Above: Division 1 (l-r); Mair Kelly (Goleen), Niall O'Driscoll (Goleen), Erik Olsson (Goleen), Catherine Harnedy (Drimoleague), Tadgh Reidy (Goleen).
The Final West Cork Rankings took place at the Goleen Sports Centre on Sunday, May 11. This was the culmination of a series of four events played throughout the season. Over 70 players took part with 11 towns and clubs represented from all over West Cork; twenty women, seven seniors, four parents and with the youngest player seven years-old, the rankings give players of all ages, ability and experience a chance to play and have fun. The final overall top five saw an U15 Girl, a Senior Man, an U15 Boy and U11 Boy and an U13 Girl.
The fourth and final event of the series saw Goleen’s Mair Kelly assure her No.One Ranking with her third event win in the top division seeing off club mates Niall O’Driscoll and Erik Olsson. Catherine Harnedy from Drimoleague finished fourth playing in her first event while U12 Tadgh Reidy put in a very impressive performance on his debut in the First Divsion putting both Erik Olsson and Catherine Harnedy under a lot of pressure.
Oisin Barrett from Ballydehob finished off his first season winning Division 2 and finishing 6th overall for the season. Division 2 was particularly tough with three players involved in a count-back with Luke Watson of Durrus finishing second, Milan Vearncomb of Lowertown third and Caoimhe Harnedy of Drimoleague in fourth, Lukas Ahles from Bantry who has had a remarkable run of Division wins was finally brought to a halt finished in fifth.
Hugh Fitzgerald was the only Bantry winner on the day taking the Division 3 Title over Lewis O’Regan of Lowertown, Bantry’s Patrick Goggin third and Rory Fitzgerald fourth with local Goleen girl Jasmine Kelly in fifth.
Ryan McSweeney from Schull won his first ever Division Title in the fourth overcoming Sean Cronin from Bantry, Darragh O’Shea Lowertown, Donal Riordan from Bantry and brother Stephen McSweeney.
The Fifth Division saw a number of new players on the scene matched with some of the youngest players on the day. Aaron Olsson took a well deserved title battling against up and coming Saoirse O’Connor from Skibbereen. Suki Kelly from Goleen eventually overcame Oil Ampawan from skibbereen in a five-set thriller.
As part of West Cork Table Tennis’s continuing celebration of 25 years, a West Cork Senior Team took to the road for a match against Tralee. The team of four was made up of Peter Dorrington (Drimoleague), Mike Williams (Skibbereen) and the father and son combination of Owen and James Kelly (Goleen). The match billed as a ‘friendly’ was the first match-up between these two teams and was fiercely contested. West Cork established an early lead over the Kerry side with a 3-1 advantage after the first rubber and maintained this advantage in the second. They moved further ahead after winning three out of the four doubles matches with three going the full five sets. Tralee pulled back in the fourth and final rubber but West Cork maintained their early lead to finish 11-8. The final match between James Kelly and Tralee’s number one Semih Bitim was described by the Tralee players as the best match they had ever witness in Tralee going the full five sets with both players showing incredible skill. WCTTA Chairman Owen Kelly thanked the Tralee Coach and Chairman Tony Higgins who has helped with the celebrations in a number of ways this season, including providing a number of prizes for the West Cork Rankings. Mr Higgins was presented with a WCTTA Gold Award for his contribution to West Cork Table Tennis.
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