West Cork Table Tennis Assoc.
NEWS 2003-2004

Archive: 2002-2003 Season
Archive: 2001-2002 Season
Archive: 2000-2001 Season
Archive: 1999-2000 Season

Emma Jane at the Top of her game
Emma Jane Helen won the first ever Irish Junior Top 10 held in Cork. Emma Jane did not loose a match during the tournament and hopes to be selected for the up coming Schools International being held in Limerick

West Cork flies out to Czech National Games.
A number of Bantry players have been invited by the Czech's to play in their National Games at the beginning of June. The relationship between West Cork and the Czech Republic came about through the hosting programme for the World Special Olympic Games last summer. Skibbereen hosted the large squad of Czech players and created a number of important social and cultural links.

The squad of players includes Michael O'Grady, Emily Meagher, Alan Burke and Tomi Zahl will represent West Cork playing table tennis. This will be Tomi's first competitive match as he moves up from playing skills. All the players are currently training at Co- Action in Bantry and are very much looking forward to the trip to Prague. Co-Action coach Owen Kelly described the atmosphere at the centre as "electric, it reminds me very much of the feeling before the games last year, except this involves a lot more of the clients here than the World Games did. This is a huge opportunity for all involved and they are training very hard."

Two Senior Titles for West Cork Players
West Cork players took both Senior Championship titles for the first time at this years West Cork Open. The tournament held in Dunmanway is the largest Munster ranking of the season and attracts players from all over the province.

Emma Jane Helen sponsored by TIHBAR and playing for the Kinneigh TTC, took both Senior and Junior titles defeating Claire O’Callaghan (Celtic TT) in the juniors and Katie McSweeney (Beech Hill) in the Senior final.

Owen Kelly (Goleen) won his first Munster Senior title defeating last years West Cork Open Champion Philip Shaw (Beech Hill) in the semi-final and then Mike Spitere (Ballincollig) in a very closely fought final. Kelly went ahead 2 – 0, only for Spitere fight his way back to 2 – 2, with all to play for Kelly’s used his experience against this years West Cork Open Junior Champion to take the fifth and deciding set. Killian Healy (Ballincollig) took third place over Philip Shaw. Local man Matt Maw returned after a long absence from the game to finish 5th along with Darren Buttimer (Clonakilty). Jack Smiles Dunmanway) was 9th. There was a welcome entry for the first time in the senior open from Leinster Cricket Club players Jack Dempsey and Brian Devereux.

Two Masters Titles to West Cork Players
West Cork Open Masters Champion was Kinneigh TTC Chairman Ivan Shorten defeating local man Iain O’Neill (Dunmanway TTC). Local Dunmanway player and coach Vicky Ridgeway won the Lady Masters

Two Junior Titles for West Cork Players
Eliza Wood (Glengariff) playing in her first ranking this season added the Under 12 Girls title to the U17 title won by EJ Helen. All top four under 12 places went to West Cork players. (Players from Kinneigh TTC, 2nd Michelle Hayes, 3rd Julie McCarthy, 4th Sinead Hennessey, 5th= Marie O’Sullivan & Lisa Cronin)

Kinneigh, West Cork’s leading table tennis club were also well represented in the Under 10 Girls with Amy Buttimer and Stephanie Hayes finishing equal 5th. Marie McSweeney and Ruth Cocoran finished 5th and 7th in the Under 14 girls with Kloe Wood from Glengariff finishing 6th.

Tadhg Williams from the new Skibbereen Sports Centre Club finished 3rd in the Under 10s in his first ever Munster Rankings. Sean Hennessey from Kinneigh TTC finished 6th. Gary O'Donovan also from Skibbereen represented the Skibbereen club for the first time in a very large field of Under 12s. Joey Sherlock (Dunmanway) topped the West Cork entries finishing 5th with Bantry Gael Scoil Club players Eoghan O'Keefe, Shane Edgeworth & Michael O’Donoghue finishing joint 9th. Dunmanway’s Finn Glenn won the U14 boys plate with Bantry’s Cian Edgeworth finishing 3rd. Cullen McMurry from Dunmanway finished equal 21st.

Joey Sherlock also managed a creditable joint 9th in the Under 14 event along with Kinneigh’s David Shorten and Eoghan O’Callaghan. Adrian Cronin and Gordon Forbes (Kinneigh) and Dan Foster (Dunmanway) finished equal 17th. Dunmanway were well represented in the U17 boys with Kieran McCarthy and Jake Warne finishing 5th= and Joe Warne 9th.

West Cork table tennis was very well represented at the biggest schools event in the country, with 8 of the 18 schools competing making up a overall total of 55 teams at under 19, 15 and 13 as well as Primary School level.

West Cork teams dominated the under-19 age group with Clonakilty Community College beating last year’s All Ireland Schools Champions Colaiste Choilm. Jason Crowley defeated Irish No.11 Mike Spitere and Alan Hurley defeated Irish No.7 Killian Healy to upset the favourites and take the boys title. The Clonakilty C.C. B team also finished with a good result taking silver in Division 2.

It was a bad day for All Ireland Champions as Sacred Heart Convent, also from Clonakilty, made it an impressive double when they defeated St.Angela’s A in the under-19 girls event. Current Irish No.6 Emma-Jane Helen (TIHBAR) headed up the team and was extremely well supported by Freda and Diana Buttimer who are both unranked in Munster. Freda Buttimer pulled off the surprise of the day beating Munster No.3 Katie McSweeney and with Munster No.1 Emma-Jane beating Rebecca McCarthy Sacred Heart topped the group to take the Munster U19 Title.

