I think it’s about time for a West Cork update! Loads has been going on but with my laptop banjaxed and a pile of other work I have been having problems keeping up with our news and reports. So what’s been going on?
The last report was about the South Coast Rankings back in November. Since then things have moved on a bit and we have had 3 Irish Rankings. The Ulster, Munster and Connaught Opens. The usual crew have been going with Mair playing her first full season as a Senior, James in his 2nd year as an U18, Erik and Jasmine at U15s with Tom Walsh, Liam Hayes and Daniel Collins joining us for the Munster Open.
ULSTER OPEN 2017
The first of the major 3 Irish Rankings was the Ulster Open and Mair and James joined up in the Mixed Doubles. They put on a great performance and lost out the eventual Champions Gavin Maguire and Katie McGlown in the 5th set in the semi finals, not too shabby guys!
MUNSTER OPEN 2017
The Munster Open was held in Kinsale this year and Liam Hayes won his second Munster Open Title in a row after comfortably winning the ID final. Liam has been selected for the Irish Paralympic Squad and aspires to make it onto the team for Japan 2020.
Tom Walsh (U18) and Jasmine Kelly (U15) both collected medals in the Plate events and Daniel Collins (U13) missed out on the final at his first ever Irish Ranking. James repeated his excellent Ulster top place finishing 6th at U18.
CONNAUGHT OPEN 2017
The Connaught Open was a great event for two of our players. Erik Olsson reached his first Irish U15 semi final of the season and also took the Plate Final in the U18s. Mair Kelly also had her best results of the season with 3rd at U21 and 5th Senior. Mair is progressively moving up the Irish Rankings and is currently in the top 16! Good luck to Mair who will be in action again at the Irish Senior Nationals at the beginning of March.
SOUTHCOAST GRAND PRIX
A couple of West Cork players attended the first Southcoast Grand Prix with Erik Olsson in winning form again taking the top spot in Division 1. Daniel Collins also took the title in Division 3 with our youngest player Lee Moynihan making his competitive debut outside of West Cork.
Lee trains regularly in the Goleen Club on Friday nights with a number of new players from the area. A division event of this nature is a great way to start playing and there was a good atmosphere in Kinsale.
WEST CORK CLUB ROUND UP
The Bantry scheme is going well at its new time of 4pm on Thursdays. The rankings are always popular and with a couple of new members shaking things up. Daniel Collins was knocked off his top place recently by Eli Reynolds but has managed to restore his lead for now but it is very competitive and it will be difficult to hold on to.
Gaelscoil rankings are currently topped by Eli Reynolds with Cathal O’Driscoll, Donal Riordan and with the recent addition of Jo Jo Egan making the top 4.
Jimini gave the players some tips during his recent Work Experience visit to the school with some of the students joining us at the club for extra training after school.
Abbeystrewry are the new kids on the block and the club players are beginning to show significant progress thanks to the help of some of our more experienced players with Mair a regular assistant coach and Jimini and Jasmine helping out on occasions.
We had a wonderful Christmas party and a special guest in the guise of Jake Duffy an Australian International who’s family is originally from Skibbereen. We were treated to an exciting match between Jake and Jimini and were delighted that our local champion Jimini came out on top! We have our largest group of girls playing here and all are welcome on Tuesdays 6.30-8pm at the parish hall.
Goleen is our main West Cork Training Centre and available to any West Cork player on Fridays 7-9pm. We have 12 tables and a really good standard and age range to cater for all. There is a special mini bus service “The Ping Pong Express,” that leaves Ballydehob and goes through Schull and out to Goleen (€2.50 return fare). We have 2 qualified coaches and 4 players currently on Irish National Squads willing to help out anyone who either wants to learn a few “tricks” or who just wants to come along and give it a go, all equipment can be provided and its €3 for 2 hours. Just check to see we are not away at an event by going on our face book page or ring 083-1372013.
We run a session for the all clients at Coaction Skibbereen and preparations are underway for the Munster Special Olympic Games on April 1st. Mair and Jimini have been helping out with doubles training for our players and there is a lot of excitement as we draw closer to the biggest event of our SO calendar as this will be a qualifying event for the National Games.
A new session for Bantry CoAction is due to start after half term at the Boys Club to support our Bantry players to get ready for the Munster SO Games.
So as you can see it is all go on the West Cork Table Tennis scene, we have a Challenger in Clonakilty on Sunday 5th March 10.30 start time at the Community Hall text Alan if you want to take part 087-6689775 before Friday 3rd March.
The next Munster Rankings are in Ballincollig on the 11th/12th March, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want more info or visit the Munster Website
The Irish Senior Nationals are on the 4th/5th March.
There is the Munster Schools League on the 1st March and regular weekly training at all the clubs, schools and training schemes.
We also have a new primary school in Ballydehob joining us soon! Busy, busy, busy, so either keep an eye on the FB page, Twitter or give me a ring (083-1372013) if you want to find out more and I’ll try to keep this site better updated, just where can I find the time!