Alan wins two bronze at international schools competition

Ryan McConkey, Conn Higgins, Alan Walsh

Ryan McConkey, Conn Higgins, Alan Walsh

With his team Ryan McConkey,they defeated Scotland 1, 4/1, Wales 4/1, Guernsey 5/0, Scotland 2, 4/1 but were defeated by England 1, 5/0 and England 2, 3/0.

In a tiring schedule where the team played two matches on Friday after an arduous days travel to Bells Sports Centre, in Perth, Scotland followed by four more games on Saturday the boys showed remarkable resilience to claim the bronze team medal.

Alan causes major shock in singles

In the opening four man group Alan defeated Scotland’s Jason Fleming 3/1(having lost to him the previous day in the team event) Huw Standing from Wales 3/0 but lost to England,s Jack Bennett 3/0 to qualify for the quarter final. Facing Number one seed, England’s Gabriel Achampong, who was undefeated in the team event, Alan faced an uphill battle. Achampong dominated the opening set with fast backhand topsins causing Alan endless trouble with the Englishman winning 11/6. Achampong continued his dominance to lead 10-2 in the second but Alan threw caution to the wind to win six successive points before Achampong won the set 11/9.
Alan, now brimming with confidence started to dictate the pace and won the third set 11/8.
Alan’s dominance continued in the fourth set with his forehand topspin to Achampong’s backhand winning him good points to take the set 11/7.
With the match now level at 2/2 the mental battle was key .Alan showed his mental strength and took the lead at the start 3/1.Achampong’s belief began to waiver and the Ballincollig player held his nerve and hold the lead to win 11/5 sending shockwaves around the Bell,s sports hall
Alan then faced another English player ,Mitchell Jones in the semifinal.
He could not maintain his momentum however ann Jones took the game 3/0
Nevertheless a fine weekend for Alan as he claimed the bronze singles medal to compliment his bronze doubles medal.
Irish coach Conn Higgins said it was one of Alans finest displays in his career to date and definitely the most resilient. Achampong defeated Irish senior no.1 Paul McCreery at the six nations recently. Alan stated it was the best win of his table tennis career.