Bandon Grammar who have a number of good results over the last few years put in very strong mixed teams and took both gold and silver in the U19 competition with Midleton A taking bronze. Leaving West Cork schools with a clean sweep of all the U19 titles. Bandon Grammar then went on to achieve their own triple winning the U15 mixed and U13 mixed competitions. Maria Immaculata Community College who only started competing for the first time last year picked up the silver with a very young team in the U15 mixed event.

Hamilton High from Bandon also improved on their previous result to take silver in the U13 boys with current All Ireland Champions Colaiste Choilm, Ballincollig, adding the U13 Munster title to their impressive list of achievements.

The small National School at Coppeen entered the competition for the first time and walked away with the Munster Primary School Girls title at the very first attempt with a team of Marie O’Sullivan, Sinead Hennessey and Michelle Hayes. The school has developed an important relationship with the local Kinneigh TTC where a number of the players regularly train. Bantry Gael Scoil Girls took the bronze with Togher finishing 5th. Bantry Gael Scoil also finished third in the Boys National Schools in the very tough Division 1 with Togher A finishing third and fifth in Division 2.

The West Cork Table Tennis Association would like to thank all the coaches and staff at the Kinneigh Club on behalf of all the West Cork Schools competing for providing training to a large number of the athletes from each of the schools entered in this years schools event. The club has supported a l number of other schools over the last few years including local primary schools St. Mary’s Enniskeane and Ballymoney Ballineen who were unfortunately unable to enter teams at the Munster level this season.

Table tennis continues to grow and has proved to be a very successful sport in both the large and smaller schools around the region, with an increasing number of players taking the ITTA skills awards at the PINGIS camps as well as gaining some excellent results locally, provincially and nationally.

The largest local tournament the West Cork Open will be held over the weekend of the 14-15th February in Dunmanway with the West Cork Schools Cup being held on the Friday before at the new Maria Immaculata Community College in Dunmanway for the first time. The West Cork Schools Cup is the one of the longest running schools cup competitions in the country and has a large entry from schools all over the region with schools of all abilities at secondary and primary levels.

After their tremendous success over at the Munster Schools Clonakilty Community College will be favourites to take the U19 title for the 4th year in a row. But with a number of favourites being beaten at the Munster Schools Cup anything could happen on the day. For more information on this and other events contact Owen Kelly 028-35371, email owen@ttireland.com or visit the website at www.ttireland.com, table tennis might just be the thing your school is looking for!

January PINGIS
The 5th PINGIS Table Tennis Session of the season took place at Bantry Gael Scoil for the first time. The school who have been active in table tennis for a number of years made their hall and four tables available for the PINGIS Training Session on Sunday 11th January.

The PINGIS Training camp, which helps players train towards their ITTA Proficiency Awards saw another three players pass the 1 Star Awards. The camp saw three of the youngest recipients ever all from Bantry, with Natalie Buttimer (10yrs), Peter Kelleher (8yrs) and Colleen Kelleher (10yrs) all successfully tested by ITTA Tutor and PINGIS Director Owen Kelly. Congratulations to Ivan Shorten who was also coaching as he was recently selected as Munster U14 Boys Non-playing Captain.

Two West Cork players were recently in action in Dublin at the Leinster Junior Open. West Cork Junior of the Year Kieran McCarthy from Dunmanway played well in the U17 Boys event reaching the second round and loosing to Munster No.3 David Buckley 3-1. Kieran is currently ranked 39 in Ireland. Emma Jane Helen (TIHBAR) from Rosmore reached the ¼ Finals only to be beaten by the eventual winner Elizabeth Dennett from England. Emma Jane is currently Munster No.1 and Irish No.6. Both players train at the Kinneigh TTC.

A number of schools will carry the banner for West Cork Schools this year at the annual Munster Schools Cup in Cork on Friday 16th January. West Cork schools have had reasonable success within this event with Schull Community College winning the U15 Girls title last year. This season Sacred Heart Convent Clonakilty, Maria Immaculata Community College, Dunmanway, Hamilton High and Bandon Grammar from Bandon will play in the secondary team competitions with Bantry Gael Scoil joining Togher and Coppeen National Schools in the primary event.

Make a date in your calendar for the main West Cork schools event the West Cork Schools Cup which will be hosted by Maria Immaculata Community College in Dunmanway on Friday 13th February. With the West Cork Open set for the 15th & 16th February.

1st Table Tennis Sports Scholarship
Emma-Jane Helen has been awarded the prestigious Sports Scholarship Award by Skibbereen Sports Centre. This will enable Emma-Jane who is sponsored by TIHBAR and is currently ranked No. 6 in Ireland and No.1 in Munster, to train even more regularly at the centre and to use the centre's excellent fitness facilities free of charge. Emma-Jane who remains U17 next season will be able to make use of the facilities during the summer as well. Emma-Jane has regularly trained at the centre over the last few years and with the centre buying a brand new table recently and a new successful under age club up and running. Of late table tennis is receiving an even higher profile than usual within the region.

