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Womens Champion - Lovas, Hungary. photo M.GuyBangor Open
The tournament was superbly run and well supported by local and Irish players ..... a tribute to Vincent O'Regans drive and the support of his main sponsors OK Marine , Northern Ireland Events Company and the NDBC. Results and Photos

Ulster Junior Interpros. Champions 2005Ulster Junior Interpros. Champions 2005
Junior Boys: 1. Ulster; 2. Leinster; 3. Munster; 4. Connaught.
Junior Girls: 1. Leinster; 2. Connaught; 3. Munster; 4. Ulster.
Cadet Boys: 1. Leinster; 2. Ulster; 3. Connaught; 4. Munster.
Cadet Girls: 1. Ulster; 2. Leinster; 3. Connaught; 4. Munster.
Under 12 Boys: 1. Ulster; 2. Leinster; 3. Munster; 4. Connaught.
Under 12 Girls: 1. Connaught; 2. Leinster; 3. Ulster; 4. Munster.

Final Places: 1. Ulster; 2. Leinster; 3. Connaught; 4. Munster

RBAI Belfast L-R Paul McCreery, Peter Graham, Patrick Guy Marcus Maxwell Gordon Ross Joshua McLean and Ken Strong Chairman ITTA
U19 Champions RBAI Belfast L-R Paul McCreery, Peter Graham, Patrick Guy, Marcus Maxwell, Gordon Ross, Joshua McLean and Ken Strong Chairman ITTA


By Peter Clarke

The OK Marine Group 20th Bangor Open certainly lived up to its billing of being the biggest and best ever, producing astonishing table tennis and no shortage of shocks and drama as Terry Young (England) and Petra Lovas (Hungary) snatched the major titles on a day that saw the favourites fall by the wayside.

Former English international Terry Young had told tournament organiser Vincent O'Regan, "I'm not here to make up the numbers, I'm here to win" and this great battler made observers sit up and take notice when he took out double Commonwealth gold medallist Andrew Baggaley in a fast and furious semi final match. In the other semi Germany's Lennart Wehking was pitted against teenage sensation Xin Yin (China). The European topspin ace had accounted for hot favourite William Henzell (Australia) in the quarters but Yin is a fearless attacker and the match that evolved was a cracker with neither player able to put the other to the sword but in the final set Wehking seemed to discover a serve that left Yin puzzled and allowed the Bundesliga ace to get in with a more purposeful third ball attack which in the end won him the game. A best of seven set format was used for the final and Young had his eyes firmly fixed on the £1000 first prize from the off as he blocked and counter hit against Colm Slevin's team-mate as if his life depended on it, strolling into a 2-0 lead but the lightning fast left hander hit back to level the match only to see the England No5 grit his teeth and win the next two for victory. Both these athletes received a standing ovation as they left the arena to crown a great day for the sport in Ulster.

In the ladies event the highly rated Fei Ming Tong (China) mesmerised spectators with her high toss serve but four times winner Na Liu was able to deal with these thunderbolts comfortably and launched attacks down both wings with venomous accuracy to inflict her first ever defeat on the English Open winner. In the other semi Ulster prospect Amanda Mogey had a real go at world ranked Hungarian Lovas but could not match the speed and skills of the Eastern European. Despite being cheered on by a partisan home crowd the Glenburn attacker Liu then met her waterloo in the form of Lovas in a closely fought five set final where the Finnish Pro tour winner displayed glimpses of pure brilliance.

The anticipated showdown between Baggaley and Henzell did indeed materialise but in the under 25's final and not in the mens as was anticipated. The contest was well worth waiting on though as both these gladiators went toe to toe with a free flowing textbook topspin exhibition and in the end there was little to separate between them with the England maverick just doing enough to win. Former European champion John Hilton is a great entertainer and perhaps this was his downfall in the veterans final against fellow Englishman Joe Kennedy in which the combination bat specialist looked to be in total control at 2-0 up only to see the left hander stage a great comeback with a series of cross court smashes and drop shots while the Manchester defender, who was capped over 400 times by England, had spectators on the edges of their seats as he retrieved from the outer perimeters of the court but that vital third game proved elusive as Kennedy grew in confidence. The doubles were deservedly won by the Hungarian duo of Gergely Urban and Balazs Palosi while the international flavour of the event continued with Russian Sabina Kazimagomedova's victory over Claire Nelson (Belfast) in the junior girls category.

The only local winner was the Trillick Tornado Keith Knox who won the junior boys class in impressive fashion beating No.1 seed, Peter Graham (Dundonald), in an entertaining semi final clash before dispatching Mark O'Flynn (Dublin) in fine style to claim the title.


Mens singles

Semi Finals

Terry Young (England) bt Andrew Baggaley (England) 3-0

Lennart Wehking (Germany) bt Xin Yin (China) 3-2


Young bt Wehking 4-2

Ladies singles

Semi Finals

Na Liu (China) bt Fei Ming Tong (China) 3-1

Petra Lovas (Hungary) bt Amanda Mogey (Ulster) 3-0


Lovas bt Liu 3-2

Veterans singles

Joe Kennedy (England) bt John Hilton (England) 3-2

Under 25's singles

Andrew Baggaley (England) bt William Henzell (Australia) 3-2

Open Doubles

Gergeley Urban/Balazs Palosi (Hungary) bt Baggaley/Henzell 3-2

Class 2 singles

William Cooney (England) bt Leo Veinsreider (Lithuania) 3-1

Class 3 singles

Brian Deveraux (Munster) bt Veinsreider 3-1

Junior Boys

Keith Knox (Ulster) bt Mark O'Flynn (Leinster) 3-1

Junior Girls

Sabina Kazimagomdova (Russia) bt Claire Nelson (Ulster) 3-1

There was the most dramatic conclusion imaginable to the Ulster Inter Counties Individual and team championships in Belfast, on Saturday 8th Jan 2005. Fermanagh snatched both singles and team honours with topspin wizards Tony Frempong and Jeremy Lappin coming up trumps just when it seemed certain that Londonderry would take all the major silverware back to the North West while Antrim competitors were also in the mix to the very end on a day that will live long in the memories of table tennis enthusiasts provincewide.

The final match of this marathon event pitted the spectacular Tony Frempong with the hard hitting Ivan Jeffers in a top four play-off battle which carried huge significance . If the Magherafelt attacker could win this encounter then his team-mate Sean McAnaney would take the singles title and Londonderry would be crowned team champions while Frempong and Fermanagh would be totally out of the equation. Super fit Jeffers had been in sparkling form all day and when he came from 2-0 down to square the match there looked to be only one winner but the former Essex county player held his nerve to claim victory in a fast and furious encounter which sent the organisers scrambling for their calculators to work out the final positions.

The top three players tied not only on matches won with but also on games ratio, with Frempong having beaten ace defender McAnaney 3-2 who in turn had won by the same scoreline against Phil Wallace (Antrim). Former commonwealth star Wallace then had got the better of lakelands attacker Tony in yet another five set thriller, which meant that prizegiving was put on hold while the points ratio's were worked out which eventually saw Frempong declared the winner ahead of Phil Wallace (Antrim) and McAnaney to the cheers of the Lakelands contingent. Of course that great campaigner and former inter counties champion Lappin had to finish fifth to ensure that the JP Goldstone Shield headed west and he suffered a scare when he lost out to Lisburn's Roy Coard but recovered well to give Frempong the necessary backing. Ted Mahaffy (Belfast) produced a stunning display to claim 6th place in the individuals while Mark McAllister (Cookstown) finished just behind but in doing so made sure that Tyrone took a credible fourth place overall.

Individual Top 10
1 Tony Frempong (Fermanagh)
2 Phil Wallace (Antrim)
3 Sean McAnaney (Londonderry)
4 Ivan Jeffers (Londonderry)
5 Jeremy Lappin (Fermanagh)
6 Ted Mahaffy (Belfast)
7 Mark McAllister (Tyrone)
8 Roy Coard (Antrim)
9 Mervyn Funston (Tyrone)
10Barry Dickson (Armagh)

JP Goldstone Shield Team Competition
1 Fermanagh 36pts
2 Londonderry 35
3 Antrim 32
4 Tyrone 26
5 Belfast 23
6 Down 19

13th time lucky for Andrew by Peter Clarke
Greenisland topspin exponent Andrew Dennison rewrote the history books yet again when he eclipsed his rivals to win the Ulster singles title for the thirteenth time at Newtownabbey on Saturday (29th Jan 05) while Na Liu and Paul McCreery both recorded a brace of titles. The progressive tournament encompassed all age ranges and proved to be a showcase event for the huge talent that currently abounds within the province. The standard of table tennis was simply awesome in every category and high praise must also go to the organisers who got through the extensive programme with relative ease.

Super-fit Dennison is'nt ready to hand his crown over just yet if his brilliant display at the weekend is anything to go by. The current Irish champion may be 36 years old but he still retains the hunger and skill to keep a step ahead of the chasing pack and he never looked troubled when dispatching former champion Daryl Strong in straight sets at the penultimate stage before meting out similar treatment to the talented Peter Graham in the final. The amazing Na Liu made short work of the opposition in the ladies singles and then joined forces with Graham to win the doubles section and Glenburn's Paul McCreery claimed both the under 12's and 14's singles with two hard fought victories over arch rival Marcus Maxwell (Christchurch).

Carnmoney's Amanda Mogey scored a brilliant under 21's victory seeing off top drawer male opposition Leroy Carlton (Monaghan) and Mervyn Funston (Tyrone) in the process. Claire Nelson (Glenburn) and Judith Atwell (Clogher) scored well deserved successes in the under 17's and 14's classes respectively while Bronwyn McClean (Glenburn) was the pick of the bunch in the under 10's section.

The depth of table tennis talent in Fermanagh was aptly demonstrated when Tony Frempong won the Frank Spalding memorial cup for veterans while at the other end of the age spectrum star of the future Stephen Slater took the under 10's singles and Tyrone Tornado Keith Knox claimed another scalp for the West of the Bann contingent with the class 2 singles. The sport has also really taken off in Cavan and large group of players and officials from the county made the long trek north but their journey was worthwhile when Isobel Farrelly won the girls under 12's title.

Former Ulster stars Brian Orr and John Fall (both Ballymoney) made a rare tournament appearance and both plan to start playing regularly again which will be huge boost for the already vibrant veterans scene in the province.

