SENIOR SCHOOLS INTERNATIONAL TABLE TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS 2013
This year the Senior Schools International Table Tennis Championships were hosted by the Isle of Man. They were held over three days in the main hall at the NSC. Seven nations were in attendance with 119 players competing for team and individual medals at U’14, 16 and 18 age groups.
Local company Eye-Spy Security, in cooperation with Manx Telecom, provided web cameras which enabled followers, who were unable to attend, the option to view the tournament live with a choice of four different matches being streamed simultaneously.
The Isle of Man squad comprised:
Under 16A The Island Champion Ronan McDonnell and the Junior Top 12 title holder Hadyn McLarney.
Under16B Danny Hamill and the U’16 Island Champion Sean Drewry
Under 14A Ben Christian and Aaron Faragher
Under14B Ashley Reid and the U’14 Island Champion Wael Kassim
Carl Blatcher and Pedro Cardoso also played in the individual competition in the under 14 age group.
The IOMTTA Chairman, Maggie Mulhern, was the Tournament Referee and the non playing team captains were Malc Lewis, Ewan Watterson, Paul Corran and Chris Kewley.
TEAM EVENT SUMMARY
England A beat Wales 3-2 in the final. Luke Walsh won both his matches and joined Liam McTiernan to win the decisive doubles. Scotland A were placed 3rd.
In the final, England A beat their B team 3-0 and Wales pipped the IoM A team for 3rd place by winning the position three/four play-off 3-0. Ronan McDonnell and Hadyn McLarney had earlier topped their qualifying group by beating Scotland B 5-0, Ireland A 3-2 and Guernsey A 4-1. In the preliminary play-off they subdued Ireland B 3-1 to reach the semi-final where they lost to 2nd placed England B 3-1. McDonnell caused a real upset in that match by unexpectedly beating England’s Joseph Langham Ferreira 7/11, 11/9, 12/10, 7/11, 11/8.
Our B team finished 4th in their qualifying group losing to England B, Wales and 2-3 to Jersey. In the preliminary play-off they lost 1-3 to Scotland B and by the same score to Jersey A in the position nine/ten play-off.
Wael Kassim and Ashley Reid both beat Matthew Casey from Guernsey B and then combined to harvest the doubles to win 3-2 for their only qualifying group win. They lost 5-0 to both Scotland A and Ireland A. The next stage was the preliminary knock-out round where they went out 3-0 to Ireland B to finish 11th overall.
Our A team found themselves in a very strong qualifying group so Ben Christian and Aaron Faragher were not surprised that they didn't win a game against England B, Wales or Ireland B. However, in their preliminary knock-out match they met Guernsey B who had earlier lost to IoM B in the group matches. Christian won his two games but Faragher lost to both Casey and Sol Bower. With the doubles having already gone to Guernsey our A team went out 2-3 and finished 13th.
England A beat Scotland A 3-2 in a closely fought final. England B and Ireland B were the losing semi-finalists.
The U'14 winners were England A with their B team 2nd and Ireland in 3rd.
U'16: England A beat Ireland A 3-0 in the final and the losing semi-finalists were Scotland A and England B.
U'18: 1st Wales, 2nd Ireland and England A finished 3rd.
INDIVIDUAL EVENT SUMMARY
Liam McTiernan demonstrated why he is ranked in the top 50 in English table tennis. He gave a master class of attacking play to overwhelm Chris Griffiths who was also the runner-up in the Welsh National Championships in 2012.
Stephen Ward from England won the consolation final in four sets despite the resolute defence displayed by Jack Mills from Jersey.
The highlight for the Isle of Man was that Sean Drewry, the Island U’16 Champion, received a runner’s-up medal in the Consolation Plate where he lost in the final 5/11, 11/7, 7/11, 7/11 to Geoffrey O’Connor from Ireland. To get to the final he defeated Luke Greenfield (Jersey) 3-1 and Ryan McConkey from Ireland 3-1 after McConkey had beaten Danny Hamill in straight sets in the quarter-finals.
Hamill, who did not win any of his round-robin group matches, dominated his preliminary consolation round match to win 3-0 against Sam Totty from Guernsey who had also been beaten by Ronan McDonnell in their group match.
McDonnell proceeded to the main event having come second in his group by beating Totty and then Jason Fleming of Scotland. Callum Evans from Wales headed their group after beating McDonnell 11/6 in their final frame. Unfortunately, McDonnell did not make it past the preliminary round of the main competition as he lost in straight sets to Jack Bennett who reached the semi-finals stage.
Hadyn McLarney lost his three round-robin matches and was knocked out in the quarter finals of the consolation plate in straight sets by Geoffrey O’Connor who later won that competition.
None of our players won any of their round-robin group matches so all proceeded to the plate competition. Pedro Cardoso and Aaron Faragher both took their opponents to the final frame but lost narrowly. Faragher had hauled himself back from two sets down against his IoM team-mate Carl Blatcher who held on to win a tense but exciting encounter 13/11. Blatcher was drained by that marathon match and consequently lost his quarter-final in straight sets.
Ashley Reid went out in the preliminary round as did Ben Christian who was drawn against our U’14 Island Champion Wael Kassim. Kassim won that match 12/10, 11/7, 11/6, but then fell to Jersey’s Luc Miller who eventually won the plate competition.
These competitions take a huge amount of planning, hard work and cooperation, so it would be wrong to single out one person. However, there is no doubt that the tournament would not have been the success it was without the tremendous effort put in by Maggie Mulhern and all the officials and umpires who helped the event to run so smoothly.
We would also like to thank the staff at the NSC and the following sponsors and advertisers for their support.
Eye-Spy Security Live streaming
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Press Officer IOMTTA