Emma-Jane was encouraged to pull out of the Senior event at this years Munster Open in order to personally receive this award on Friday 16th January and to help promote the sport. However she will have a busy weekend ahead of her. Emma-Jane will be heading up the junior girls the Sacred Heart Convent team for the forth-coming Munster Schools Cup earlier in the day and will again be in action on Sunday in the U17 event at Ireland's largest annual tournament the Munster Open in Cork.

TTIreland would like to add its congratulate Emma-Jane Helen on this much-deserved award.

December PINGIS
The final PINGIS event of 2003 was played over the weekend in Dunmanway. The event kicked off with a Level 1 Competition with players from 7yrs - 11yrs old. Local boy Robin Smiles from Togher National School topped the scores increasing his own score by a remarkable 88 to record 383 points, the third highest score this season in West Cork. Patricia Murray also from Togher NS reached 301 the highest recorded score by a girl this season. Poppy Swift was the third player to reach Future Champion in her first ever PINGIS event. Winner certificates were awarded to Thomas Furlong, and Erin Ingils with 3rd level certificates going to Lisa Cotter, Eoin Murray, Ciara Glenn and Jake Ingils.

PINGIS Level 2 had two groups with five girls in one and seven boys in the other. Two Bantry girls topped the girls group with Ashling O'Neill and Natalie Buttimer taking first and second. Patricia Murray finished third with Poppy Swift fourth and Ciara Glenn getting the fifth place medal.

Robin Smiles had an excellent performance in the Level 2 event topping a very close group beating Bantry's Shane Edgeworth by only two points. The younger of the brothers Edgeworth Cian finished third with Erin Murray 4th, Eoin Murray 5th, Thomas Furlong 6th and Jake Ingils 7th.

The PINGIS event which is run as a way of introducing the sport to everyone was followed by the first West Cork Junior Rankings. Natalie Buttimer (Bantry) finished 1st in the U10 Girls event in her first ever tournament. Sean Hennessey (Kinneigh TTC) topped the U10 Boys. The U12 Girls was a closely fought affair with Sinead Hennessey putting in a great overall performance to finish in the No.1 spot. Julie McCarthy also from Kinneigh finished second with Ashling O'Neill third. Marie McSweeney finished No.1 U14. In the boys U12s Shane Edgeworth (Bantry) came out undefeated with Sean Curtain (Kinneigh) finishing second and Cian Edgeworth third.

The U14 boys saw some of the closest competition with a good standard of play on display. With a number of matches going to the 5th set the group was difficult to predict. There was very little between the top four players all from Kinneigh but Eoin O'Callaghan had the best of the day beating David Shorten in 4 sets, Padraig McSweeney in 5 and Gordon Forbes in 3. With Eoin O'Callaghan topping the group Padraig McSweeney showed great composure to beat David Shorten 12-10 in the fifth and final set and to take the silver, David having to be content with third and Gordon Forbes 4th.

A friend departed
KerryI was very sad to hear of the passing of Kerry from Coolmountain. Kerry was one of the early members of the Coolmountain Table Tennis Club and played in a couple of the finals at the Coolmountain Tournaments. The club was played on the one table in the community centre, we spent most of the time trying to get the ball back through the holes in the floor. Kerry went on to reach the semi-finals of the Munster Open Veterans in 1999. Some of you will remember her as the one who really raised the standard of the catering when the Munster Open was played at Ashton in 2000. We will all remember her for her good humour and energy. There will be a minutes silence at the West Cork Rankings being held on Saturday 13th in her home town of Dunmanway.

The West Cork 1st Division team has started the league very poorly reaching the halfway mark without a win. The team made up of players from a number of different areas has struggled even to field the three-player team necessary to compete. With the first match against UCC, seeing good performances by Munster No.1 U21 Alan Hurley supported by Clonakilty Junior Jason Crowley but with Macroom's JP Murphy being victim of a late injury the team only managed to win 3 out of the 10 matches necessary. The second saw a welcome return for Goleen's Owen Kelly against Cork City's oldest club Harlequins. Owen showing some excellent early form beat 2003 European Veteran Silver medallist Bertie Levinge in a tense 5 set match as well another 5 set drama against Dan Foley. Owen was unable to make it three in a row with the third 5 setter of the night going to Tom Elliott. With Alan and Jason both loosing out to the more experienced team West Cork only managed a 2-8 result.

Even with two heavy away losses the West Cork team were very optimistic for their first home fixture to be played at the Kinneigh Table Tennis Club. Their first home match was against last years League Champions from Beech Hill. A team with an international flavour with Milos Soukup from Czech Republic, Ludovic Martin from France and with last season's Munster No.1 Philip Shaw. West Cork were very much the underdogs but with the return of JP Murphy from injury and Owen showing some good form a tough and long night was fought out at the Round Tower.

The first match saw the clash of the No.1s with Owen Kelly taking on Milos Soukup. Milos who previously beat Owen in five at the 2003 UCC Open took the first set 12-10 with Owen fighting back in the second 11-8. The third set going to Milos and then the fourth to Owen to set up a final 5th set. With both players taking their chances Milos took an early lead at the change over (5-2). Owen played a couple of strong backhand winners to recover to 8-7. The match went down to the wire with Milos finally taking first blood 14-12.