Results Mens singles
Semi Finals
Andrew Dennison (Antrim) bt Daryl Strong (Tyrone) 3-0, Peter Graham (Down) bt Phil Wallace (Antrim) 3-2
Final - Dennison bt Graham 3-0

Ladies singles
Semi Finals
Na Liu (Belfast) bt Catherine Trimble (Tyrone) 3-0, Amanda Mogey (Antrim) bt Claire Nelson (Belfast) 3-0
Final - Liu bt Mogey 3-0

Veterans singles
Tony Frempong (Fermanagh) bt Jeremy Lappin (Fermanagh) 3-0

Class 2 singles
Keith Knox (Tyrone) bt Tony Sidebottom (Belfast) 3-1

Open Doubles
Graham/Liu bt Strong/Wallace 3-1

Under 21 Round Robin
1st Mogey, 2nd Leroy Carlton (Monaghan), 3rd Mervyn Funston (Tyrone)

Under 17's
Boys-Graham v Knox (title shared)
Girls-Nelson bt Danielle Douglas (Belfast) 3-1

Under 14's
Boys-Paul McCreery (Belfast) bt Marcus Maxwell (Down) 3-1
Girls-Judith Atwell (Tyrone) bt Douglas 3-2

Under 12's
Boys-McCreery bt Maxwell 3-1
Girls-Isobel Farrelly (Cavan) bt Rosalyn Blackburn (Belfast) 3-0

Under 10's
Boys-Stephen Slater (Fermanagh) bt Enda Flanagan (Cavan) 3-0
Girls-Bronwyn McClean (Belfast) bt Ashley Given (Fermanagh) 3-1

Graham's champion at the double in Scotland Belfast Telegraph 24 January 2005
Peter Graham claimed two titles at the prestigious Glasgow and West of Scotland Open Championships, while Na Liu and Claire Nelson grabbed headlines at the British Women's League.

Graham (Dundonald) struck U-21 men's gold, finishing with a brilliant 5-set victory over close Anglo-Irish rival David Hayes, and then Graham teamed up with 15 year-old Keith Knox (Tyrone) to win the Junior boys doubles, defeating Scottish internationals Craig Howieson and Scott Johnston in 4 sets.

Ryan Jenkins (Wales) was the toast of the West of Scotland event in winning the Drumchapel Club 'Battle of Britain' over Alan Cooke (England) and continuing by taking the men's singles, while Daryl Strong and Philip Wallace (Queen's) caused a series of surprises before limping out of the men's doubles semi-final with Strong suffering a finger injury.

Irish Ladies took silver medals in both Premier and Division 2 of the British Women's League. DML Woolwell were premier winners after a 'games count-back calculation' despite Na Liu (Ulster) being joint with Markets Myskova (Woolwell) in the individual stakes. Michelle McGreevy (Darragh Cross) and Tara Fusco (Dublin) provided valuable support. Claire Nelson (Glenburn) performed well with six victories for Irish Ladies 2, such that Arthur Brett's squad of Amy Tobin and Sabrina Conway joined Nelson as they moved from 4th to 2nd behind Draycott and Long Eaton.

Action moves to the Valley Leisure Centre on Saturday for the Ulster Championships. Entries to the House of Sport (02890 383811) before Tuesday.

By Peter Clarke
Ulster table tennis enthusiasts will celebrate the new year in style at the popular Ulster Inter Counties singles and team championships in Glenburn, Belfast on Saturday 8th January 2005. The tournament will give competitors the opportunity to work off those extra pounds gained over the festive season as they all have to play in at least nine matches on a day which is a true test of stamina as well as skill.

Down dominated last season's event with Northern Ireland International Peter Graham claiming the singles title while his team which also featured Mervyn Scott and Robert Fisher left closest challengers Antrim, Fermanagh and Tyrone in their wake to win the prestigious JP Goldstone shield. Since the competitions' resurrection four years ago Antrim and Belfast have also struck gold while Phil Wallace (Antrim) and Jeremy Lappin (Fermanagh) have been individual winners.

There is no restriction as to the number of players who can enter from each county but for the purposes of the team competition only a county's top three finishers will be considered when deciding the final placings in the JP Goldstone shield contest. Although Down will start as hot favourites to retain the silverware it is likely that Antrim, Fermanagh, Tyrone, Belfast and Londonderry will also field strong sides.

There will be three stages of round robin groups with the event getting underway at 9.30am sharp. The latest Ulster ranking list will be used for seeding purposes and entries should be phoned to Tournament Organiser Peter Clarke on 028 9268 2767 by Thursday 6th January.

Table Tennis: Andro defend slender lead Belfast Telegraph 07 December 2004
Glenburn Andro go into tonight's third series of matches in the Belfast League with a slender two point lead over Glenburn Stiga.

Magherally (7.30pm) is the venue for Andro's showdown with third placed Queen's and Andrew Dennison will lead out the League leaders.

Dennison is supported by Norman Nabney, and will call on Irish women's top eight winner Michelle McGreevy in the absence of Willie Cherry due to illness.

Glenburn Stiga are proving to be a solid side led by Na Liu and top Irish Junior, Peter Graham, with David Kyle and Gordon Ross alternating in third place.

Annahilt have proved to be a bit hit in the British Veteran League and could well upset the Senior players with evergreen Jack Cash in pole position.

The surprise side of this new League set-up has been Cookstown, fielding Keith Knox, 14, as the hottest young property on the Irish tournament scene. Bangor complete the line-up

Belfast Telegraph 22 October 2004: Chinese duo will shake up the locals

Chinese table tennis stars, Li Xiao and Yin Xin, currently training and living in Belfast, are expected to set the cat among the pigeons at the Stiga Ulster Open championships in the Valley Leisure Centre tomorrow, by providing a concerted challenge on the top seeds.

Dublin's Chinese immigrant, Na Ning, starts as top seed due to his regular and successful appearances on the Irish senior circuit, with Northern Ireland Commonwealth player Jason Sugrue in second spot, ahead of Leinster's Lynch and Murphy.

Na Liu will surely cement her supremacy in the Women's event, much to the delight of her local supporters, while her Belfast Glenburn club mate Norman Nabney is favourite to win at Class 2 level.

Play commences in Newtownabbey's Valley Centre at 9.30am with Doubles play.

Stiga Ulster Open Seeds - Men's Singles: 1. Na Ning; 2. Jason Sugrue; 3. Damien Lynch; 4. John Murphy.

Women's Singles: 1. Na Liu; 2. Tara Fusco; 3. Eliz Bennett; 4. Michelle McGreevy

Class 2: 1. Norman Nabney; 2. Kevin Devaney; 3. Darroch Keegan; 4. Shane Dolan.

Veteran Singles: 1. Kevin Mackey; 2. Dave Pemberton; 3. Kareim Sabir; 4. Kieran Burke.

Men's Doubles: 1. X Li/X Yin; 2. N Ning/J Bowe; 3. J Sugrue/A Dennison; 4. J Murphy/C Nolan

Women's Doubles: 1. T Fusco/R Fox; 2. E Dennett/C Langford; 3. M McGreevy/A Mogey; 4. T Devaney/S Conway

Mixed Doubles: 1. A Dennison/T Fusco; 2. J Sugrue/C Langford

Table Tennis: Sugrue targets Ulster title at double (Belfast Telegraph 19 October 2004)

Jason Sugrue will not only defend his Stiga Ulster Open men's singles title at the Valley Leisure Centre on Saturday, but is also keen to return loyalty to Table Tennis Ulster after his selection for the Commonwealth Championships in Malaysia last June.

The London-based professional player claimed Ulster nationality, through the parental rule, and quickly acclimatised into the Ulster team spirit in Kuala Lumpur with a set of promising results which auger well for potential involvement at Melbourne in 2006.

The popular Irish international has a distinct loyalty to Ulster and wants to repay the team management with a repeat success in the Valley, having defeated Conor Nolan in last year's decider.

Na Liu, as Ulster's other big Commonwealth Championship medal hope, is clear favourite to retain her Ulster women's crown while the seasoned pairing of Andrew Dennison and Willy Cherry (Glenburn) will want to reinforce their domination in doubles play with yet another open title.

Dennison finished as Irish and Ulster men's champion last season, and also took the mixed doubles honours, with Tara Fusco, in the Ulster Open.

But Dennison would gladly forsake his doubles success for an Ulster Open men's title, the only open trophy to avoid his grasp in an illustrious career.

Liu is also defending a brace of Ulster Open titles while Veteran international Jeremy Lappin (Fermanagh) will be aiming to continue as Class 2 winner, with Cherry as reigning veteran champion.

Play commences in the Valley on Saturday at 9.30am while late entries can be phoned to the House of Sport up to 6pm on Wednesday at 02890 383811

Greenisland's Andrew Dennison (35) completely dominated the Ulster Top 12 tournament at Glenburn on Saturday with a lethal display of topspin brilliance and after this performance the highly motivated super fit star will now be travelling to the Irish classification tournament in Dublin in two weeks time oozing with confidence.

The twelve times Ulster and four times Irish National champion has really monopolised the local game in recent seasons and only Peter Graham really troubled the master at the weekend. In the final series of matches there was no hiding place for his opponents as Dennison moved into overdrive to power his way past both the spectacular Wallace Mahaffy from Annahilt and Queens hard hitting supremo Phil Wallace with decisive 4-0 scorelines. Topspin wizard Graham gamely had a go at his Ulster Inter provincial team-mate and at times did trouble the lefthander with his speed and accuracy but this was Andrew's day and he deservedly won through 4-2.

Commonwealth hero Mahaffy quickly put his disappointment of losing to Dennison behind him to finish runner up after dispatching both Graham and Wallace in straight sets. Graham then outgunned Wallace to claim bronze and Annahilt's Peter Clarke scored a rare win over arch rival Norman Nabney to take fifth spot. The qualifying competition on Friday night had seen experience overcome youth as ace defender Jack McCandless got the better of Trillick Tornado Keith Knox in a thrilling final. The other two who made it through to the main event were Bangor attacker Josh Boyd and that greatest sportsman Ted Mahaffy. Knox, who is just back from China, was the highest placed qualifier on Saturday when he battled through to a fine 7th place.

