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Munster Branch
West Cork Table Tennis

News and Results

Ballincollig Dominate Cork School Events
Results of the Cork Table Tennis Schools Leagues and Cups 2006

Division 1 League Colaiste Choilm A, Ballincollig
Division 2 League Colaiste Choilm B, Ballincollig
Division 3 League Scoil Eoin A, Ballincollig
Division 4 League Colaiste Choilm C, Ballincollig
Division 5 League St Angelas, Cork
Division 6 League Scoil Mhuire, Ballincollig
Division 7 League awaiting confirmation of result

Division 1 & 2 Cup Colaiste Choilm A, Ballincollig
Division 3 & 4 Cup Scoil Eoin A, Ballincollig
Division 5, 6 & 7 'A' Cup Scoil Mhuire, Ballincollig
Division 6 & 7 'B' Cup Scoil Mhuire B, Ballincollig

Cork Sportsability Day
Michael Murphy testing the robotSport is for …Everyone!
The Co. Cork Sports Partnership in association with a number of different agencies and groups are hosting Cork's first "Sportsability Day" at the Cork Institute of Technology on Saturday March 25th from 11.00am to 3.30pm. Kicking off the event was a demonstration of table tennis with Munster Special Olympic Head Coach Owen Kelly top Munster player Gary Noonan, Irish Wheelchair Squad member Patrick Murphy. and SO Athlete Michael Cummins. with ITTA/SO Coach Terence McSweeny assisting.

Representativesd from Special Olympics, Paralympics and Main StreamTable Tennis is an ideal sport that can include "everyone." Special Olympic table tennis is very popular in Munster and there is a growing interest in Wheelchair and Paralympic table tennis as well. Table Tennis can be played by nearly everyone without any special adaptations. Special Wheelchair tables are available but it is still possible to train and play on the regular tables and there have been a number of wheelchair athletes who have played in mainstream events in Munster. At Munster's most prestigious event the Munster Open in 2002 Paralympic Bronze medallist Fredrik Andersson from Sweden won the U21 event and reached the final of the Men's Open only to be beaten by his fellow team mate.

The sportsability day will not just be about watching how it is done, there will be plenty of opportunity to "give it a go." A table tennis robot will be provided to give everyone a chance to see why table tennis is one of the most popular sports in the world.

Throughout the morning there will be a number of stands and other demonstrations available with a wide range of information from sporting and disability organisations. Why not come along and lend your support.

Cork Closed
Brian Fitzgerald beat Tibor Bednar in the final of the Cork Closed mens while Jean Hughes from University of Limerick beat U17 Emily D'Arcy from Beech Hill in the only match in the Ladies Competition. As Jean is from UL this makes Emily the new Cork Closed Champion.

Mens Top 8
1 Brian Fitzgerald
2 Tibor Bednar
3 Marek Veis
4 Mark White
5 Lawrence Paloma
6 Milos Soukup
7 Mike Spitere
8 Dan Foley

1 Jean Hughes
2 Emily Darcy

1 Alan Hurley
2 Anthony McCann
3 Sebastian
4 Mike Spitere
5 Kieran McCarthy

Under 17
1 Ian Shellard
2 Kevin O'Keeffe
3 Leon Reid
4= James Herley
4= Andrew Reck
4= Ruairi Oliver
7 Donnacha Gleeson
8 Ian Brown
9 Noel Gillan

Under 14 Boys
1 Kevin O'Keeffe
2 James Herley
3 Donnacha Gleeson
4 Aidan Grabe
4 Andrew Reck
4 Ian Brown
7 Ronan O'Leary
8 Darragh Buckley
9 Noel Gillan

Under 12 Girls
1 Cliodhna Kelly
2 Niamh Buttimer
3 Aisling Healy
4 Stephanie McKenna
5 Amy Buttimer
6 Deirdre Murphy
7 Roisin Kelleher

Under 12 Boys
1 Declan O'Brien
2 Alex Cooney
3 Ben Aherne
4 Luke Prendergast
5 David Gillen
6 Evan Twomey

Under 10 Girls
1 Edel O'Reilly
2 Orla Reilly

Under 10 Boys
1 David Cooney
2 Gavin O'Leary
3 Mark Prendergast
4 Ciaran Noonan
5 Diarmuid Gillingham
5 Ben Cooke
5 Jack Graham
5 David McCarthy

An "Outsiders" View Diarmuid O'Donovan, Evening Echo, Cork
During the Munster Open Diarmuid visited the Parochial Hall - he is Circulation Manager with Evening Echo and publishes a weekly sports article. He is the Manager of the Cork Minor Football team and due to the inclement weather their planned trial match was cancelled. So Diarmuid paid us a visit and with no previous knowledge of Table Tennis produced the article below.