Meanwhile JP Murphy had a disastrous start against Philip Shaw going down in three sets. Faced with a two-point deficit Things looked to be falling apart for the West Cork team. Alan Hurley restored some of their spirit beating Ludovic Martin 3-1. This set up a match between last season's Munster No.1 Philip Shaw and Munster No.2 Owen Kelly. With only one match against the two in the league last season going to Owen. He went out very strongly taking the first set comfortably. An excellent recovery and some strong forehand winners from the left hander saw Philip take the second set. However with the match evey swinging in West Cork's favour a 3-1 win took the match back to all square. JP Murphy starting to move better after his long absence from the game put the home team into the lead with a 3-0 win against the Frenchman. Milos stepped up to spin his way past Alan Hurley's defence 3-0. Owen then moved the team back into the lead with a win against Ludovic Martin. The final two singles matched up Milos against JP Murphy and Alan against Philip Shaw. The smart money was on Beech Hill to walk out winners and that's why they are smart and have money! However both West Cork players performances were outstanding. Drawing every ounce of energy and skill both matches ended up in the fifth set with JP pulling back from being 2 sets down with his unique mixture of heavy backspin attacks matched with strong top spin forehands. Unfortunately for the West Cork supporters neither player could upset the form and with Owen and Alan continuing their very poor doubles form Beech Hill A ran out 6-4 winners.

The last Division 1 league match before the Christmas break will be a bottom of the table clash between West Cork and Ballincollig. Ballincollig find them selves one place above West Cork after loosing three matches 6-4. It will undoubtedly prove all the more tense for the West Cork team with their woeful away form so far this season. The monthly PINGIS competition is to be held in Dunmanway on Saturday 13th, with a full West Cork Junior Ranking from 2 o'clock on. For more details 028-35371.

WCTTA Player of the Year Awards
Emily, Phyllis and Michael from Munster Special OlympicsWorld Special Olympic Mixed Doubles players Emily Meagher and Michael O'Grady were the special guests of the West Cork Table Tennis Association at the annual presentation of the West Cork Player of the Year Awards. The Junior Awards was presented to Kieran McCarthy for his tremendous effort and contribution within the sport. In the last few years the award has been presented to a number of players who have achieved International or Provincial standards. However Kieran only took up the sport 2 seasons ago, in that time, he has shown a great example of what can be achieved by commitment and dedication to training. Kieran is a student at Maria Immaculata Community College in Dunmanway and recently joined the Kinneigh TTC and was also presented with his WCTTA Bronze Award during the ceremony.

Owen Kelly and Kieran McCarthy at the back on the far right, with the trophies and Batskills equipmentEmily Meagher fittingly presented the Senior Player of the Year Award to her own coach Owen Kelly. Owen from Goleen, has been actively involved in the WCTTA since 1989 and has worked in many capacities in that time including Irish Schools Captain, Munster Special Olympic Head Coach, National Development Officer as well as Chairman of Munster, Cork and West Cork Associations. During the 2002-2003 Season Owen was selected for the first time to the Senior Munster Interprovincial Team after finishing the season as No. 2 in Munster. He also picked up two All Ireland Schools Medals as coach of St. Angela's College in Cork.

Emily Meagher and Michael O'Grady also entertained the assembled crowd with the stories behind the medals that they so proudly wore for all to see. Michael showed off his Bronze in the men's doubles, Silver in the men's singles and his Gold in the mixed Doubles. Emily related the stories behind her 4th place in the doubles, Bronze in the singles and her joint Gold in the mixed doubles.

West Cork enter two teams in the Cork Senior League.

West Cork A Fixtures
Away to UCC A 19 Nov 2003
Away to Harlequins 26 Nov 2003
Home to Beech Hill A 03 Dec 2003
Away to Ballincollig 10 Dec 2003
Home to UCC A 21 Jan 2004
Home to Harlequins 28 Jan 2004
Away to Beech Hill A 03 Feb 2004
Home to Ballincollig 11 Feb 2004

West Cork B Fixtures
Home to UCC B 19 Nov 2003
Home to Beech Hill B 26 Nov 2003
Away to Beech Hill C 02 Dec 2003
Home to Thurles 10 Dec 2003
Away to UCC B 21 Jan 2004
Away to Beech Hill B 27 Jan 2004
Home to Beech Hill C 04 Feb 2004
Away to Thurles 11 Feb 2004

West Cork Girls at the Top of their Class
Emma-Jane Helen (TIHBAR/Kinneigh) comfortably took her first Munster Junior Title in her first event of the season beating Katie McSweeney in the final. Team-mate Andrea Shorten (TDC/Kinneigh) finished in 4th with sister Rebecca Shorten taking 7th. Emma-Jane went on to finish 5th in the Senior event.

Marie McSweeney upheld the very high West Cork standard for girls with a 2nd place finish only narrowly missing out to Emily D'Arcy from Cork.

Three Kinneigh Girls represented West Cork in the U12 event and all returned with impressive results. Sinead Hennessey surprised the favourites by topped the rankings in her first ever competition. Julie McCarthy also had a podium finish in her first tournament of the season finishing third. Michelle Hayes made up the Kinneigh Trio winning the plate and finishing 5th overall

Eoghan O'Keefe was one of three U12 players who attended the Munster Rankings in Cork. Eoghan had an excellent tournament and finished 4th. Brothers Shane and Cian Edgeworth also made the Munster Top 10 finishing 8th and 9th respectively.

Padraig McSweeney and Gordon Forbes (Kinneigh TTC) represented West Cork in the very competitive U14 category and finished 9th and 11th.