Tournament organiser Jing Yi Gao had introduced the energy sapping best of seven games format to ensure that Ulster players are better prepared for international competitions in the future and in her role as tournament referee made sure that the new service rule, where the server must ensure that the ball is clearly visible to their opponent at all times, was strictly adhered to.

Ulster Top 12 Final Positions

  • 1 Andrew Dennison
  • 2 Wallace Mahaffy
  • 3 Peter Graham
  • 4 Phil Wallace
  • 5 Peter Clarke
  • 6 Norman Nabney
  • 7 Keith Knox
  • 8 Jeremy Lappin
  • 9 Jack McCandless
  • 10 Robert Fisher
  • 11 Josh Boyd
  • 12 Ted Mahaffy

    Keith Gets to Quarter Final in the Isle of Man Femanagh website

    Keith Knox from Trillick returned home from the Junior Six Nations International Table Tennis Championships in the Isle of Man. Held in the National Sports Centre in Douglas.
    Keith travelled out to the Junior six Nations on 30th of April to 2nd May and competed in a 3 day tournament which included a Team event and an Individual Event. Keith competed against opposition from England, Scotland, Wales, Guernsey and Isle of Man. Keith found the standard of Table Tennis to be very high.
    Keith along with fellow compatriot Mark O'Flynn finished in 4th position in the team event, they had convincing wins against Guernsey and the Isle Of Man. England, Wales and Scotland proved to strong for the Irish pair. They lost 5-0 to England, who were the overall team winners. They then lost 5-0 against Wales and 4-1 against Scotland. They found that their matches could have went either way as they took sets in each of the games. Keith found the team event to be of a very high standard.
    After alot of intense playing in the team event, Keith then faced a battle in the individual event as he come against players from England, Guernsey and against the hosts. In the group stages he had an assuring win against the Isle of Man No.3 ; next he played the Guernsey No.1 who he conquered 3-1. The match of the group came between him and the English Cadet No.6 Damion Nichols, it was a thrilling 5 set engagement whom Keith was unfortunate to loose. He lost 3 - 2 by the scores 11/7, 12/10,7/11, 5/11 & 8/11. Keith advanced to the quarter final stages where he met another English Cadet; only this time it was the No.3 in England. Keith run had come to an end as he was narrowly defeated 3-1 by a high class opponent. He lost 3-1 by the scores 9/11, 11/7, 6/11 & 7/11.
    Keith found the Junior Six Nations to be a valuable experience and will help him gain international experience which he will be needed for his appearance at the European Youth Championships in Hungry. Keith's performance in the Isle of Man has assured his place in the Irish Team for the European Championships.
    ULSTER TRIUMPH AFTER 23 YEARS Report by William Trimble
    Three local table tennis players Catherine Trimble, Gervis Knox and Wayne Crawford played a major part in the return of the Inter provincial Trophy to Ulster after a gap of 23 years after a dramatic ending to the 2004 event in Cork.

    Altogether 6 players from Tyrone and Fermanagh were selected to play for Ulster in an eighteen strong squad who had completed six days training with the director of Ulster coaching Jing yi Gao in Belfast over Easter. Clogher players Judith Atwell and Roslyn Blackburn were selected for the under 12 girls team which finished second behind a very determined Connaght team who claimed the gold medal.

    Roslyn competing in her first inter provincial showed great composure and won all of her 3 singles against Munster and was unfortunate not to record any other victories despite some very close games. Judith winning her second Ulster cap recorded solid performances against Munster and Leinster winning all of her matches but just found the Connaught girls too focused on the big day.

    In the under 14 boys Keith Knox ended the day undefeated in his nine games but had to be content with a silver medal as his two team mates found the opposition too strong. Keith continued his domination of the cadet boys as he has done all season throughout Ireland. Keith did not lose an end against Connaught and Munster and then demolished his great rivals from Leinster Daniel Keenan 11-6, 11-0, 11-5 and Mark O'Flynn 11-6, 11-8, 11-4 and then Nial Mc Donnell almost suffered the same fate but just managedto push Keith to five sets 9-11, 11-4, 11-8, 9-11,11-5.

    The third girl from the Clogher club Catherine Trimble was selected to play in the under 14 team but due to a late withdrawal she had to play at under seventeen level and certainly relished the prospect of playing against the top juniors in Ireland in only her third inter provincial tournament. In her first game Catherine made her intentions clear against Emma- Jane Helen the Munster number 1 and was unfortunate to loose the fifth set 11-13 as the experienced Emma-Jane knew she had almost lost the opening game for Munster. Catherine won all of her remaining matches against Munster and with 3 wins from Amanda Mogey an unexpected victory 5-4 was recorded over Munster.

    In the next match Munster defeated Leinster and now a gold medal was a possibility for the Ulster girls. Certainly the Mogey sisters had never experienced gold before in seven attempts for Amanda and five attempts for Abigail so just Leinster remained to deny the girls their first gold medal. Catherine playing powerful forehand shots was again unfortunate only to loose one other match against the Leinster number 1 11-13, 10 -12, 11-8, 9-11. With the experienced Amanda Mogey again winning three games and Abigail one game their gold dream became reality in Amandas final year playing at junior level. Ulster had secured their second gold of the championships as the all Belfast team secured the gold medal in the under 12 boys event.

    With almost all of the medal decided and the junior boys team of Glenburn's Peter Graham, Wayne Crawford and Gervis Knox losing by 4 matches to 2 against Leinster, the elusive third gold medal required to claim the Victor Barna memorial shield and the inter pro title appeared to be on its way back to Dublin yet again. Leinster had claimed gold medals in the under14 girls and boys events and appeared to be cruising to victory in the junior boys event despite Peter trying to maintain his unbeaten run in the tournament against John Murphy. Peter gave Ulster hope with a 11-8, 6-11, 11-9, 4-11, 11-8 victory. As the tables were being collapsed and packed away around the hall more and more people focused on the match between Gervis Knox from Trillick and Shane Dolan from Dublin and added to a highly charged match as the boys exchanged ferocious smashes across the table. Body language became almost as fierce as these two great rivals battled for supremacy on the table. Gervais remained defiant as Shane unleashed some devastating blows and emerged from the battle jubilant 11-9, 12-10 and 16-14 to give Ulster hope with one final match to decide the title with the scores 4 each .

    After over 10 hours of table tennis the highly charged atmosphere became explosive as Wayne Crawford from Letterbreen and Steven Keenan from Dublin moved towards the table with all of the players and coaches totally focused on the two boys. Steven won the first set 11-9. Wayne remained calm realising the importance of his last match at junior level for Ulster and cheered on by the hysterical Ulster supporters he won the second set 11-6. The third set was very tense and the players appeared nervous but Wayne emerged winning 11-9.

    Someone had to crack under the pressure and eventually Wayne surged to victory in the fourth end 11-7. Ulster had at last after 23 years claimed the inter provincial title and put a dent in the Leinster domination of the sport, only Munster in 1999 had managed to secure the trophy in recent years

    Judith Atwell from Clogher table tennis club returned from the Home Countries Primary Schools Table Tennis Championships in the Channel Islands with two medals. Judith proved at the highest level in primary school table tennis that she was one of the top competitors for her age not only in Ireland but in the British Isles

    Judith claimed the bronze in the individual event and helped the Irish girls to silver in the team event with tremendous play against competitors from Scotland, Wales, England and Guernsey the host nation.

    On this occasion the 11 year old from Carntall primary school had to be content and very proud of her achievements getting to the semi final stages of the individual event after two days of intense competition and had to watch the two English girls battle for the title. Judith felt she should have even claimed the title itself as she had already had two victories over the champion, once in the team event and also in the group stages of the individual event.

    Judith now travels to Cork to help Ulster in the Junior Inter Provincials.

    Bangor Open Fermanagh League website
    Former European champion John Hilton claimed two titles at the Bangor Open championships on Saturday while Na Liu and Jing Yi Gao put one over on the men in the open doubles, Andrew Dennison rolled back the years with a vintage performance and Liu's much anticipated showdown with Marketa Myskova from Prague lived up to all expectations in the North Down spectacular where the table tennis was simply fabulous.

    What a tournament it was for Greenisland's Andrew Dennison as he romped past current Irish international Conor Nolan from Dublin in the quarters before overcoming Clive Carthy in a tense semi, Carthy had put out No2 seed Abdul Wuroala from Nigeria in a controversial five setter to reach this stage. In the final 12 times Ulster champion Dennison had the backing of the partisan crowd but that was not enough as he too fell to the wizardry of Hilton although he did not give the former English international an easy passage at times.

    The ladies singles final was definitely the match of the day as the nimble Marketa Myskova from the Czech Republic used all her defensive skills and swiftness of movement to try a quell the lightning fast attacks of the popular Na Liu from Belfasts Glenburn club in an exhibition of table tennis at its very best. The marvellous Liu had won the title for the past three years and simply refused to relinquish it as she sent relentless barrages of forehand smashes down both wings and in the end the brilliant defender Myskova could not keep the Chinese maestro at bay any longer and she took a deserved 3-1 victory to the delight of the large gallery who gave a standing ovation to both players as they left the arena.

    The open doubles saw Liu and her mentor Jing Yi Gao cause a total sensation when they humbled a number of quality mens pairings to take an historic victory in this class including Carthy and Wuraola, Ning and John Murphy and then to cap it all they beat Hilton and Bowen in the final which ended the former Saarbrucken player's hopes of a treble. There were also Ulster winners in the class three and girls singles categories with Monaghan's Leroy Carlton and Amanda Mogey from Carnmoney scoring notable successes.

    Irish National Veterans Table Tennis championships
    By Peter Clarke Jeremy Lappin was in devastating form when he did the treble at the Irish National Veterans Table Tennis championships in Lisnaskea at the weekend. The versatile Fermanagh player was also chief organiser of the event and the Castle Park Leisure Centre facility he chose for this venture proved to be a real winner with competitors too as it is one of the best venues for table tennis in Ireland.

    The Lakelands attacker left his opponents shell shocked with the ferocity and speed of his topspin game on Saturday, culminating in a brace of fine wins over Glenburn captain Norman Nabney in the 40's and 50's finals before forming a devastating alliance with his main singles adversary to beat the Anahilt pairing of Roy Copes and Peter Clarke in a thrilling doubles final.