Have you ever wondered about the origins of Table Tennis? The game is believed to date back to 12th century England when it was devised as a spin off of "Royal Tennis". From then on, it went through phases of popularity. One such phase occurred during 1880s. An English engineer James Gibb was a devotee of the game at that time. There was no official equipment so people were forced to be inventive. Gibb, an engineer by profession, fashioned his bats from old cigar boxes and cut the balls from champagne corks. On a trip to the United States, Gibb saw some children playing with small plastic toy balls. He immediately recognised the potential of these balls for table tennis and brought some back to England. To his surprise, the new ball gave a huge boost to the already popular game. Subsequently, an American firm, Parker Brothers produced the commercial sets of Table Tennis equipment under the name "Gossima"; eventually changed the name to Ping Pong and the game became a commercial success.

Last weekend, almost 400 table tennis players from all over Ireland descended upon the Parochial Hall in Gurranabraher to take part in the Munster Senior and Junior Open Tournaments. I took a trip up there to see the action on Saturday afternoon. I walked into the Hall not knowing what to expect. As I pushed open the double door I was met by a volume of noise and apparent confusion more akin to a bazaar than a sports hall.

There were twenty tables laid out along the hall. At each table there were two or four players. The players were engrossed in their own particular contest and seemingly oblivious to what was going on around them. It became obvious that there was no confusion here. Everything was being carried out with the military precision of a colony of ants. It was no flea market. Everyone looked busy and I did not want to get in the way. So I headed for the man who was running the Table Tennis equipment shop in a corner of the hall. His name was Ted Bollard of Celtic Table Tennis.

There was an array of goods on display at his counter. I asked him what I would need to buy if I wanted to take up playing table tennis. "All you need to begin is a table tennis bat and a pair of runners" he said. "After that it's up to yourself. Like golf, you can spend as little or as much as you want on equipment." I picked up two bats and looked at them. One was €97 and the other was €19. I asked what the difference was. Firstly, Ted told me what I had in my hands were blades. To be able to use a blade in a game, a rubber sheet must be glued to both faces. As for the difference between the blades, one - the dearer one - is custom made. That means it was hand crafted from light materials to suit a certain type of player. The second blade was a mass produced model, more suitable for the average player. "The rubber sheets vary too" Ted told me. "There are different surfaces on the rubbers to suit different types of players. For example if you were a poor player of top spin than you would use a rubber that would help take the spin off the ball. "Most players have two different types of rubber sheets on their blades. Up to a few years ago players could disguise this fact by having both sides of the blade the same colour. Now all bats must have a black and a red side. This helps the opponent recognise what type of shot is coming across the table at him."

Ted introduced me to Michael Healy. He is the Marketing Director of the Irish Table Tennis Association. Michael told me that the Munster event is the only event where the Senior and Junior competitions are played at the one time. "This makes for a great atmosphere and it gives the younger players an opportunity to see top players in action." he said. "We are lucky to have the Parochial Hall, it is big enough to hold 20 tables and the new floor is magnificent. All these things help to allow the tournament run smoothly."

After that I met Con Higgins. Con is a teacher in the North Monastery Primary School. He has coached and played Table Tennis for over 20 years. I asked him what type of training players must undertake in order to develop their talent. "Most of the training is skill based" Con said. "There is a lot of emphasis on the different strokes such as top spin, back spin and the service. Footwork is important too. There is a lot of foot movement in Table Tennis. Players must be comfortable moving across and back otherwise they will lose their co-ordination." Table Tennis is undoubtedly one of the quickest sports in the world. I asked him how players develop their reactions. "There is a machine like the one they use in tennis which can fire balls at players, but I prefer the old way where you get a bucket of balls and play them in quick succession across the table. This is the best way to replicates the game situation."

Con told me about the three way contest between players, technology and television coverage. "The advances in technology meant that the game became centred on the service. A player with a fast serve has a big advantage over his opponent. "This did not suit spectators and television in particular. So a few years ago the International Federation changed the size of the ball from 38mm to 40mm. This had the effect of slowing down the ball and creating more rallys. The introduction of the red and black rubbers was a further help in making the game an even contest. "They also changed the game from three sets of 21 points to five sets of 11 points with the service changing ends after every two points."