In the U17 Boys Kieran McCarthy from Dunmanway, who recently joined the ever growing Kinneigh contingent, reached the ¼ Finals and finished 8th, club-mate Chris Redmond also made the Top 10 finished 9th with his best ever result. Kieran also played in the senior event finishing 10th. Ivan Shorten finished 11th in the seniors and took 4th in the Veterans. Alan Hurley playing in his first year as a senior took 6th place and went on to win the U21 Munster Ranking.

The next PINGIS Session open to all ages will be held on Saturday 8th November at the Kinneigh Table Tennis Club, session times are from 10.00hrs - 12.00hrs and from 14.00hrs - 16.00hrs (5 Euros). There will be a unique opportunity to take part in the first ever Batskills Demonstration free from 12.00hrs - 14.00hrs with a number of special guests including World Special Olympics Mixed Doubles Gold Medallists Emily Meagher and Michael O'Grady and the top West Cork coaches assisting.

David Hayes heads for Denmark
David Hayes was again selected for the Irish Squad and will be travelling out to Roskilde in Denmark (30th Oct - 3rd Nov). This is the second time this season David has travelled with the Irish Team and hopes to emulate his successful British League results.

1st Inter-School PINGIS Challenge
The 1st Inter-School PINGIS Challenge was held between Gael Scoil Bantry and Togher NS These two schools have met on a number of occasions before, most notably in the final of the West Cork National Schools Boys Championships 2003. Gael Scoil were victorious on that occasion and the four-man team of Eoghan O’Keefe, Shane Edgeworth, Michael O’Donoghue and Cian Edgeworth were unchanged from last season. Togher also had a number of experienced players including Ami Ghoul, Finn Glen, Robin Smiles and debutante Noel O’Regan.

A first round PINGIS Skills Level 1 competition was held with all players displaying their batskills well. Cian Edgeworth pulled off the surprise total with a West Cork record of 424 points. With support from Eoghan O’Keefe and Michael O’Donoghue finishing 2nd & 3rd Gael Scoil were able to out score Togher 1398 to 1124. Finn Glen put in the best score of the Togher players with an excellent 310.

The second round saw a Level 2 PINGIS Challenge with all eight players playing in a 1 set round robin tournament. Most of the games were very close with some competitive rallies and attacking play. Only 5 points covered the top 3 players with Eoghan O’Keefe gaining maximum points, Shane Edgeworth with 74 and Ami Ghoul with 72.

The match was played with great spirit between both schools and was enjoyed by all. A number of players will be entering the U12 Munster Junior Rankings in Cork on the 1st November and the very best of luck to all. The next PINGIS Camp will be at Kinneigh on November 8th, with an exhibition of coaching equipment being given by Batskills Ltd, who are flying over to give this first demonstration of their fun table tennis skills games. For more information contact Ivan Shorten 023/47202 or check out the website at www.ttireland.com

100% Record at International
Two West Cork players from the Kinneigh Club were on international duty at the Junior British Leagues. David Hayes played exceptionally well finishing with an unbeaten 100% record, 10 matches and 10 wins, helping his team-mates move top of the 1st Division. Emma Jane Helen was also in action for the Irish Girls, this was her first time at the championships and had one good and one bad day. The team playing in the 1st Division also had a mixed weekend finishing 3rd, with 2 wins, 2 losses and 1 draw. The second round will be played after the new year.

The first U12 Cork Table Tennis tournament was held in Cork at the Beech Hill Club. The event is part of the Cork Table Tennis Association’s development initiative to encourage new players. Joe Sherlock from the Maria Immaculata Community College Dunmanway was the only West Cork player to travel to the event. Joe had a very tough opening first round group with current Munster No.2 James Herley who went onto win the group. The upset of the day saw Munster No.1 Scott Shellard unable to qualify and he went into the consolation event. However Joe also qualified for the second round and won that group to go through to the semi-finals. Unfortunately Joe was drawn against James Herley again this time in the semi final, which he lost. He recovered well however and went onto beat Colm Gallagher to finish an excellent 3rd place in his first tournament of the season.

The next major event on the junior calendar will see a larger contingent of West Cork players when the second Munster Rankings of the season is held over the weekend of the 1st-2nd of November at the same venue at Beech Hill, Cork.. U10, U12 and U14 events will be held on the Saturday with U17, U21, Seniors and Veteran (+40) on the Sunday. For more information contact Terence McSweeney, Four Winds, St. Annes' Drive, Montenotte, Cork. Entry forms can be downloaded here
Beech Hill Open

The Kinneigh Table Tennis Club will be sending a squad of players to the Cippenham Club in London during the mid-term break. The squad including some of Kinneigh and Munster's top players will train at the famous London Club as part of an on going exchange between the two clubs.