    In the blue ribbon 40's category Jeremy had one lucky escape in the preliminary rounds when Cavan farmer Cyril Fannon led him 2-0 in sets and 9-6 in the third but his comeback was remarkable and after that he never looked back although in the final Nabney did hold a 10-8 lead in the first but let it slip and with it his chance of victory disappeared. In the 50's class the Fermanagh star took out Bangor lecturer Albert Coulter at the penultimate stage before once again defeating Nabney, this time in a close five setter in which the top blocker in Ulster Table Tennis kept Lappin at bay for long periods before finally succumbing to the relentless nature of Jeremy's venomous attacks while in the 60's class those two great combination bat specialists Roy Copes and Ussher Watson had their usual marathon encounter which revolved around who could get in first with the big forehand and in the vital fifth set it was Copes who did.

    Finally entries for this weekends Bangor Open are still flooding in with former European champion John Hilton and Nigeria's Abdul Wurarla heading the mens list while the ladies contest promises to be a real cracker with the Czech Republic's defensive ace Marketa Myskova and Wang Na Nan from China out to try to stop the recent domination of Glenburn's Na Liu in this event. Na has won the title three times in succession and with the support of her home crowd could well make it four.

    Senior Inter Provincial 2004
    By Peter Clarke
    What a weekend it was for the Ulster senior team when they grabbed gold at the inter provincial table tennis championships in Killarney where new cap 16 year old Peter Graham from Dundonald enjoyed a sparkling debut, Andrew Dennison came up trumps yet again for his province and the Chinese duo of Jing Yi Gao and Na Liu gave the spectators an exhibition of oriental table tennis at its very best but their was disappointment for the veterans and under 21 squads who had to be content with bronzes in their respective categories.

    In the blue ribbon senior competition Leinster and Ulster made short work of their Connaught and Munster counterparts which set up a winner takes all showdown between these two great rivals. Four of the Leinster team had just returned from the world championships in Qatar so were at the very top of their game but the Ulster stars were totally on fire as well and this contest produced the best attacking table tennis to be seen in these championships for many years. 35 year old Andrew Dennison may have been the elder statesman of the team, with 16 inter-pro caps to his credit, but the 12 times Ulster champion looked hungry when he beat the highly rated Damian Lynch with ruthless precision to set the wheels in motion. An inspired Tara Fusco bravely took the game to Gao and Liu but despite her spirited efforts the oriental duo simply moved up another gear when they had to. Glenburn's Peter Graham showed tremendous maturity when playing the classy duo of Conor Nolan and John Murphy and beat both deuce in fifth set thrillers. Graham had the Ulster contingent leaping for joy when he crashed a flashing forehand past the talented lefthander Nolan to gain the magical sixth win for Ulster which gave them the title.

    The Ulster under 21 team was made up in its entirety of players from Fermanagh, Monaghan and Tyrone which was a great scoop for table tennis west of the Bann where the sport is hugely popular. Mervyn Funston, Stuart Armstrong, Leroy Carlton, Amanda Magee and Ruth Whittaker all played with great enthusiasm and certainly delighted NPC Ted Mahaffy when they defeated Munster and gave both Leinster and Connaught a good scare. If this team can stay together for next year then there is certainly the potential to win gold next time out but it will take a mighty effort. Leroy Carlton had five singles wins out of six, the one he lost was against Leinster's Dave McNeill who had led right through the fifth set. Mervyn Funston had four, Amanda Magee two and Stuart Armstrong and Ruth Whittaker one a piece. Of course Armstrong and Funston scored vital doubles win against Munster which gave the team victory over the host province.

    Meanwhile the veterans team limped home after losing to both Connaught and Leinster. Friday night's narrow defeat at the hands of Connaught 5-4 was gut wrenching as the result could just as easily have went the other way. Willie Cherry scored two great successes against Karim Sabir and Keiran Burke in the match, Jenny Harrison won her singles and then she joined forces with another Fermanagh player Jeremy Lappin to take the mixed but alas that vital fifth rubber eluded them. The whitewashing of Munster by Cherry, Clarke, Lappin and Harrison on Saturday morning did little to ease the pain and although they gamely had a go at Leinster in the afternoon session one singles win by Norman Nabney over Peter McCabe and a mixed doubles success for Clarke and Harrison was all they had to show for their efforts.

    Alan Strong gets another award!
    At the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2003 held at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast last night, Alan Strong received the prestigious ĎPaddyí Patterson Award Ė for Service to Sport in recognition of his work both as a coach and administrator for Table Tennis in Ireland. The gala dinner and awards evening, which was hosted by BBC presenters Suzanne Dando and Jackie Fullerton, was attended by over 500 guests covering just about every sport played in Ireland. Alan was nominated by the Northern Ireland Sports Forum, whose chairman Ken Nixon, made the presentation to Alan. Other award winners included All Ireland Winners Peter Canavan (star of the Year) and the Tyrone team (team of the year).

    Alan was totally shocked to have won the award and in his acceptance speech paid tribute to the immense contribution table tennis has made in building cross-community relations in Northern Ireland. Modest as ever, Alan accepted the award on behalf of the Sport of Table Tennis.

    This is the second award Alan has picked up in the last month having previously received a Lifetime Achievement Award and entered into the Hall of Fame at the CoachNI, Coach of the Year Awards.

    A Lifetime Achievement Award
    Alan StrongAlan Strong was rewarded for service to Table Tennis as Ulster Branch Director of Coaching, a post he has graced for some 23 years. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award and was elected to the CoachingNI Hall of Fame at the Lucozade Sport sponsored Coach of the Year Awards at the UTV studios in Belfast on Wednesday night. Alan has been the driving force behind Table Tennis in Ulster for many years and has laid the foundation for the current resurgence of the sport in Ulster. Over the last few years he built up the Ulster Branch structure and paved the way for his great friend Jing Yi Gao who he groomed for the full time role as Director of Coaching and Development a post which she took up on 1st November.

    Alan stood down at the Ulster Branch AGM in June but is still involved in Table Tennis as he continues to mentor a number of senior players and have 3 or 4 articles a week published in the Belfast Telegraph

    Appointment of Director of Coaching and Development
    The ITTA Ulster Branch in association with the Sports Council for Northern Ireland wishes to appoint a

    Director of Coaching and Development Ulster Branch

    The successful candidate will be required to help develop, implement and manage the strategic plan of the Ulster Branch.

    The appointment will be until 31st March 2006, subject to performance and continued funding. Initial Salary will be £18,000 pa, reviewable on 31 March each year.

    Applicants should be educated to degree standard and be able to demonstrate experience in Coaching and Sports Development and a detailed knowledge of Table Tennis.

    For further details and an application form, write to the Hon Treasurer, ITTA (Ulster Branch), House of Sport, Upper Malone Road, Belfast BT9 5LA.

    The closing date for the receipt of completed applications will be 4:00 PM 30th Sept 2003

    Sam Todd Memorial Table Tennis Tournament.
    Date: Friday 20th June 2003
    Venue: Shankill Leisure Centre
    Time: 6.30-9.30pm
    Entry Fee - Under 14's - £2.00, Over 15's - £3.00
    Guaranteed 4 games minimum
    Trophies on night

    For further details Please contact Billy Boyd
    Tel 02890311455 or E,mail www.billy@shankillpartnership.com or just turn up on the night, everyone very welcome!

    Keith KnoxKeith Knox, from Trillick and a member of Kesh Table Tennis Club recently tasted success after a magnificent performance in winning him his first Irish Under 14 title at the Irish Junior ranking tournament in Cork at the last Irish Junior Ranking of the season. Keith showed that he was one of the best Under 14s in Ireland by beating No.5 seed Patrick Guy (Belfast) in the semi-final and then No.1 seed Shane Dolan (Dublin) in a thrilling and nail-biting five setter in which he won 11-8 in the fifth set. Needless to say Keith played his best Table Tennis ever, as his concentration and total approach to his matches was excellent.

    Keith's brilliant performance continued through to the Under 17 event in which he beat one of Fermanagh's top Under 17 players Wayne Crawford in the Last 16 and went through to play No.2 seed Conor Fahy (Dublin). This was another epic match, which also went to the fifth set, and Keith was narrowly defeated by the very talented and experienced Irish International. Keith then progressed through to the 5th-8th place play-offs, where he met the No.4 seed Killian Healy (Cork) who proved a very awkward player to attack and his defencive style proved to difficult for Keith. Keith then had to play for 7th-8th play-off and defeated Jonathan Ray (Dublin) ( the No3 seed @ U14 level ), to finish 7th in the Under 17 event.

    A number of National Coaches were very complimentary about Keith's success and he has certainly pushed himself firmly into contention for the Irish Squad to play at the European Championships in Yugoslavia during the summer. Keith is now off to Belgium to play in the International Youth Cup in Hasselt in June.

    The Reggie Duncan Memorial Junior Tournament
    The annual Reggie Duncan Memorial Junior Tournament took place in Kesh Community Centre recently. Once again it was well supported by all clubs within the Fermanagh League. It was just a pity it coincided with the Inter-Provincial Tournament in Belfast on the same date and therefore some of the cream of Fermanagh were representing Ulster on the same day. It did also give opportunities to others to show their competitive spirit and abilities on the table. The Kesh Club which organised the tournament had decided to introduce a new category for juniors ie U10 Boys and U10 Girls to allow those in their early years to show their potential and introduce a competitive edge to the future of table tennis in the county.

    With now eight categories available, U10, U12, U14 and U17 Boys and Girls there was a large entry of 94 and play commenced at 2.00pm and finished at 9.30pm with group stages leading to knockout events, culminating in the finals.

    In the U10 category there was a lot of entertaining games with both boys and girls finals being close encounters. Ivan Mayne overcame his brother Andrew in a tense shoot-out winning in 5 sets, Charlene Knox of Kesh's own club beat Ruth Trimble from Clogher in 4 sets only just winning 12-10 in the fourth.

    In the U12 category Ruth Trimble again reached the final only to be beaten by a strong Gillian Alford from Newbliss, in the boys final Thomas Mayne comprehensively beat an up and coming Keith Clarke from Clogher in 3 straight sets.

    In the U14 category Grant Ellis of Kesh regained his U14 title by defeating Thomas Mayne only just in 5 sets, Jayne Irvine of Clogher beat a surprise finalist Rachel McConkey of Newbliss to win her first Reggie Duncan Tournament category.