"To counter these advances, the players and the equipment companies began to develop different types of speed glues. These fast drying adhesive used to secure the rubber to the blade. When newly applied and wet, the glue penetrates the rubber, causing it to have more bounce and spin. "This had the effect of speeding the game up again and competition halls began to smell like glue factories. Some of the glues were deemed unhealthy. So certain glues are now banned too. Most of the changes are designed to make Table Tennis a more attractive game where skill rather than technology would be an advantage to a player." Ted Bollard has other ideas on this though. He felt that the authorities did not cater for everyone when they made the changes. "They changed the length of the pimple allowed on the rubber" he said. "This has discriminated against the good pimple player and the skills involved in this style of play will be lost."

Table Tennis may be a minority sport in Ireland but it is alive and well. There was a sense of fun and enjoyment in the Parochial Hall last Saturday. The people who organise and participate in Table Tennis are as passionate about their hobby as any GAA, rugby soccer or horse racing person.

As I left the Parochial Hall I was reminded of a quote I heard one time while watching a tight final set at the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996. After one brilliant rally, which lasted more than 20 shots, the commentator drew his breath and announced to the viewing world "and the Americans have the audacity to call this game Ping Pong".

The Cork Table Tennis Association have a weekly column in the Evening Echo, Anyone interested in playing Table tennis should contact Kim Sin Yap c/o Evening Echo Academy St Cork.

Cork Closed Beech Hill Club Site
There was a good turnout of Beech Hill players at the Cork Close which took place over the week-end. Aisling Healy got the club off to the best possible start with victory in Under 10's. In the Boys Under 10 Noel Gillen was beaten by Tadgh Williams of Skibbereen at the semi-final stage but managed to overcome the disappointment to take 3rd place. Scott Shellard maintained his good form in winning the Under 12 Boys. Stephanie McKenna reached her first final and put up a very creditable performance against Munster No.1 Sinead Hennessy to take 2nd place. Under 14 Boys and Under 17 Boys went to Ian Shellard. A 1-2-3 for Beech Hill in Junior Girls as Katie McSweeney took the title from Sarah Dorney and Rebecca McCarthy.

The Senior men was won by Brian Fitzgerald from Mark White and Larry Paloma.

Help Needed!
Following a very poorly attended AGM of the Cork Table Tennis Association, we are appealing for help from parents, players and coaches for the coming season.

It would be a pity to see all the hard work from the previous couple of years go to waste. Unfortunately, this is looking very likely at the moment as we only have a secretary (Alice-Anne Oliver), treasurer (Amy Flahive) and a vice-chairman (Martin Herley). This is insufficient personnel to make any progress next season.

We are asking everyone to attend a meeting next Wednesday night upstairs in The White Horse Inn Ballincollig at 8p.m. to see if we can resolve this issue. The more people that get involved the less of a burden there will be on individuals.

Please try to come along if you possibly can. If you can't attend but would be prepared to help out in some way during the season perhaps you could e-mail me at and let me know what you could do to help out - fundraise, helping out at events (administration, moving tables, setting up tables, helping in coffee shop etc), supervise at training camps - and anything else you can think of!

Thanks in advance and hope to see a large crowd on Wednesday night!

Secretary CTTA

Community Games Table Tennis Co-Ordinator. Rory O'Connor
I was contacted by Community games last January to know if I would co-ordinate the Count Finals and was asked for a suitable date. May 8th was decided upon. I understood from Community Games that they were to be held in Colaiste Choilm, Ballincollig.

Today I made an enquiry to confirm date, time and venue to be told that Colaiste Choilm is not available and that Community Games requested that COPE make their facilities (Beech Hill TTC) available. I understand that this has been agreed with COPE. Accordingly the County Finals will be held in Beech Hill Table Tennis Club on Saturday May 8th at 10:30am

The Agm of Cork Table Tennis Association will be held at 8pm at Whitehorse Inn Ballincollig (upstairs meeting room) on Thursday 13th May 2004.

Please pass this on to any one who may be interested in attending. I would hope that Clubs would encourage their players and parents to attend.