1st PINGIS competition
The first PINGIS competition was held over the weekend with entries from all over the new Munster West Region that includes West Cork and Kerry. This new table tennis competition has three levels of competition to cater for players of all abilities. The Level 1 PINGIS Skills saw tournament debutantes Aisling O'Neill (Gael Scoil, Bantry), Michelle Hayes and Sinead Hennessey (Kinneigh TTC) all achieve "Future Champion" status with scores over 220.
Level 1 group: Ashling O'Niell, Michelle Hayes, Sinead Hennessey, Sean Curtin, Gavin O'Leary, Marie O'Sullivan, William Horgan, Jonatan Reidmuller, Jack O'Callaghan, Aisling O'Callaghan, John Shannon, Trevor Horgan

The Level 2 PINGIS Game competition again saw the girls well represented with Marie McSweeney (Kinneigh TTC) top the group only 2 points ahead of club mate Gordon Forbes who was only 1 point ahead of Adrian Cronin. Only 22 points covered the top 7 in this competition, which led to some very exciting match play.
Level 2 group: Adrian Cronin, Chris Cronin, Gorden Forbes, Naill Burns' Marie McSweeney, Sinead Hennessey and Michelle Hayes

The Level 3 PINGIS Competition also proved to be a very closely fought affair with Eoin O'Keefe (Gael Scoil, Bantry) winning out over Brian Cocoran & Gordon Forbes (Kinneigh TTC) while Shane Edgeworth and Michael O'Donoghue (Gael Scoil, Bantry) finished 4th & 5th. Ruth Cocoran and Sean Curtin (Kinneigh TTC) finished 6th & 7th. William Horgan and Gavin O'Leary also participated in the event for the first time.

The new competition has players divisioned by ability rather than by age with more emphasis on improving their skills and was rated a tremendous success by coaches and players alike. The competitions have increased the numbers of National School children involved and act as a support to all schools involved in the TOPS & Buntús programmes.

West Cork Players selected for Munster Training Camp
5 West Cork players have been selected for the training camp over the weekend of the 11th-12th October. David Hayes, Andrea Shorten, Emma Jane Helen, Alan Hurley and Owen Kelly have been included in the selection of the top players in Munster. the camp is being held at the Beech Hill TTC from 10.00hrs - 16.00hrs on both saturday and Sunday. Venessa Thouaille who has been invited from France by the CTTA as part of the coaching strategy.

Top 3 Finish for David Hayes
David Hayes from the Kinneigh Table Tennis Club finished third in the first Irish Ranking of the season at the I.W.A in Dublin. David who finished 11th in the first senior ranking followed this up with an excellent performance in the U17 event. David was beaten in the semi-final by the eventual winner Peter Graham from Ulster. Emma Jane Helen also from the Kinneigh Club and sponsored by TIBHAR International played well to finish 5th in the Junior Girls missing out on the semi-final loosing to Elizabeth Dennett (England) in the quarters. Emma Jane went on to win all her 5 to 8 play-off places to finish 5th. Andrea Shorten who is in her first year at Junior level, made up the Kinneigh elite trio and had some excellent results only narrowly loosing to ex-junior international Grainne McKenna (Leinster) and Munster Junior No.1 Kelby Duggan in the 5th sets.

Both David Hayes and Emma Jane Helen have been selected to play for Ireland in the Junior British Leagues over the weekend of the 18th-19th October. It is hoped that this will precede the international exchange between Kinneigh and Cippenham one of England's premier table tennis clubs.

Kinneigh TTC is a Munster Centre of Excellence and will be hosting a number of events over the season. The PINGIS Programme launched at the beginning of the season will have both competition and training sessions at the club. On Saturday 8th November Kinneigh will host a special training session and a presentation by Batskill UK a company specialising in adaptive table tennis coaching equipment. Representatives from a number of interested organisations will attend including the Irish Schools Table Tennis Assoc. Munster Special Olympics, CCLSP, ISC and representatives from a number of schools & clubs within the region. If you would like more information on this exhibition please contact Owen Kelly 028-35371 or email at owen@ttireland.com

Gael Scoil are TOPS in Table Tennis
Pupils of Gael Scoil Bantry have become the first National School in the country to introduce the new ITTF TOPS Scheme. Level 1 of the scheme, promoted by the International Table Tennis Federation introduces table tennis to 5-8 year olds and focuses on the development of co-ordination skills, spontaneous play and movement through informal games. Level 2, for 9-16 year olds introduces general skill development through modified sport, with Level 3 dealing with more sport specific skills. Twenty children aged 7-12 years under the instruction of ITTA Coach Owen Kelly started the first course at the beginning of this term. Recently the school also introduced the Irish Sports Council's Buntús Scheme through the new Cork County Local Sports Partnership, which has taken on the responsibility for promoting and introducing sport to over 300 National Schools in the Cork County area.

The ITTF TOPS Scheme was first introduced in Australia as part of the national physical education syllabus (SEPEP) for primary education and can be easily accommodated into the new Irish P.E. curriculum when finally launched in National Schools in this country.

The school was also delighted to be donated a second hand table by Skibbereen Sports Centre, bringing the total number of tables used in the school to four. A number of other schools in West Cork have also approached the WCTTA to run the new TOPS Scheme this year, with new schemes in Coppeen NS, Togher NS, Maria Immaculata C.C. Dunmanway and Sacred Heart Convent, Clonakilty all being organised this season.

The new schemes have all been made possible by the organisation of ITTA Level 1 Coaching Courses that have seen 35 new coaches in the Munster region. The last course being held in Kinneigh and Dunmanway earlier this month bringing the total to 12 coaches coming from the various clubs and schools around West Cork. This development has been made possible by the generous support of the Cork County Local Sports Partnership, and organisations including Bantry Integrated Development Group, Munster Special Olympics and companies like Celtic Table Tennis, TIBHAR and Batskills Ltd.