    U17 Boys Winner, Leroy Carleton The U17 boys category proved to be the most intriguing of the days play. Leroy Carleton just returning from injury and the reigning champion had strong opposition from Mervyn Funston, Gervis Knox and Jordan Ellis. In the eventual semi-final line up Carleton overcame Funston and Knox despite being two sets down against Ellis regained his composure to meet Carleton in the final.

    The final over seven sets based on European Rules was a close encounter with Carleton playing his all-round game of defence/attack, Knox using his top-spin backhands and forehands at times forced Carleton almost out of the hall. Carleton eventually won in 5 sets with scores 11-8, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7 and 13-11 and therefore retained his title for another 12 months.

    U17 Girls Winner Ruth WhittakerThe U17 girls category was won by Ruth Whittaker, the innaugural winner in 2001, with Amanda Magee on Provincial Duty she disposed of her Clogher team mate Jayne Irvine 11-5,5-11,11-5 and 11-9.

    This tournament has once again proved to be a huge success and the Kesh Club would like to thank all the participants along with the parents and helpers who ferried the children to and from the tournament.

    The National Boys Brigade Table Tennis Competition.
    The 2nd Enniskillen BB Company table tennis team recently won the Irish Section of the National Boys Brigade Table Tennis Competition The team consisting of Wayne Crawford, Jordan Ellis and Grant Ellis had several matches to play in the knockout competition. They travelled to Ballymena, Portadown and also entertained a team from Dublin on their way to the Irish Section final.

    Boys BrigadeIn the final they met a team from the 39th Company in Belfast, the reigning Irish Champions, they overcame their opponents quite easily to win the title for the second time in three years.

    The team missed out on last year's competition because of the sudden death of their BB officer and table tennis coach Sandy Fulton, so it was fitting that they regained the title this year.

    The boys now go on to represent Ireland at the BB United Kingdom National Championships to be held in Bristol this forthcoming weekend.

    Ulster Mini Prix & Charity TT Tournament
    Ulster Mini Prix & Charity TT Tournament at Gelnburn - organised by Ulster Veteran player, Peter Clarke, raising over £1000 for 'Friends of Montgomery House' Cancer fund:

    Mini Prix Final Josh Boyd bt Wayne Crawford -5, 11, 5, -13, 7;
    3/4 Playoff: Ivan Jeffers bt David Kyle 8, -8, 9, -9, 6
    Ulster Hradbat Champs: David Kyle bt Jeremy Lappin -4, 6, 7, 7
    Open Doubles: Naiu/Danielle Douglas bt Gillian Richardson/Barry Dickson 7, -8, 8, -6, 8

    Ulster's titanic battle for gold
    ULSTER stand at the threshhold of two gold medals at the Interprovincial table tennis Championships in Dublin but had it all to play for against champions Leinster.

    Jonny Cowan and Jing Yi Gao opened with convincing victories over Damien Lynch and Sabrina Conway to go into a 2-0 lead over the host province, but Leinster battled back to lead 3-2.

    Andrew Dennison lost 11-9 in the fifth set to Conor Nolan, Michelle McGreevy went down in four sets to Tara Bollard and then Daryl Strong lost out to John Bowe.

    A Leinster veteran side lead Ulster 3-2 but Jenny Harrison spared the Ulster blushes with a victory over Teresa Deveney and then the Glenburn partnership of Norman Nabney and Willy Cherry recovered to defeat Dave Pemberton and Peter McCabe.

    Meanwhile the Ulster Under 21s side were locked in battle with Leinster having earlier gone down to Munster.

    Table tennis: Ulster teams far too strong 1st Day
    ULSTER senior and veteran teams got off to a flying start at the inter-provincial championships in Dublin with resounding victories over Munster.

    Daryl Strong was the hero of the senior team, surviving one match-point before beating Munster number one Mark White 3-2.

    Jonny Cowan returned home to provide a clean sheet, joining Andrew Dennison, Jing Yi Gao and Michelle McGreevy in the 11-0 victory.

    Willie Cherry made his debut for the Ulster veterans and also recorded a clean sheet as Ted Mahaffy's veteran team won 9-0 over Munster.

    Norman Nabney battled hard to defeat Philip Shaw in the crucial opening encounter while Peter Clarke and Jenny Harrison were in top form in the Ulster win.

    In contrast Munster defeated Ulster 9-2 in the under-21 encounter despite a brilliant win by Stuart Armstrong (Fermanagh) over the opposing No 1 Terry Conroy.

    Ruth Whittaker and Haylet Glover made their debut for the under-21 side, teaming up with Mervyn Funston and Dane Smith under the joint captaincy of Na Liu and Jim Elliott.

    Leinster took a vital 5-3 win over Connacht in the opening veteran round while champions Leinster easily defeated Connacht in the opening senior match.

    Western set for shootout
    MANY of Ulster's brightest young table tennis stars will be on show at the Golden Cow Youth Games in the Belfast Tennis Centre tomorrow when the Western squad defends its team trophy from last year.

    Jim Elliott will call upon several Fermanagh coaches to tutor his young squad.

    However, it is likely that the North Eastern and Belfast squads will challenge the Western supremacy with Andrew Dennison and Herbie Ross at the helms of these groups.

    William Trimble steps up as senior coach to the Southern squad

    All go for top duo
    JOSH Boyd and Peter Graham continue their hectic schedule this weekend by representing Ireland at the Lancashire Junior 3 Star tournament.

    Boyd, from Bangor, has had a topsy turvy season, following Ulster's disappointing silver medal at the Junior Boys' Interprovincial event at Ballina but deserves this elevation onto an Irish Select side alongside Ross Cullen, Ed Wrynn, Jonothan Ray, Shane Dolan and, of course, Graham.

    Graham, indeed, was extremely disappointed when his Ulster Cadet side lost out by the narrowest of margins to champions Leinster at the Cadet Interpros.

    Danielle Douglas and her Glenburn colleagues, Claire Nelson and Amy Kerr, provided a gold star performance at the Interprovincials to add to Ulster's four silver medals.

    Meanwhile, Peter Clarke is back in action as tournament organiser for a new May Day tournament at Downpatrick and has included an invitation singles for Ulster top ten players.

    Clarke will receive entries to his tournament which will support the Friends of Montgomery House charity, by telephoning 02892 682767.

    Young Danielle steals the show
    TEN-year-old Danielle Douglas stole the show at the Ulster Junior Championships with a a pair of singles titles.

    The Lisnasharragh Primary pupil, tutored by Ging Yi Gao, easily won the U-12 title and then battled through five sets to oust Irish number one Amy Tobin (Dublin) in the Cadet girls five-set final.

    Peter Graham added Ulster's third gold by claiming a further Irish Cadet honour, setting him head and shoulders above the U-14 opposition.

    Patrick Guy (Inchmarlo) edged his way into the U-12 boy's final, only losing out in five sets to Michael O'Flynn with his Glenburn colleague, David Budden, in third spot.

    Ulster took three other bronze medals as it prepares for the inter-provincial series at Ballina next weekend with Amanda Moggey (Junior Girls), Jervis Knox (Cadet Boys) and Claire Nelson (U-12 Girls) proving their worth.

    Connor Mackle led the AIB Bank side to the inter-bank men's team title, teaming with Ossie Copes, Dave Gibbons and Alan Seymour, to retain the trophy.

    Bank of Ireland, fielding Irish International, Michelle McGreevy, returned home as the most successful business, winning both women's and mixed team titles.

    Results: Junior boys: 1, C Nolan; 2, C Byrne; 3, J Murphy; 4, S Brady.

    Cadet boys: 1, P Graham; 2, E Wrynn; 3, G Knox; 4, J Ray.

    U-12 boys: 1, M O'Flynn; 2, P Guy; 3, D Budden; 4, N McDonnell.

    Junior girls: 1, S Conway; 2, L O'Sullivan; 3, A Moggey; 4, R O'Connor.

    Cadet girls: 1, D Douglas; 2, A Tobin; 3, A Shorten; 4, L Healey.

    U-12 girls: 1, D Douglas; 2, C Nolan; 3, C Nelson; 4, J Irvine.

    Banking on Mackle
    CONOR Mackle is back in the centre of table tennis organisation at Queen's University today, organising the Inter-Bank Champion- ships.

    Mackle has been the centre-pin of the Queen's club for many years, jubiliant at the success of his senior team's success in winning the Belfast Premier Division.

    He will feature on the reigning men's champion AIB side today, alongside Ossie Copes, Dave Gibbons and Alan Seymour.

    However, AIB will need to be in top form to stay ahead of the Northern Bank who are able to field seasoned league players, Roy Copes and Stephen Bloomfield.

    Bank of Ireland enter the event as women's champions and have been able to add Irish international Michelle McGreevy (pictured left), to their side and must remain favourites to grab further honours.

    Meanwhile, Ulster's junior squad are in action at the Valley leisure centre in the Ulster Junior Open with junior coach Jing Yi Gao keen that her team members are well prepared for the Junior Inter-provincial Series at Ballina next weekend.

    Northern Ireland Commonwealth tabletennis team manager Alan Strong has teamed up with Billy Stewart (Chef de Mission) and Jack Monaghan (team manager) to visit the Commonwealth Games venues in Manchester, as part of the preparation for the Commonwealth 2002 Games.

    Table Tennis: Knox boys fly the flag
    THE Knox brothers, Gervis and Keith, from Trillick, epitomise the vastly improved performance of Fermanagh table tennis players after being named in a group of six from the region to represent Ulster at the junior inter-provincial championships in Mayo on April 27.

    The Fermanagh strength in the Ulster squads is challenged by the Belfast club Glenburn who has a representative number of five, including Irish number one cadet Peter Graham and Irish U-12 champion Danielle Douglas.

    The Ulster party, managed by Noel Smith (Cavan) and coached by Jing Yi Gao, is hopeful of at least two gold medals to repeat its 2001 performance but also has its sights set on taking the overall Interprovincial Shield.

    Ulster party - Junior Boys: J Boyd (Bangor), L Carleton (Fermanagh), S Brady and D Smith (both Cavan).

    Cadet Boys: P Graham (Glenburn), D Stephens (Fermanagh), I Jones (Bangor), G Knox (Fermanagh).

    U-12 Boys: D Budden and P Guy (both Glenburn), I Knox (Fermanagh).

    Junior Girls: Amanda and Abigail Mogey (both Carnmoney), F Gibson (Bangor), A Magee (Fermanagh).