Minutes from 2003 AGM
Secretary's Report
Treasurer's Report
PRO Report
Development Report
Chairman's Report
Election of Officers
Vice Chairman
Treasurer / Affiliations

Senior League
Sponsorship / Fundraising
Transport / Accomodation
Delegates to MTTA

From the Chairman Michael Healy
Just to say thanks on behalf of CTTA to all the people who helped out at the Munster Schools Cup and Munster Open The Schools Cup was again a successful event with an increase in schools and teams from last year - well done to Alice-Ann Oliver for the huge amount of work she put in to organising this event

CTTA has received many compliments from players / coaches and parents on an enjoyable, well run event.......well done to Vicky Ridgeway for once again co-ordinating the top-table, with a huge amount of games over three days.. and thanks to anyone who helped out in any way,,, like every other year there are areas that need to be improved on but that is for another day

Thanks to all the people who arranged sponsorship - to have 10 sponsors at Munstere Open is great,,,, your sponsors can go to the site to see a full report with photos, showing the sponsors names in the background, and a mention for each company in the report - thanks to Owen Kelly for putting up this info and maintaining the site.

I was also delighted that CTTA was able to assist the Munster Special Olympics - thanks to Terence McSweeney and Owen Kelly and Phyllis Naughton for organising the athletes and presentation.

Ex Cork player on You're A Star
TTIreland is coming out in support of Cork League Secretary's Tom Elliott's daughter Jean Elliott as she asks for support from the Table Tennis fraternity. vote for her on You're a Star, December 14th

TTIreland is supporting Jean Elliott vote for her on You're a Star, December 14thOne time table tennis player is now a panto star for YOU'RE A STAR
Oh yes she will, Oh no she wont, OH YES SHE WILL. Young Cork girl Jean Elliott is well used to the traditional rhetorical banter of panto as she appears as principal girl for the third time at the Everyman Palace panto in Cork. Jean loves to hear the audience and in particular the children, laughing, singing and shouting 'he's behind you' etc at the performers on the stage. This year she's in the CADA (Cork Academy of Dramatic Arts) production of Little Red Riding Hood under the direction of the renowned Catherine Mahon Buckley. Previously Jean has appeard in Beauty & the Beast and Robinson Crusoe. However YOU'RE A STAR beckons as well and Jean can look forward to singing for the public vote on Decmeber 14th. on RTE 1.

Jean is the daughter of Munster veteran Tom Elliott who as we all know has been knocking around playing TT for forty years. Jean started playing herself when she was much younger and in fact received her coaching from ex Irish captain/coach Con Higgins in the North Monastry. She was a promising player then but that was before the allure of the stage lights took hold and sadly now she has little time to hold a bat anymore. However she could still do with all the help she can get from the table tennis fraternity in Ireland in the form of votes on December 14th.

Jean attended the auditions in Waterford at the start of October. Queuing in cold weather from early morning along with a thousand other hopefuls is hardly the ideal preparation for trying to impress judges with a song but nonetheless they asked to see her the following day along with about fifty others and the task then became one of impressing Linda, Louis and Phil. This she did and late that night became one of the eight names to be judged by the public on RTE 1 on December the 14th next. So watch out for Jean Elliott singing on YOU'RE A STAR and ring or text a vote for her. You will be very impressed by Jean's performance. OH YES YOU WILL

Cork League Tom Elliott
Following numerous requests for larger team panels I have decided to increase the number of players on each panel from a maximum of six to a maximum of eight. So if any teams wish to send me extra names for their panels please do so as soon as possible.

Cork Closed Michael Healy
This competition is open to all table tennis players in Cork City and County Please read the rules - if you have any questions, give me a call or send an e-mail As well as determining who is Champion of Cork in each age group, it will act as a beginners event, so please encourage beginners to attend

Players in possession of Perpetual Trophies please bring them to the event on the day - I believe they are Andrea Shorten, Ruairi Oliver, Rachel O'Connor and Mike Spitere - if I am incorrect please let me know

Novice Event 18th October 2003
Beech Hill Table Tennis Club was the venue for a Novice event designed to cater for under 12's. There was an excellent entry, and most had not sampled serious competition prior to this. To introduce an element of competition, players with Munster rankings were handicapped when competing against those who had not. This made for some interesting results with a number of ranked players failing to make it to the final stages.

In the Girls competition there were 15 entrants. In group 1, the surprise was Susan McGrath from St. Angela's College taking 2nd place in the behind Cliodhna Kelly and ahead of Aisling Healy of Ballincollig. In Group 2, Maedhbh Kelly overcame her -6 handicap to top the group with another Beech Hill girl Rebecca Myers taking a very close 2nd. The 3rd place went to Cliona Mulvihill of St. Angela's College. An all Beech Hill Group 3 saw seeded Cliona O'Shaughnessy pushed into 2nd place by Vicky McNamara with Jade Lonergan taking 3rd.