The WCTTA are also running a new PINGIS Scheme which once a month provides supplementary support to all the schools and clubs running the TOPS Scheme. The PINGIS Camps open to all, are held on the second Saturday of the month and bring players from all over the region together with the top coaches to assist with the development of the children's skills and will help them towards their ITTA Skills Awards. The next PINGIS Session will be at Kinneigh TTC on the 11th October where a graded competition for all levels of ability will be held in the club. For more details ring Owen Kelly on 028 35371 or check out the West Cork section of the Table Tennis Ireland website at www.ttireland.com

Two Irish call ups for Kinneigh players.
Emma Jane Helen (TIBHAR) has been selected for the Irish Junior Girls Team for the Junior British League at the end of October. Emma Jane starts the season ranked No.3 in Ireland. Congratulations go to Emma Jane's sister Hamida who got married last weekend. Good Luck!

Congratulations also to David Hayes (JOOLA) who has also been selected for the first time to the Irish Junior Boys team.

SKIBBEREEN SPORTS CENTRE MOVE TO TOP OF THE TABLESSkibb Manager, Emma Jane, Assistant Manager with Celticping Trophy
Skibbereen Sport Centre took possession of a brand new table tennis table. The centre have replaced their existing table with a blue STIGA Elite which, is much easier to put up and takes up half the space of the old one.

The centre has been one of the few places with public access, where people can play table tennis the 4th most popular sport in the world today. The centre has played an active part in helping the sport in the region over the years hosting the first International played outside of Dublin. As well as sponsoring the first ever team to represent West Cork abroad, when a team of three played at the International Youth Cup in Belgium. Emma Jane Helen sponsored by TIBHAR and from Rossmore has regularly trained at the centre over the last few years with her coach Owen Kelly from Goleen.

West Cork leads the field in Coach Education.
A further 9 members took the ITTA Level 1 Table Tennis Coaching Course over the weekend of the 12-14th September, the course was organised by the Munster Branch, Tutored by Owen Kelly from Goleen and held between two venues in West Cork, Kinneigh TTC and Dunmanway. This brings to 35 the number of Munster coaches who have now have taken the ITTA Level 1 Course out of 77 in Ireland, with 12 of those from West Cork.

The course was supported by the new County Cork Sports Partnership and the WCTTA would like to thank Munster Special Olympics and the Bantry Integrated Development Group for their help and support.

Student Coaches: Richard Gostyn (Goleen TTC), Killian Healy, Mike & Kieran Spitere (Ballincollig TTC), Kim Sin Yap & Anna D'Arcy (Beech Hill TTC), Anthony Condron (Thurles CBS), Jack Smiles (Dunmanway TTC) & Phyllis Naughton (Munster Special Olympics),

The first of the new series of the WCTTA PINGIS Scheme was held in conjunction with the Level 1 Coaching Course on Saturday 13th September. The series of 8 trainings and graded competitions are being held every second Saturday of each month up until Easter and will provide a central hub of activity for the various school and club introductory schemes in the area. The scheme based around the TOPS Scheme and the ITTA Skills Awards as well as the club model in Sweden, one of the leading table tennis countries in Europe. The PINGIS Scheme also hopes to build upon the ISC and CCSP Buntús Programme which, was launched in a number of National Schools in the county and it is hoped to role it out to over 300 in the next couple of years. Owen Kelly hopes to complete his Buntús Tutor Training with the help of the CCSP next weekend in Kildare.

Approximately 30 children from 10 schools and clubs in the region took part in the first PINGIS session, with 3 Level 1 Coaches in attendance, Vicky Ridgeway, Ivan Shorten and Iain O'Neill.

The PINGIS Scheme is sponsored by leading table tennis retailer Celtic Table Tennis, coaching equipment provider Batskills, Munster Special Olympics and Skibbereen Sports Centre and will be held on every second Saturday in venues around West Cork. Next PINGIS Session is a Graded Competition on Saturday 11th October at Kinneigh TTC.

Put Saturday 8th November in your diaries as the PINGIS Training Session moves to Kinneigh TTC. Batskills Ltd will be demonstrating their line of table tennis specific coaching equipment, all visitors are welcome and it is hoped that representatives from all the clubs in Munster will attend. Their will also be an opportunity to browse and buy this seasons lines in rubbers, bats and everything else for yourself, club or schools with all the usual bargains from Celtic Table Tennis. Don't miss this unique opportunity to see some of the latest developments in table tennis coaching. For more information contact Owen 028-35371.

Emma Jane Helen started playing table tennis at the age of 9 and has been the West Cork No.1 at all ages and includes three Cork Interparochial Senior Ladies Titles amongst her many achievements. Emma Jane has played for Ireland at primary school level and recently returned from Scotland playing at U16. She has played for Munster for the last 6 years at U12, U14 and U17 levels. Emma Jane who is sponsored by TIBHAR will start the season ranked No.3 Junior in Ireland and hopes to play well enough to be selected for the European Youth Championships in Budapest 2004. Emma Jane trains with her coach Owen Kelly at the Kinneigh Club as well as Skibbereen Sports Centre. She was delighted with the Sports Centre's decision to buy a new table and improve the training conditions at the centre.

"It is surprisingly hard to find a good table tennis table to play on, you would think that hotels and sports clubs would be able to provide a good table as they don't take up much room and provide a popular facility. I am looking forward to continue training at the centre this season, it is ideally located as it is just about half way between where I live in Rossmore and my coach down in Goleen."