    Cadet Girls: R Corrish (Carnmoney), R Walker (Antrim), O Smith (Cavan).

    U-12 Girls: D Douglas and C Nelson (both Glenburn), C Trimble (Fermanagh).

    Table Tennis: Irish travel far to face locals
    IRELAND travel all the way to Zagreb in Croatia on Friday for the European championships ... to face local rivals Scotland and Wales in the men's Division Two opening group!

    Irish champion Andrew Dennison and Ulster champion Daryl Strong team up with Irish national coach Colum Slevin and surprise new cap John Bowe (Dublin) for the top quality competition.

    Scotland have been weakened by the absence of its national No.1 Euan Walker.

    Ireland would hope to defeat Scotland but will need to be in top form, depending on Slevin's vast experience, to challenge the Welsh side led by Newtownabbey Grand Prix men's champion Ryan Jenkins.

    Germany heads the seeding list for both men's and women's team events.

    Andrew Dennison will need to be in top form this weekend and well rested as he plays a vital League match for Glenburn on Thursday before catching an early morning flight from Dublin en route to Zagreb, and this encounter with Annahilt requires the East Belfast champions to record a 10-0 victory in order for them to draw level with Queen's.

    Slevin returns to Ulster
    COLUM Slevin returns to Ulster in his new role as Irish table tennis coach this weekend and will oversee training and competition for his European Championship National side.

    Slevin rose to fame as a 14-year-old starlet from Stillorgan, Dublin and soon moved on to a prolific professional career, playing in the German Bundesleague, and now in the twilight years of his career practises as a physiotherapist in Germany.

    His appointment as Irish National coach was heralded as an innovative move and he takes in the Easter Challenge at Sixmile Leisure Centre, Ballyclare on Saturday.

    Leading Irish player, Brian Fitzgerald, has opted out of both the European Championships in Croatia and the Easter tournament due to French League commitments leaving the door open for a repeat of the Irish Nationals final when Sixmile manager, Andrew Dennison, took the title ahead of his Ulster partner Daryl Strong.

    Most of the Irish leading players will be in action at the Ballyclare venue on Saturday while Ulster's two Junior proteges, Peter Graham and Josh Boyd, have been given wild card entries into the elaborate round robin competition.

    Omagh's Daryl Strong followed up his recent Ulster Senior Championship Belfast & District League Championship successes by winning the Men's Singles title at the prestigious Fermanagh Open Championships held at the Lakeland Forum, Enniskeane, on last Sunday. Daryl, Irish No.3, easily beat Gloucestershire based Ulster player, Brian McRandal, in the quarterfinal 11/4, 11/4, 11/6. In the semi-final, he came up against Chinese player, Patrick Lynn, currently in Dublin and a surprise semi-finalist. Lynn was considered to be a difficult opponent for Daryl. However, after a first set, which Daryl struggled to get to grips with the Chinese player's high quality serving technique, Daryl raised his game to win the next 3 sets 11/6, 11/9, 11/6.

    In the final, Daryl met Irish and Ulster team-mate, Andrew Dennison, ranked No.2 in the country. After Daryl's success over Dennison in the recent Ulster Senior Championships Andrew was undoubtedly keen to reverse that result and win the final. What a final and titanic struggle it proved to be between two excellent exponents of the modern top spin game. Andrew won the first set 11/7 but after that the next four sets were evenly contested. Despite having a good lead in the 5th and final set, Daryl had to fight hard to win 12/10. The final result was: D. Strong beat A. Dennison 7/11, 9/11, 11/9, 11/9, 12/10.

    In the men's Doubles, Daryl and his Queen's team-mate, Philip Wallace, seeded No.1, were surprisingly beaten in the semi-final by Chinese pair, Patrick Lynn and Peter Graham (Belfast).


    The Welsh champion and no.1 Ryan Jenkins and Chinese student Liu Na lifted the menís and womenís open singles at the Butterfly Grand Prix held at Newtownabbey, County Antrim over the weekend. The Newtownabbey event, which has incorporated the Bangor Open, is the first tournament in Northern Ireland to be included in the Butterfly Grand Prix and attracted players from all over Britain and Ireland, as well as from Europe and Asia.

    Teresa Delvaney Veteran ChampionAnthony Glain (France)Gavin Rumgay U21 ChampionJing Yi Goa & Liu Na  (Ladies Doubles Finalists. Liu Na Ladies Singles Champion)

    Jenkins, aged 23 and seeded 2, was the only player who was able to rally consistently with former England & Commonwealth champion Alan Cooke, outgunning the no.1 seed from Chesterfield, Derbyshire 6-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-4 in the menís final. However, after dispatching Hungarian Gergely Urban 10-12, 11-6, 11-5, 11-8 in the quarters, he was fortunate to survive two match points in the 4th game whilst scraping through his semi-final clash with Jason Sugrue (Middlesex), 7-11, 8-11, 11-5, 12-10, 11-7. 22 year old Sugrue from Kingsbury, North West London, who is a stalwart of British League champion club London Progress, had caused the shock of the championships when he defeated Scottish and Home Countries champion Euan Walker in an epic 5-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9 quarter-final match. Sugrue was so sharp that he is apparently exploring whether he is eligible to play for Ireland Ė his parents are of Irish origin although he has previously represented England juniors.

    Liu Na (China) Ladies Singles ChampionRyan Jenkins (Wales) Mens Champion

    In his half of the draw Alan Cooke, 35, had comfortable wins over Scottish junior no.1/ senior no.2 Gavin Rumgay (11-5, 11-6, 11-9), and the former Cameroon international who is currently studying at Middlesex University, Marco Essomba (11-3, 11-5, 11-7) to reach the final and professed not to be too disappointed at not winning: ďThe top young players are practising all the time and making progress, so I feel happy if I can still beat them. And Ryan (Jenkins) is one of those players who can pull out the extra when it matters.Ē

    18 year old Liu Na, who is studying English at Belfast Institute, was a bit too fast for English womenís champion Nicola Deaton (Chesterfield, Derbyshire), to pick up her second Butterfly Grand Prix singles title (her first was at Newcastle) with her 11-8, 11-6, 11-9 victory. 17 year old Louise Durrant (Worksop, Nottinghamshire), looked quite impressive against Liu in her 5-11, 10-12, 9-11 semi-final encounter (and in fact had taken a game off her in their under 21 womenís singles final, before losing 7-1, 11-9, 5-11, 4-11) and in the round before gained a hard fought 11-4, 11-6, 10-12, 6-11, 11-9 victory over Ulsterís Andrea Glover.

    Nicola Deaton, who his finding her Psychology studies at Nottingham University demanding, had a comfortable 11-5, 11-8, 11-5 quarter-final win against Hungarian student Dorks Nagy, but in the semi-finals looked decidedly shaky against another Hungarian, a fired-up Barbara Kiss, who is studying at South Bank University, before fighting through 3 match points against her to gain the 10-12, 11-6, 11-7, 7-11, 12-10 verdict.

    Alan Cooke and Ryan Jenkins combined to easily lift the menís doubles 11-3, 11-3, 11-5 over London Progress pair Marco Essomba & Jason Sugrue. In an excellent womenís doubles final Nicola Deaton and Louise Durrant only just pipped Liu Na and Chinese Ulster coach Jing Yi Gao 14-12, 8-11, 11-8, 9-11, 12-10.

    Brian Fitzgerald Band 1 Singles WinnerLinda Mountjoy Runner-Up Band 1Linda O'Sullivan

    Irish No.1 Brian Fitzgerald had an excellent tournament with a victory in five set in the Band One Final. Fitzgerald has dominated the domestic scene this season and he proved his abilities with a final win against in an exciting match against Niall Cameron (Scotland) 7-11, 13-11, 13-11, 6-11, 11-8.

    Finals Results:

    Menís singles (from semi-finals): Alan Cooke (Derbys) bt Marco Essomba (Surrey) 11-3, 11-5, 11-7. Ryan Jenkins (Wales) bt Jason Sugrue (Middlesex).

    Final: Ryan Jenkins (Wales) bt Alan Cooke (Derbys) 6-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-4.

    Womenís singles (from semi-finals): Liu Na (China) bt Louise Durrant (Notts) 11-5, 12-10, 11-9. Nicola Deaton (Derbys) bt Barbara Kiss (Herts) 10-12, 11-6, 11-7, 7-11, 12-10.

    Final: Liu Na (China) bt Nicola Deaton (Derbys) 11-8, 11-6, 11-9.

    Menís doubles: Alan Cooke (Derbys)/Ryan Jenkins (Wales) bt Marco Essomba (Surrey)/Jason Sugrue (Middlesex) 11-3, 11-3, 11-5.

    Womenís doubles: Nicola Deaton (Derbys)/Louise Durrant (Notts) bt Liu Na (China)/Jing Yi Gao (Ulster) 14-12, 8-11, 11-8, 9-11, 12-10.

    Under 21 menís singles: Gavin Rumgay (Scotland) bt Anthony Glain (France) 11-7, 11-8, 11-4.

    Under 21 womenís singles: Liu Na (China) bt Louise Durrant (Notts) 11-7, 9-11, 11-5, 11-4.

    Veteran menís singles: Jimmy Robinson (Antrim) bt Trevor Campbell (Essex) 11-8, 11-4, 9-11, 11-5.

    Veteran womenís singles: Teresa Devaney (Ireland) bt Jane Durham (Cleveland) 7-11, 11-9, 11-5, 2-11, 11-8.

    Junior singles: Gavin Rumgay (Scotland) bt Nicol Craig (Scotland) 11-2, 11-6, 11-3.

    Menís band 1 singles: Brian Fitzgerald (Ireland) bt Niall Cameron (Scotland) 7-11, 13-11, 13-11, 6-11, 11-8.

    Menís band 3 singles: Brian McRandall (Gloucs) bt Roy Norton (Worcs) 13-11, 11-5, 12-10.

    Menís band 5 singles: Anthony Glain (France) bt John Murphy (Ireland) 11-4, 11-9, 11-9.

    Womenís band 1 singles: Jane Durham (Cleveland) bt Linda Mountjoy (Ireland) 11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 11-6.

