GEORGE AND FREYA MELVIN SELECTED FOR SIX NATIONS EVENT
There were no league table tennis matches during half-term but all the tables were in use last Wednesday evening at the NSC. With the Isle of Man Bank sponsored Top 12 tournament due to take place at Centre 21 on Saturday and Sunday 21-22 February some of the elite players were keen to get in much needed practice with their own bats following last week’s hard bat competition won by the current junior Top 12 title holder Sean Drewry.
This imminent event focuses on the top senior and junior players based on their league averages. To be eligible for the senior tournament each player must have played in at least fifty percent of the league matches. Unfortunately, this precludes the defending senior champion Ronan McDonnell who is ineligible for both tournaments. He turned 18 years of age last October and, due to study commitments, has only played in four matches this season.
The top eligible players for the senior event based on their averages are: Ewan Watterson, Paul Corran, Sean Drewry, Jason Quirk, John Magnall, Julian Briercliffe, Mike Tamarov, Andrew Horne, Jane Kneale, Andy Patterson, Paul Kozlowski and Nigel Beattie. Some may be unavailable due to work or other commitments so the invitation will be extended as necessary.
Drewry will have a busy weekend as he is eligible to defend his junior title and is likely to be joined by most of the following: Keeran Chan, Aaron Faragher, Ben Christian, Juan Moore, Vishal Patel, Wael Kassim, Max Walker, George Melvin, Pedro Cardoso Calvin Koske, Harry Walters and Sasha Thomas.
The IoMTTA chairman Maggie Mulhern and the Manx Youth Games Coordinator Malc Lewis were busy coaching the Junior and Cadet team players ahead of the Six Nations Championships. This event takes place in Cardiff between 13-15th March and coincides with a home match for Wales in the Rugby Six Nations tournament. Sean Drewry and Aaron Faragher are our representatives at junior level. Ben Christian, Juan Moore, George Melvin, Kerenza Baker and George’s sister Freya Melvin are our cadet representatives.
To augment our training the former British and Irish table tennis champion, Jason Sugrue, will be holding his next coaching session over the weekend of 7-8th March. With the Greystone LLC sponsored Island Championships taking place at the NSC on Saturday 28th March places for these training sessions will quickly be taken.
Looking further ahead the British Primary Schools Championships take place in Blackburn from 10-12th April. The girl’s team has already been announced; Freya Melvin, Sophie Sheard, Libby Quaggin and Kitty Thomas, who all play for Copy Shop E, were busy practicing their skills last Wednesday. The boy’s team of four players will be selected from Jack Christian, Zac Walker, Jack Craik, Tyler Hannah, Matthew Emison and Fin Hill. No doubt they will get down to serious training once the selection process has been completed.