Two schools represented West Cork at the first stage of the Munster Schools League. The event held in Kinsale is one of the biggest schools events in the country and this year saw an unprecedented number of entries. With so many schools entering, a second event is planned for a couple of weeks time in order to cater for the demand and it is hoped that the new Skibbereen Community College will represent West Cork for the first time.
It was left to Schull Community College to fly the flag in the secondary school event that they won last year. They started against a very tough Colaiste Choilm side. James Kelly and Erik Olsson took Schull into an early 2/0 lead but Niall O’Driscoll and Oisin Barrett were unable to breach the Ballincollig’s defences and it was 2/2 before the doubles. James and Niall took the first point but Erik and Oisin lost out by the narrowest of margins for a 3/3 draw.
Schull defeated Tralee CBS by a margin of 5/1 to set up a Gold medal match with Kinsale Community College. James led off with a straight set win. Erik came very close to taking a 2 point lead but lost in the final set and going into the doubles Schull needed both matches to force a draw. Remarkably Schull managed both doubles matches and a drawn result. Unfortunately with Kinsale recording a win over Coilaiste Choilm they ran out Premier Division Champions.
Schull also had teams in both the 2nd and 3rd Divisions with Alex Maguire, Liam Hurley, Sam Coughlan, Jasmine Kelly, Stephen Dukelow, Patrick Sheehan, Conor Brosnan, Oisin O’Donovan, Darragh O’Driscoll & Aoife Sheehan all representing the school in the event.
With half the players playing for the school for the first time it is hoped to build upon these performances in the future events.
Bantry Gaelscoil made the 1st Division of the Primary Schools with Cathal O’Driscoll, Donal Riordan, Eli Reynolds and Ben Horgan. This was the time the school had reached this Division and started with a great 4/2 win, with Cathal, Donal & Eli all starting with wins against Summercove National School and with Ben and Donal taking the final doubles they assured a 4/2 win.
Cathal almost caused the upset of the day as he played Cian Ross the No.1 Scoil Eoin playing some of his best table tennis. Donal & Eli took their singles matches but were unable to take any more points against the eventual winners.
With 5 of the 6 matches going to the final set the silver medal match against Ballinadee NS, Gaelscoil came very close but with only Eli winning his singles and joining Cathal in the doubles the result pushed Gaelscoil into 3rd, their best ever result at the Munster Schools Cup.