The second round saw those who finished in the top 3 position in their groups proceed into the main competition and the other competitors proceed to the consolation event.

In the main event Group 1 there was a 3 way tie for first place between Beech Hill sisters Cliodhna Kelly, Madehbh Kelly and Ballincollig's Aisling Healy. Unable to resolve the tie by their results against each other a play-off was called for and the Beech Hill girls Cliodhna and Maedhbh proceeded to the Semi-finals. In group 2 Rebecca Myers topped the group undefeated but there was a 3 way tie between Vicky McNamara, Jade Lonergan and Susan McGrath for 2nd place, with the St. Angela's girl Susan McGrath joining Rebecca Myres in the Semi-final.

Despite their handicap the more experienced players Maedhbh and Cliodhna advance to the final. In the 3rd 4th play-off Rebecca Myers from Beech Hill took 3rd spot with Susan McGrath 4th. The final went to the older of the Kelly sisters, Maedhbh, with Cliodhna taking the runners-up medal.

The consolation medals went to 1st Emma Ross {Beech Hill}, 2nd Kayleigh O'Leary {Beech Hill}, 3rd Aoife Cafferky {Ballincollig}.

There was an entry of 16 for the boys event with 12 of these coming from the Ballincolling club. Group 1 was won by Barry Marshell with Donnacha Gleeson 2nd who despite their handicap were too strong for Jamie Normile and Noel Gillen. Jamie Normile took the 3rd spot with Noel Gillen and Dylan Kirstein going into the consolation event.

All the players in group 2 were Munster ranked and in a straight dog fight for places James Herley came out on top with Patrick Xie and Joe Sherlock taking the remaining 2 places in the main event. Scott Shellard and Greg Hayes had to be content with the Consolation event. Colm Galagher, Niel O'Donovan and Ronan O'Leary all proceeded from group 3 to the main event.

The 2nd round saw Patrick Xie head group 1, with James Herley 2nd and both proceeded to the semi- finals. Semi-finalists from group 2 were Joe Sherlock and Colm Gallagher. In the First semi-final Patrick Xie beat Colm Gallagher and James Herley progressed to the final at the expense of Joe Sherlocks. In the 3rd 4th play-off, Joe took 3rd place ahead of Colm while James Herley beat Patrick Xie in the final.

Umpire Course
A Cork TTA initaitive, as part of our Strategy regarding training and development, results in a County Umpire Course and Junior Umpire Course organised in conjunction with;

Ted Bollard, Celtic Table Tennis, who in an International Umpire, who will conduct the course
Cope & Beech Hill Table Tennis Club who give us the use of their facilities

The course will run at Beech Hill on Fri Oct 31st, 7pm to 9.30pm (- the Beech Hill Open is the following day). Both courses will be run at the same time

-- A County Umpire Course is for over 18's and is the 1st step to becomming a County Umpire, then a National Umpire, then an International Umpire

-- The Junior Umpire covers much the same details,,, rules of the game, scores, lets, etc etc and is geared at those who are 12 years old and under 18 years old

The cost will be €4 for the County Umpire Course and €2 for Junior Umpire course, payable to Cork Table Tennis

Cork teams have dominated Munster Community Games and their record at the National Games has been second to none over the last 4 years with national titles for both boys and girls. Last year Ballincollig completed their hatrick of titles in the boys event and Enniskeane/Ballineen also from West Cork made it a clean sweep with the girls' National Title. This season Ballincollig are back again with a brand new team and Mayfield from the North side of the city are once again to represent Munster at the Games. The Community Games are undergoing major developments and it is likely that this will be the last championships to be played at Mosney and within table tennis the age is to drop to U13. It is hoped that this will make the competition much more competitive with a number of new areas to enter next season.

Cork Committee elected at the 2003 AGM
Chairman: Michael Healy
Vice Chairman: Martin Herley
Secretary: Ms. Louise Long (
Treasurer/Affiliations: Mrs. Amy Flahive
PRO/Property: Con O'Callaghan
Delegates to Munster Branch: TBA
Childrens Officer: Mrs. Mary D'Arcy
Schools League: Bud Morrissey
Senior League: Tom Elliott