The PINGIS sessions will be held in different venues all over West Cork and it is hoped to hold a pilot session for the first time at the Skibbereen Sports Centre who have just purchased a brand new tournament table. Anyone interested in more information on West Cork PINGIS or any table tennis coaching at the centre ring Owen on 028-35371 or Skibbereen Sports Centre 028-22624

West Cork players return from Brittany
The first ever Munster versus Brittany Table Tennis Challenge, christened "Celti-ping" by the Bretons was heralded as a tremendous success by all involved. The Youth Squad made up of 5 players and two coaches travelled to Brittany as guests of the Brittany League and the Goudelin Table Tennis Club. Goudelin have been involved with Team Kinneigh since 1999 and a number of club exchanges have taken place since then.

Reception for both teams at a visit to the Centre for Development and Public ServicesWest Cork Club Kinneigh were well represented with top West Cork Juniors Emma Jane Helen and David Hayes representing Munster along with Kinneigh Club Chairman Ivan Shorten and club coach Owen Kelly travelling as non-playing captains. Gary Noonan (UCC), Louise Long & Kelby Duggan (Beech Hill TTC) made up the rest of the squad. The team was warmly welcomed and delighted by the extra-ordinary hospitality of the locals. A number of receptions including a visit to the Centre for Development and Public Services for the 15 members of the local community and a civic reception at the Goudelin Town Hall with the Mayor and officials from the French Federation and Brittany League welcoming the athletes to the challenge.

Ivan preparing for battle!The match itself was part of a festival of sport and culture that included an exhibition of sports sculptures and photographs by local artists. Comptoire Irlandais a company specialising in Irish food had a display of a number of well known Irish products available to the public. The teams paraded through the town all accompanied by the Plouha Breton pipe band and were individually introduced to the good crowd and given a gift pack of local delicacies at the sports centre.

Emma Jane and David knocking up with team mate KelbyThe standard of the Breton team was very high and they dominated most of the matches. David Hayes performed well above expectations and showed a remarkable display of attacking table tennis especially against U16 French Champion David Pardé. The match made up of long rallies with both players throwing their full weight behind fast and furious attacks to both wings with the other having to recover back from the table. The audience was on their feet on a number of occasions as the ability of the two players rose higher and higher during the 5 sets of the match. The Breton finally disposing of Hayes 11/8. Emma Jane also performed well but was only able to breach the French defensives on one occasion.

After the presentation of the hand carved Kito trophy to the victorious Breton side and a commemorative trophy to both Team Kinneigh and the Munster team the players were treated to a traditional Fez-Noz. These types of festivals are held all over Brittany during the summer months with a barbecue and a huge wooden dance floor. The music and dancing went on long into the night and early the next morning with young and old taking part and was a welcome experience for all the players. They then spent most of the rest of the days relaxing in the beautiful sunshine on one of the many sandy beaches.

The event begins the table tennis season in West Cork with the PINGIS starting in September. The series of eight sessions, held on the second Saturday of each month, starts in Dunmanway on the 13th September. Two training sessions are available (5Euro) 10.00-12.00hrs or 14.00hrs-16.00hrs (Tel: Vicky 026-49287). All ages all standards catered for with three qualified ITTA Coaches attending. This event will be followed by a ranking tournament at Team Kinneigh on Saturday 11th October. A number of West Cork Elite players will also be in action at the Thurles Ranking on 20-21st September.

Colum Slevin and Michael O'GradyMichael O'Grady: West Cork Sports Star
Michael O'Grady was awarded with the West Cork Sports person for the month of June. The award, a beautiful statue of the Children of Lir, sponsored by the Southern Star and Celtic Ross Hotel was made to Michael in Rosscarbery on Wednesday night in front of his family and friends.

Michael who won Gold, Silver and Bronze at the World Games is the first table tennis player to receive the award and only the second World Champion in the 3-year history of the awards. Michael paid tribute to his playing partners in the doubles and especially to his club-mate Emily Meagher with whom he won the Gold medal in the mixed doubles against a very good French pairing.

In a short speech Michael welcomed the opportunity to thank all those that had helped and supported him over the 3 year build up to the games. This included the Team Ireland Coach Arthur Brett, Munster Coach Owen Kelly and David Hayward and all those at CoAction, Bantry who have assisted him during this time.

Special Olympics World Games
West Cork players Emily Meagher and Michael O'Grady returned as heroes from the World Games in Dublin with 4 medals. Emily with a Bronze and Michael Silver in the singles, Michael also won a Bronze in the Men's Doubles. The two players who have been training together for over three years at the CoAction centre in Bantry combined their impressive talents in the Mixed Doubles to win Gold at the Mixed Doubles event.

A lot has been written in the national papers about the extraordinary effort and commitment that the athletes at the games have put into their training and Emily and Michael are no exception. As their personal coach for 3 years and a coach for over 20 years Owen Kelly paid tribute to their efforts stating that he had never experienced such a high level of commitment from any players that he had been involved with in his time as a coach. Owen also went on to thank the many others who had helped during the preparations for the games and especially Dave and Kurt who have helped provided Michael and Emily with coaching as well as the Gael Scoil who made their facilities available for the players, throughout the long lead up to the games. He added that he hopes that it will be possible to improve the existing training facilities and if anyone was interested in starting a club in Bantry to contact him at 028-35371.

West Cork Schools Cup
4 in a row for Clonakilty Boys
Report and Results

Back To Top

Shamus O'Ping