The 2018 Leinster League v Belfast & District League Match took place in PingZone on Saturday 17th February.
- Div 1: Romain Barth, Paul Norgrove, Yingjie Qi
- Div 2: Kevin McCarthy, John McCormack, Jerzy Zagac
- Div 3: Gerry Weafer, Tony Healy, Josef Grencik
Belfast got off to a great start winning the first three matches. In the first Paul Norgrove played great against Willie Cherry only losing 8/11 in the 5th. In the second Romain was very unlucky losing a 4 set match against Rodney McKirgan, losing two of the sets 10/12 and 12/14. Leinster got back to winning ways when Romain beat Willie in yet another thriller winning 15/13 in the 5th. Alex Bartusik was up next against Paul. He had already beaten Yingjie in straights and he did the same to Paul but two of the sets were very close 9/11 and 11/13. Belfast now led 4-1. Yingjie put another one on the board for Leinster beating Rodney in a real close 4 setter – all nines. The score is now 2-4. Leinster badly needed the next one to stay in the match, Romain v Alex. Romain got the better start winning the first set 11/3, barely lost the second 10/12, won the next 11/9, lost the 4th 9/11. All down to the final set. Neck and neck all the way but Alex came out on top 10/12. Belfast had the match won. The next two games were played and Belfast won both in straight sets. This match was much closer than the score suggests. Well done Belfast. RESULT 2-7
In this match Leinster got off to the better start with John Mc Cormack winning the first against Syd Beasant in the 4th set. Kevin McCarthy lost to Steve Hughes again in the 4th and Jerzy lost to Maurice Rooney in straights to give Belfast a lead of 2-1. Kevin had a great win over Syd, again in 4 sets and John beat Maurice in a real close 5 setter to give Leinster a 3-2 lead. Short lived as Jerzy found Steve too strong and lost in straights to make it 3-3. Leinster were very unlucky in the next two games. Kevin lost to Maurice 8/11 in the 5th and Jerzy, having been two sets down, came back to 2-2 only to lose 9/11 in the 5th giving Belfast a lead of 5-3 and the match. John played the final match but lost in 4 sets. Well done Belfast. RESULT 3-6
It was all down to the third team to save the day. We couldn’t lose all three or could we!! Tony Healy and Gerry Weafer got the ball rolling beating Jim Sterling and Rodney Simmonds both in the 4th set. Josef Grencik lost in straights to Joe Smith. Gerry had a great win 11/4 in the 5th over Jim and Tony beat Joe in the 4th set to give Leinster a 4-1 lead. Things were looking good. Belfast won the next to make it 4-2. The three lads, Gerry, Tony and Josef brought out all the stops winning the next three games to give them the win overall. Well done Leinster. RESULT 7-2
The player of the day was a really hard decision. We had four players who had won all their games – Alex from the first team, Steve from the second and Gerry and Tony from the third. Alex was chosen as he had won a really tight 5 set game at a crucial stage of the match. He was presented with the Pat O’Brien individual trophy.
Well done to all the players for giving us such an enjoyable day of table tennis. Some of the games were so close they could have gone either way but well done to Belfast for getting the overall win.
Many thanks to Roman from Pingzone for giving us the hall and for providing tea and coffee.
– Terri McKeon
Photos by Jimmy Fleming