    County Umpire Course - Venue: Valley Leisure Centre, Newtownabbey
    Date & Time: Saturday 1 December 2001;
    Session 1 - 10.30 -13.30; Session 2 - 14.30-17.30;
    Assessment will be held during Butterfly Super Grand Prix at Newtownabbey on 4/5 January 2002
    Award: Irish Provincial Award (equivalent to ETTA County Umpires Award)
    Tutor: Richard Scrutton (England) - International Referee & Umpire's Tutor
    Applicants should be:
    a. Over 16 years;
    b. have working knowledge of competition Table Tennis;
    c. be committed to contributing to ITTA Ltd Umpire provision in next 3 years;
    d. be available to umpire at major events

    Cost: £5 per head, with substantial support from ITTA Ltd, including copy of ITTF Rules

    Applications to Miss Jing Yi Gao (Table Tennis) at House of Sport, Upper Malone Road, Belfast BT9 5LA, no later than 29 November 2001 Entries can also be placed by Email to wa.strong@ulst.ac.uk

    4 Chinese Coaches/Players will visit Ulster in August 2001 to take a number of Caching Sessions across the province. To become involved, gain information or offer an invite to your area, contact Jing Yi, Gilbert Graham or Herbie Ross

    "Ken in Strong Lineup" was the headline in the Belfast Telegraph Table Tennis article on 9 June 2001 following the Ulster AGM. This headline made 3 significant and different points for all Table Tennis enthusiasts:
    Table Tennis in Ulster owes a 'debt of gratitude' to Kenneth C Strong as he steps up from Chairman to the Honorary role of Ulster President after over 15 years in the engine-room of Ulster Administration (see tribute below)
    The AGM was a lively event with a wealth of 'lively and stimulating debate', a range of Leagues represented and a selection of new post-holders, especially with Gilbert Graham FCA stepping into the leadership role as Chairman and Tom Heasley being elected as Affiliations Officer, after Stewart Reilly's retirement
    Table Tennis depends on the media to get it's message out, so the regular presence in the leading daily is essential to developing a public profile and for informing the TT Family; But, don't forget this Newsheet with 5 issues in 00/01

    ITTA (Ulster Branch) Ltd : Executive Committee (2001/2002)
    President: K Strong; Chairman: G Graham; Hon Secretary: M Guy; Treasurer: Dr A Parke; Affiliations Officer: T Heasley; Schools' Secretary: T Phillips; Director of Coaching: WA Strong; Hon Auditor: RM Thompson; PRO: WA Strong; Committee: J Thompson, M Brady, P Clarke, D Coates, N Ellis, T Mahaffy, I Mogey, C Morrison, N Nabney, V O'Regan, S Reilly, N Smith, P Wallace, A Wright

    Ken Strong & Stewrt Reilly have both served Ulster Table Tennis with distinction and commitment over many years. Strong, starting his career in Trillick, Co. Tyrone, was a dogged defensive player who broke the hearts of many leading players, with a string of successes to show for his efforts. He graduated to Ulster & Irish Coaching and Captaincy roles in the early 80's holding National posts for over 20 years. Reilly was a protegy from Limavady who had the distinction of gaining Ulster & Irish Senior honours in the presence of the famous trio of Langan, Caffrey & Thompson. He held several Admin posts including Belfast County Chairman and Ulster Affiliations Officer, Irish Vice-President anddelivered over 100 Coaching courses across Ulster. Both of these "unsung heroes" were awarded the Joe Veselsky Trophy for 'services to Table Tennis in Ireland'

    Coaching Courses at Level 0 (Initiator Award) and Level 1 are available for groups of 8+ players who wish to develop the art of Coaching, want to contribute to the future of Table Tennis and have 'time & patience' to work on a regular weekly basis with stars of the future

    All Leagues are encouraged to arrange a Coaching Audit - to establish levels & activity of existing Coaches, simulate all Coaches into the NCTC system and to identify future Caoch Education needs

    Contact Alan Strong (Director of Coaching) for fuller details and to arrange suitable times

    TABLE TENNIS NEWSHEETS - What do you think of them? What should they contain; Could you write 70-100 words for 1 of the 6 issues? Where are the League Details?
    For the record, in 2000/2001, the 6 issues covered:

  • September 2000: Equipment change: Tianjin Team Visit; List of Awards; Calendar
  • October 2000: Eddie Limberg Obituary; Press Clipping selection
  • November 2000: Coaching makes a Difference; Press Communications; Web pages
  • January 2001: Commonwealth Championship Plans; Coaching Courses; Andrea in France v April 2001: Frank Spalding death; Jonny - China; Foot & Mouth; Stannifer/Estonville Sponsorship

    Thumb-nail sketch of activity since Easter:
  • N Irealnd Squad limp home from India, after severe 'stomach and mosquito' problems; Women take 8th spot, Men in 13th place; Cowan collapses with 2-0 lead; Heasley learns: "Need to go, BUT what a nightmare!"
  • J Cowan, M McGreevy & A Glover take their 'bites' to Osaka, Japan for record-entry Worlds: China take clean-sweep of titles; Ireland in 51 after promotion, Women in 53
  • Golden Cow Youth Games prove a "roaring success"; TT "milked it up"; "what a Tail!"
  • Western (36pts) take Team Title, ahead of N East (34) & S East (29); Junior Category: 1 S East(21), 2 N East(20) 3 West(19) 4 Southern(10) 5. B'fast (0) Cadet Category: 1 Belfast (24) 2 West (17) 3 N East (14) S East (8) 5 Southern (7)
  • Bangor Open was "outstanding success" with an unprecedented array of international players; Alan Cooke (England)) & Lu Na (China) won the top honours but ALL credit goes to Vincent O'Regan (Tournament Director) & his Team for the excellent event!
  • Foot & Mouth continued to play havoc with the Calendar, with Sen & Junior Inter-Pros being put off, but the Stannifer Ulster Junior Open was staged with Ulster successes
  • Ulster Juniors gained national selection recognition: P Guy (Home Countries Primary Schools) P Graham & J Boyd (Belgian Youth Event), S Brady & P Graham (European Youth Champs - Italy), Am Mogey, S Brady, P Graham(Home Countries Jun & Cadet)
  • Stiga sponsors Commonwealth Squad and Inter-Provincial Teams

    (agreed at ITTF Meetings @ Worlds in May 2001) :
    Abbreviated summary
    Game : up to 11 pts or by 2 pt lead (at 10-all)
    Match: Best of 'any odd number of games' - popularily taken as 5 games
    Serving: Change service after each 2 pts; change ends in final game when 1 player has 5 pts
    Expedite System: Intro after 10 mins in 1 game; not after 9 -all; continues to end of match
    Intervals: 1 min between successive games; brief stop after 6 pts & 'change of end' in final game All changes have been endorsed by Ulster for Tournaments AND Leagues are advised to adopt

    Ulster Senior Quartet of Jonny Cowan, Andrea Glover, Daryl Strong & Andrew Dennison share an impressive Grant of over £30,000 to assist with preparation for the Commonwealth Games at Manchester in August 2002. Michelle McGreevy also hopes to gain support

    Table Tennis Sponsors Sought! - You are invited to search out potential sponsors to cover Events, Clothing, Travel, Equipment. This could be for your Club, League or Ulster event. Contact Table Tennis Office for details of Publicity Opportunities for Sponsors

    Ulster Calendar will be issued in August 2001; it is hoped to include the 2001 Irish National Champs in the new season (Foot & Mouth casualty) as well as more Snr. Graded events and Jnr. Ranking events outside Belfast

    Stop Press No. 1: 3 or 4 Chinese Players will visit Ulster in the Summer. Contact Herbie Ross for Coaching arrangements
    Stop Press No. 2: Top English players Nicola Deaton & Alan Cooke will play at the Bangor Open on 24 March 2001

    Coaching Courses are currently being held as follows: Belfast - Level 1 for 7 Coaches (Nov 2000 - Jan 2001); Fermanagh - Level 1 for 14 Coaches (Dec 2000 - Jan 2001); Strabane - Level 0 for 8 coaches (Nov 2000 - Feb 2001); Belfast - Level 0 for 16 Coaches (Dec 2000 - Feb 2001)
    Future Courses are planned: Cavan - Level 1; Belfast - Level 1; Fermanagh - Level 1
    For details of Future Courses, contact Alan Strong (Director of Coaching)
    Alan Strong has been approved as an accredited NCTC Coach Tutor, for delivery of TT Courses
    5 Regional Schools of Sport, via Education &Library Boards, are being set up with Coach Coordination by Herbie Ross (Belfast); Jimmy Robinson (Southern); Malcolm Guy (S East); Andrew Dennison (N East); Jim Elliott (West)
    Herbie Ross was awarded one of the 6 UTV Coach of the Year Awards in Dec., 2000 for his contributions in Ulster, Glenburn, Belfast Cross-community scheme over 20 years - Congratulations!

    Affiliation Fees must be finalised with Dr Alex Parke (Treasurer) no later than 30 January; failure to sort this out could result in non-selection of players, etc

    A recent grant from the Talented Junior Athlete Lottery Programme will assist with an innovative "Provision of Elite Table Tennis" [POETT} for 10 Junior players

    All are invited to a 'Night at the Races' in Morrison's, Dublin Road on Fri., 31 March 2001 to assist with Fund-Raising for the Commonwealth Squad. For further information, contact Tom Heasley at 02890 966196 or 07733 238251

    15th Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships
    Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium, New Delhi, India on 14-20 April 2001; should attract 20 nations, after success of the 14th Champs. in Singapore. We plan to send full teams, with final selection in late January. Defending Men's Champ, Matthew Syed (Eng) will not attend as he is the Labour Party candidate for Wokingham and will be preparing for the possible Election in Spring 2001

    STIGA Irish Junior Ranking, Belfast:
    John Murphy(2) & Sean Brady(1)What you looking at?

    New Ulster Junior Rankings.

    Table-tennis: Ulster's trio shine
    THREE Ulster juniors stamped their authority on the Stiga Irish Junior ranking event at the Queen's PE Centre. And in doing so, they showed that Ulster is on its way back in the bid for Irish supremacy. Sean Brady from Cavan came home by the narrowest of margins to claim the junior boys' title and then Ian Jones from Bangor proved that he is capable of taking the Irish U-12 end-of-season title with a convincing victory over Noel McDonnell at Queen's PE Centre.
    Peter Graham completed the hat-trick by grabbing the Irish ranking Cadet title to follow on from his under-12 supremacy last season.
    He pulled out all the stops to recover from a one set deficit to easily defeat Killian Healey (Cork).
    Linda O'Sullivan, also from Cork, won the junior girls' title, in the absence of Ulster's Allison Parke (Ballymena) who was unable to play.

