This past weekend Colaiste Choilm was the venue for the 2014 Ballincollig Open. The event was played over two days, the junior events on Saturday and the senior events on Sunday. In all more than 100 players played over the two days.
Ballincollig had a strong entry on both days with a number of players looking to build on strong performances earlier in the table tennis year.
The first events on Saturday saw the boys and girls U18’s in action. Colm Murphy went into the boys event in joint 1st position in Munster. Colm eased through the early rounds without dropping a set to reach the final where he met the inform Alan Walsh. Colm got off to a strong start taking a 2 set lead. Alan took the third but he fought back strongly in the 4th to take the title. Colm previously won the same U18 event three years ago when in his first year as an U15.
The U15 boys was the second event where Niall Browne went in as number two seed. The seedlings went as planned and Niall reached the final playing some impressive table tennis. In the final he met West Cork’s James Kelly. Niall played well but just couldn’t get that vital breakthrough in sets. James won the match 3-0. One of these days Auryn Harrington is going to make the big leap forward and come close in this event. Auryn recently changed to short pips and the transition is taking a little time. Keep up the good work Auryn.
The girls U15 and U18 events are very strong event where Nora O’Sullivan competed. She did well against top opposition and held her ranking.
In the boys U13 event Joe Linehan went in as joint top seed. Competition is very strong in this division this year. Joe lost in the semi final to the eventual winner Conor O’Callaghan from Beech Hill and went on to finish 3rd. There has been three different winners in this age group this year.
Aoife, Kate and Leah took part in the girls U13 event and Leah did well to reach the quarter finals while Aoife and Kate progressed to the plate event to finish 2nd and 3rd respectively.
In the afternoon the boys and girls U11 events were held in the Sportlann. This proved to be a good move as it removed a lot of conjestion from the mail hall. All 6 tables were busy playing matches where Ballincollig had lots of aspiring table tennis champions. The event was eventually won by Isaac Leahy but not before he had tough quarter final and semi final matches against Ballincollig’s Cian Ross and Ciaran O’Donoghue. Ciaran eventually went on to finish in 4th place with Cian in 7th. Well done to all the U11 boys.
In the U11 girls Leah O’Keefe played very well to win the plate event.
In the plate event Dave Manning did really well and finished runner up to Aaron Olsson of West Cork. Dave has become a plate expert this year. Ryan Power also qualified for the plate having had a very tough round 1 draw and reached the quarter final.
Sunday saw the senior events take place. Ballincollig had a strong group of players in the Mens, Womens, U21 and Veteran events and the competition was sponsored by EMC.
With so many Ballincollig players in the draw it was inevitable there would be some early casualties in the Men’s and U21 events. Colm and Ian drew each other in both semi final of U21 and quarter final of the seniors. Ian’s experience pulled him through in both events where he would go on to meet the eventual winner of both events Declan O’Brien. Shane went out in round one but had an extremely tough group with Alan Walsh and Gunther Viktorin. Declan went on to win the senior men’s event but had to beat yet another Ballincollig player Mark White in the final. Mark who had not played since the Munster open played outstanding table tennis up to the final but on this occasion Declan was a step too far.
Colm and Shane finished joint third in the U21. Edel finished runner up in the senior ladies event.
Finally a very special thanks to Tony Higgins of Tralee TTC for helping out on both days and to all committee and parents who contributed to make this years open a complete success.