make the final and reverse the earlier result. Linda failed to collect her third gold when she teamed up with Fiona Higgins in the Ladies doubles event. Linda O'Sullivan and Louise long took the gold medal. An extra event was added to the Ballydehob Open, a "family doubles" was run and four families took part. Dan and Alan Hurley, a father and son combination defeated the father and daughter combination of Kurt and Kloe Wood. Third and fourth places went to mother and son Vicky and Jack Smiles and brothers Joe and Jake Warne.

West Cork Table Tennis Festival 27-28th Oct.
Over 120 entries were taken within the first two days of table tennis competition at the first West Cork Table Tennis Festival in Ballydehob. The week kicked off with an Interparochial Tournament on Friday evening. There was a good attendance made up of players from Clonakilty, Rossmore, Ballineen, Castletown Kinneigh, Goleen, Schull, Dunmanway, Bantry and Ballydehob. Players competed at under 10, 12, 14, 17 and senior levels, with Plate competitions in most events.

On Saturday morning the first West Cork Rankings took place with all last seasons top juniors present. Over 70 entries made this the largest West Cork Ranking ever and with eight tables available for play the event ran very well. No.1 seeds Emma Jane Helen (U14/U17), Alan Hurley (U17), Andrea Shorten (U12), Ronja Bailey (U10), Barry Horgan (U12), and Owen Kelly (Senior) all won their events. David Shorten won the very competitive U10 Boys event beating Kinneigh team mate, Padraig McSweeney in the final, with Paul Clarke, Goleen, finishing third. Eoin Twomey from Ballydehob caused a surprise in his first ever tournament finishing second in the U12 Boys with Darragh O’Leary, Kinneigh taking third. Another West Cork debutante Jason Crowley took silver in the U17 boys with Brian Horgan completing a Kinneigh triple in the event. The U14 event saw a battle between the Warne twins Jake and Joe, Jake beat his brother in the final and Martin Hurley, Goleen, took third.

The first senior ranking saw a surprise when Paul Lynch beat Macroom team mate Donal O’Leary who finally finished third in the semi final. Paul was beaten in a close final by Owen Kelly, Goleen. The ladies saw top U17s Emma Jane Helen and Rebecca Shorten taking gold and silver respectively and a good performance from Vicky Ridgeway, Dunmanway to take third. Team Kinneigh collected 18 of the 30 medals available with Goleen taking 8, Macroom 2 and Ballydehob and Dunmanway taking one each.

The exchange to Goudelin in the Cotes d'Armor was a great success. An article was published in the newspaper Ouest France after a reception that was held by the Mayor of Goudelin who officially received us and can be found here More photos and a report can be found at Britanny Or Bust.

The first Irish Junior Rankings of the season proved to be the most successful for West Cork players ever. Three Bronze medal positions came west with Andrea Shorten (Celtic Table Tennis, SW Services.) repeating her excellent performances of last year finishing third in the under 12 girls rankings and collected a winners trophy in the higher U14 Plate age group. Barry Horgan caused a major surprise taking a third place finish at his first trip away from home in the under 12's, this is a very significant achievement as he is at present still under 10, he also managed a third place finish along with Joe Warne (Sand Grounder) also from west Cork in the U14 Plate. In the under 14 girls section Emma Jane Helen (Celtic Table Tennis) who was unseeded toppled the number one seed from Dublin on her way to a No.3 ranking. Emma Jane caused another sensation when she beat the new U14 girls champion from Romania, Loredana Tica in the U17 event where, she went on to collect first place in the U17 Plate competition. Alan Hurley (Tommy Fitzgerald Table Tennis, Hurley's Clonakilty) had a poor start to the competition but managed to put in an outstanding come back to win the U17 Plate in his first year at U17 level. Kloe Wood (The Ewe, Goleen) playing in her first tournament away from home finished 6th in Ireland after being unlucky to play Andrea Shorten in the 1/4 final groups.
West Cork travelled to the competition in Dublin at the IWA with a squad of 10 players and returned with three top three finishes and three Plate titles at higher age groups. This is a remarkable achievement in such a short time and has only been possible with the generous sponsorship of a number of companies and the hard work of club coaches and administrators. A large squad of players are off to Pouvrey in France at the weekend as part of an exchange with the French club, which will see their return in May. The Ballydehob Community Hall which, is the new venue for table tennis on Friday nights, will open its doors to all for the first West Cork Interparochial tournament on the evening of Friday 27th October. The first West Cork Junior and Senior Rankings begin on Saturday morning the 28th and the first Munster Senior Rankings takes place on the Sunday. An advanced training camp is being organised for 30-1st November which will be followed with a course designed for both national and secondary schools in the area who are new to the sport, this will be run over the weekend of November 4-5th. The next Irish Junior Rankings take place in Belfast on Saturday 25th November, for more details on any of the events please contact Owen Kelly 028-35371

First Munster Junior Rankings
The West Cork squad headed up to Thurles, Tipperary for the first rankings of the season.Emma Jane Helen finished 2nd at the U14s, this is the highest ranking any West Cork player has acheived at Cadet level. Not to be out done Andrea Shorten who is still U12 took third place in the competition. In the U17 Event Andrea took advantage of an excellent draw and finished 5th. Emma Jane Helen finished 6th, Rebecca Shorten 7th and Anne Baker 14th.
In the boys events. Alan Hurley matched his No.5 Ranking at U17 beating Killian Healy 21/19 in the 3rd. This was a teriffic win for Alan as Killian was ranked 21 places above him last year in the Irish Rankings. Barry Horgan who is still U10! Finished 19th with Jake Warne finishing 24th and Joe Warne 26th in their first U17 rankings. In the U14 Rankings Jake topped the West Cork players finishing 9th while Barry took 11th and Joe 12th.
The largest West Cork squad ever to travel are off to the Irish Junior Rankings in 2 weeks time.
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Shamus O'Ping