Cadet Boys revenge Viking raid NPC John O'Donoghue
Irish Cadets in NorwayIrish No. 1 cadet Keith Knox completed his own Viking smash and grab when he won the Norges Cup Under 14 Boys title in Kongsvinger over the weekend. It was sweet revenge for the Irish after the Norwegians had come to Dublin last February and walked away with a good few titles at the Leinster Junior Open.Keith's win and Daniel Keenan's quarter finals was complimented by Mark O'Flynn's semi final in the under 13 boys

Keith was superb in the under 14s winning many hard matches and nearly going out in the first round! He was also given a scare in the Quarter finals by Ahmed Chaer.Keith was 2 sets to one down before winning 6 and 4 in the final two sets to clinch a place in the semi. The semi final win against Espen Ronneberg Norwegian Number one was one of Keith's best. This was a thrilling 5 set encounter with Keith winning 8 in the fifth.In the final he played his aggressive attacking game to win 3-1 against Aziz Chaer. Daniel lost 3-0 in his Quarter final against Kristoffer Hellerud

Mark O'Flynn had a good run in the Under 13 boys especially after he lost one in his group and had to be content with qualifying second. he beat a Norwegian comfortably in the last 32 before surviving closer examination against a Swedish player in the last 16. In the Quarter final he played superbly against Eric Lindmae from Estonia to win 7 3 and 9 frustrating the Estonian with his vicious forehand topspin.In the semi final he lost an exciting and competitive match 3-1 to Kristian Kvaale the Norwegian number 3 under 13.

But the tournament belonged to Keith who played superbly to win 21 out of 26 singles and in addition to being the first Irish Cadet to win an international tournament(?) was quarter finalist in the under 15 boys. it was a quality tournament with 300 entries and squads from Sweden, Estonia, Finland and Ireland as well as all the best Norwegians. It was therefore a magnificent achievement to win in such company. It was a fitting repost to the norwegians who had grabbed so many titles at the Leinster Open.

Results Under 14 Boys
Quarter Final:
Keith Knox Ireland beat Ahmed Chaer BMK BTK 10 -10 -8 2 4
Espen Ronneberg Kobra BTK beat Dennis Karlsson Sweden -5 -9 5 9 7
Aziz Chaer BMK BTK beat Hallvard Fjell Stord BTK 10, 4, 10
Kristoffer Hellerud Kobra BTK beat Daniel Keenan Ireland 4,4,6

Semi Final : Keith beat Espen Ronneberg -6 8 -9 4 8
Final Keith beat Aziz Chaer 7 10 -6 9

Under 13 Boys
Quarters;John Nguyen Sweden - Andreas Lusth Sweden 8,7,8
Quarters;Kristian Kvaale Randesund IL - Otto Tennilš Finland 9, 9, 7
Quarters;Kristoffer Hellerud Kobra BTK- Ahmed Chaer BMK BTK 5, -8, 7, 8
Quarters;Mark O'Flynn Ireland - Erik Lindmae Estonia 7, 3, 9

Semi;John Nguyen - Kristoffer Hellerud -6, -9, 9, 7, 8
Semi;Kristian Kvaale - Mark O'Flynn; 2, 7, -11, 8

Final;John Nguyen - Kristian Kvaale;11-7, 11-4, 11-9

Kesh Cobras Win Double
Kesh Cobras Table Tennis team have completed an historic and remarkable double in the Division Two ranks of the local Fermanagh League by winning both the cup and league. The team consisted of old hands John Kennedy and Noel Ellis and ably supported by the younger playing members of Keith Graham and Keith Knox.

Kesh CobrasIn a very competitive Division 2 league with experienced teams such as Drum and Monaghan and the young guns of Brookeborough it was never going to be easy to lift the title. Whoever would win the title would automatically be promoted to the top grade the premier Division One, thus making it a very interesting season. In fact Brookeborough were the bookies favourite and were in pole position until a heavy defeat at the hands of Kesh late in the season put the latter on top of the league and there they remained to be crowned Division 2 champions.

The League Cup draw paired Kesh with Belturbet in the first round and the winners to meet Brookeborough in the semi-final. Drum on the other hand defeated Clogher in their first round match to be paired with Monaghan in the other semi-final.

Kesh Cobras just managed to by-pass Belturbet and went into an epic encounter with Brookeborough in the semi-final, Mervyn Funston easily playing his best table tennis in his short career was the man to beat, Noel Ellis managed to beat him in a thrilling 5 setter opening match and thus the stage was set, Kesh eased into the final with both Keiths' Graham and Knox giving ample support to Ellis.

The final itself against Drum was an interesting affair with both teams as per the rules putting their playing format on paper prior to the match commencing. Thomas McConkey the wily old fox pulled a flanker and didn't play his usual format, and chose to play himself as No 3 thus giving in his opinion a better fighting chance. Indeed it almost worked but Kesh's nerves held and only just won by five games to three therefore completing the double. The Kesh Club would like to thank their sponsors The Lough Erne Hotel for their support throughout this last year. A special word of praise to be extended to Miss Philomena Mulligan Manageress of the Lough Erne Hotel for her unstinted support in every aspect of the club since it has started playing in the local community centre in Kesh.

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 (KESH) and Grant Ellis (KESH) 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.