    Tribute to Edward (Eddie) K Limberg
    Died Monday 25 October 2000

    An Appreciation of Eddie Limberg
    The following snapshot details can hardly play full credit to the character, courtesy and contribution of Eddie for the last 50 years, as thoughts and sentiments are raw and confused at his unexpected death, having presided, yet again, over a major sporting event - the Home Countries Veteran Championships in Dublin on 16/17 September; much help is still needed to express his record by dates and successes:

  • Played a key role in the progress and development of Table Tennis in Newtownards, in both Ards & Glenford clubs
  • Architect and Leader of many large local events, as organiser, Honorary Referee and Benefactor
  • Key Administrator in Ulster Branch on Executive, as Chairman (approx 20 yrs) and President (approx 10 yrs)
  • Irish Management Committee member, latterly as President
  • President and advocate of British Olympic TT Federation
  • Mentor, Selector, Non-Playing Captain and Manager to at least 3 decades of Ulster & Irish Junior & Senior teams
  • Donor of trophies to all levels of Table Tennis, including Senior and Veteran Home Countries Singles titles
  • Champion for Umpires and Referees; organiser of training
  • Avid supporter and founder member of Irish Veteran TTS
  • Leader in successful bid to attract Commonwealths to NI
  • Member of NI Sports Forum
  • Story-teller extraordinaire; connoisseur of good food and wine; seasoned traveller; "friend of all"

    Tributes have been received from STTA, BOTTF (Alan Ransome), ITTA Ltd (Alex Thackaberry), Jim Ellis (Patron), SCNI, ETTA

    You are invited to send in your comments, stories, records of Mr Limberg, as we assist in tracing his family

    TRAGIC DEATH of Ulster & Irish President!

    We are deeply saddened to inform you of the tragic and untimely death of our President, Mr Eddie Limberg, who was found dead in his home in Upper Malone Road on Tuesday 26 September 2000. Eddie's funeral took place at St. Brigid's RC Church, Derryvolgie, Malone Road, Belfast on Monday 2 October, followed by Roselawn Crematorium. Table Tennis was widely represented at the funeral, including Scottish Chairman, Mr David Clifford, and Lesley Ann Harris (Scottish Veteran Association), as well as many Ulster players and administrators.

    As a mark of respect to our dear friend, this issue is dedicated primarily to Eddie and contains snippets of information about him. To present a full picture of his immense contribution to Table Tennis at home and overseas would be almost impossible as his career spanned over 50 years, and was liberally sprinkled with anecdotes, experiences and successes which add to the flavour of his colourful life and involvement.

    The Belfast Telegraph Obituary (30 Sept., 2000) heading adequately summed up the sentiments of us all: "Sport loses a great friend" Written and spoken tributes have already been paid by several international friends, and these will be recorded for posterity as time unfolds, but Eddie's contribution and character surely could not be confined to the written word as many many people will have memories that could only be fully appreciated "in the telling!"

    As opportunities and information sources arise, we will keep you informed, but time will not replace or indeed remove our memories of President Eddie Limberg" Ulster Branch Office Bearers & Executive

    U16 Community Games winners The Cavan Community Games team who won the U16 Competition was made up of Sean Brady, Peter Fitzpatrick, Sean Fitzpatrick, Ronan Flanagan and Dane Smith

    Table Tennis: Daryl, Michelle make their mark
    DARYL Strong and Michelle McGreevy each grabbed second place at the Irish Senior classification tournament in Dublin, picking up where they left off with their mixed doubles success against Tianjin Province last week.

    Daryl upset the seedings by taking out top player Brian Fitzgerald in his opening group of eight and then defeated Anthony Redmond in the semi-finals.

    Meanwhile, Ulster's other leading performer Andrew Dennison finished top of his group but went out to Fitzgerald in the crossover semi-finals with Fitzgerald, as former Irish Universities champion and current Irish No.1, reversing the tables on Strong to take top place.

    Michelle entered the women's event as favourite, having been rated No.1 in Ireland in the end of season listing, but went down 23-21 to Cork's Linda Mountjoy in the final set in the final.

    Tianjin coach Xan Liu has returned to China but his two star players, Si Wing Mu and Xiao LI, remain in Belfast and are available for personal coaching, by contacting Alan Strong or Jing Yi Gao.

    Irish Senior Classification tournament final places - Men's: 1, B Fitzgerald, 2, D Strong, 3, a Dennison; 4, A Redmond; 5, E Byrne; 6, A Monks; 7, Bowe; 8, S Spelman; 9, T Caffrey; 10, M White; 11, K Sabir; 12 T Dolan; 13, K Mackey; 14, W Cherry; 15, R Becker; 16, M McDonnell.

    Women's: 1, L Mountjoy; 2, M McGreevy; 3, T Bollard; 4, T Devenney; 5, L Long; 6, R Fox; 7, S Conway; 8, L O'Sullivan.

    Darryl Strong v Si Ying Mu Jonny Cowan v Xun Liu
    Darryl Strong v Si Ying Mu............................Jonny Cowan v Xun Liu
    For Results On Match

    GRAND PRIX WINNERS - 1999/2000.
  • Senior Men : Andrew Dennison
  • Senior Women : Jing Yi Gao
  • Veteran : Syd Beasant & Norman Nabney
  • Under 21 Men : John Coates
  • Junior Boys : Dane Smith
  • Junior Girls : Amanda Mogey
  • Cadet Boys : Peter Graham
  • Cadet Girls : Amanda Mogey
  • Under 12 Boys : Peter Graham
  • Under 12 Girls : Rebecca Corrish
  • MINI PRIX (Class II) : Phillip Wallace
  • MICRO PRIX (Class III) : Keith Gregg

    AWARDS 1999/2000

    ∑ McCormick Trophy - "Best Senior Player" - Michelle McGreevy

    ∑ BHS Junior Award - "Most Improved Junior" - Dane Smith

    ∑ RUC Community Relations Cup - "Most Improved Cadet" - Amanda Mogey

    ∑ EK Limberg Award - "Most Improved U12 Player" - Peter Graham

    ∑ Bob Greer Award - "Ulster Boy's Champion" - Keith Clements

    ∑ Dale Farm Trophy - "Grand Prix Top Score" - Peter Graham & Amanda Mogey

    Best Senior Player



    Tuesday, 22 August 2000, 7.15 pm
    Lough Moss Recreation Centre, Carryduff.


    The Tianjin team will include
    XUN LIU (once top 9 in China)
    19 year old XIAO LI (top 8 National Youth Championships)
    16 year old SI YING MU (5th in National Youth Championships)

    The Ulster team will include

    Come and enjoy a feast of top class Table Tennis
    Refreshments will be available at the Interval
    ADMISSION will be by programme price £2 (Juniors free)

    Stop Press No1

    Table Tennis has been included in the Golden Cow Ulster Youth Millennium Games, which will be staged in Belfast on 17 June 2000 5 Regions (covering Education & Library Boards), involving over 2500 competitors will compete in 17 sports, and our Squads have been allocated as follows:
    Western: Fermanagh League (David Wilson)
    North Eastern: Antrim League (Ian Mogey)
    Belfast: Belfast Youth (Herbie Ross)
    Southern: Greystones League (Percy Farrell)South Eastern: Bangor League (Morris McCullough/Malcolm Guy)

    Stop Press No2

    "40mm Table Tennis balls, weighing 2.7g, will be used at all Irish Senior and Junior Ranking Tournaments from 1 October 2000. Local tournaments and Leagues can continue to use 38mm balls", declared the ITTA Management Committee on 29 March. This was the most radical of 2 new laws and 4 new International Competition regulations introduced by the ITTF 2000 General Meeting. Ulster Branch strongly recommends that the 40mm ball is used in all domestic leagues and tournaments from 1 October. Sources will be advised to League Secretaries

    Chinese Connection No1

    16 th Bangor Open attracted 2 leading Chinese players from Liao Ning Province, and Liu Na (aged 16 years) graced the Arena by taking home both Women's Singles and Doubles titles, the latter with Ulster's Jing Yi Gao!

    Chinese Connection No2

    Three Chinese players/coaches will visit Ulster in August & September to coach and play. The visit is being arranged as part of the Belfast Youth Pilot Scheme (showing a new meaning to Cross-Community activity)

    For details on Connection No2, contact the Office or Gilbert Graham (0802 694924)

    Stop Press No3

    Other ITTF Rule changes include: Law: "A player obstructs the ball if he, or anything he wears or carries, intercepts it when it is moving towards the playing surface and has not passed beyond his end line, not having touched his court since last being struck by his opponent" (Altered wording in italics) - Prize of three 40mm balls to the person who can state this law in "plain English" Competition
    Regulation 1: Racket/Bat cannot be changed during a match unless it is accidentally damaged so badly that it cannot be used.
    Regulation 2: Shirts may have 3 Advertisements on front and sides, with total area of < 200 sq. cm [ 15 cm x 15 cm]
    Regulation 3: Referee can disqualify Coach who has been sent away from playing area
    Regulation 4: Both players must be from same Association in World Championships doubles

    COACHING UPDATE! "Good Coaching makes a Difference!"

    Calling all league players and club organisers to register interest in becoming a Qualified Coach at Level 1, as part of the Irish National Coaching Development Programme. Opportunity now exists in Ulster to be tutored and assessed at Level 1 (18 hrs course contact; 2 hrs study; 6 hrs logged experience). Students may start at the "Initiator Award" - 12 hrs. Existing Coaches will be assimilated into the new grades (Level 1, 2, 3, 4) Coaches are encouraged to attend a Refresher Course, with a new emphasis on developing Personal Skills. All qualified Coaches in Ulster can benefit from individual membership of the NI Institute of Coaching with a. Liability Insurance -coaching or officiating; b. Legal Advice; c. Information. Leagues in Ulster have been invited to carry out a Coaching Audit to find out Need of Coaches; Levels required; identification of potential coaches; possible coaches courses. For any questions on Coaching, details of new schemes, opportunity to develop at National level or be involved with Ulster Squads etc, Contact: W Alan Strong.