The Leinster League v Belfast & District League match took place in PingZone Table Tennis Club on Saturday 27th February 2016.
Team 1: John Dennis, Romain Barth, Stephen Keenan
Team 2: Marta Zareba, Brian Keenan, Eddie Hockey
Team 3: Igor Krasnyanskyy, Jack O’Meara, Dave Gibbons
Anyone who came to see this match was in for a treat. The table tennis was both brilliant and exciting.
Belfast’s Phil Jamison got off to a good start winning the first match against Romain Barthin in the 4th set. John Dennis was up next against Gary Crawford and a tough match it was with John winning it in the 5th set. Stephen Keenan won the next against Rodney Mc Kirgen in straight sets to give Leinster the lead at 2-1. The real clincher came for Leinster in the next match. John was up against Phil and at 2 sets all and John down 1/7 in the 5th set it looked like Belfast were about to even up the score but John was not about to give up and came back to 7/9 and eventually won it 12/10 which gave us a 3-1 lead and definitely the turning point in the match. Romain beat Rodney in the 4th set and Leinster now led 4-1. Stephen had a real close match against Gary losing 4/11 in the 5th set. John again saved the day winning another tight match against Rodney 7/11, 12/10, 16/14, 11/9. The last two matches were shared and both were 5 set matches which just showed how tight the match actually was. Result: 6-3
Again Belfast had the better start with Wayne Crawford beating Brian Keenan in 4 sets. Marta made easy work against Tiago Souto winning it in straight sets making it 1-1. Eddie Hockey was on next against Martin Pickles and his funny rubbers. Eddie won the first two sets both 11/6 but unfortunately the rubbers got the better of him and lost the next three. Wayne came from two sets down against Marta to win in the 5th set. Two more five setters followed with Brian losing 9/11 to Martin and Eddie winning 11/8 against Tiago. Belfast now led 4-2. Martin’s rubbers came into play once again with Marta losing in the 4th set giving the match to Belfast. The last two matches were played anyway and were shared. Result 3-6
As in last year’s match this Division 3 one was a real nail biter. Again Belfast got the better start with Brian Calvert beating Jack O’Meara 10/12 in the 5th set despite Jack having won the first two sets and leading 10/8 in the 5th. Belfast came out tops again with Ivor Kirk beating Igor in a very close three setter 11/13, 8/11 and 12/14. Dave Gibbons got Leinster’s first win beating Kris Donagy in straight sets. Leinster won the next two with Igor beating Brian in a five set match and Jack beating Kris in four sets to give Leinster the lead at 3-2. Leinster didn’t have the lead for long as Ivor beat Dave in the next match in the 4th set and Kris beat Igor in another really close five setter to now give the lead of 4-3 to Belfast. The pressure was now all on Dave who had to play Brian next. He lost the first set but came back and won the next three. All down to Jack as the score was now 4-4 and fair play to him he came out and won his match in straight sets. Result 5-4
The player of the day went to Wayne Crawford for his three very close wins and 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 and to Roman for providing Pingzone club to us free of charge.
THE BELFAST & DISTRICT LEAGUE V LEINSTER LEAGUE MATCH TOOK PLACE ON SATURDAY 21st MARCH IN BELFAST.
Division 1: Artur Lewanczuk, Tommy Caffrey, Marcus McDonnell
Division 2: Stephen Keenan, Jim Storey, Dave Pender
Division 3: Kevin McCarthy, Brian Keenan, Shay Quinn
This had to be the best inter league match I have seen in a long time. The play and the atmosphere was electric.
Belfast got off to a great start with Willie Cherry and Darryl Strong beating Tommy Caffrey and Marcus Mc Donald in two tight four set games. Artur beat Philip Wallace in straight sets and Tommy won a real close five setter against Darryl to even the score 2-2. It was looking good for Leinster but not for long as Artur lost a five set game to Willie and Belfast then won the next two to lead 5-2, effectively winning the match. Tommy then decided he wouldn’t play the next game against Philip as we couldn’t win the match at that stage. He had left before I realised what had happened and I was very disappointed, as was Philip, as all the games are usually played regardless of the score. Marcus played the last game against Willie winning it in the 4th set.
This match was neck and neck all the way and is it was so exciting to watch. Stephen Keenan played Maurice Rooney and didn’t start well losing the first two sets but got himself together and won 8/11 in the 5th set. Jim Storey and Dave Pender lost to Andy Loane and Steven Hughes in two tight games. Stephen was again involved in another cruncher beating Andy 13/15 in the 5th set to make the score 2-2. Dave lost to Maurice in a real close three setter but Jim pulled back another one winning 9/11 in the 5th set against Steven. The next one went to Belfast to give them a lead of 4-3. Along came Stephen again and he really likes to get the most out of his table tennis as once again he went two sets down only to come back to win it 5/11 in the 5th set to even the score 4-4. So it all down to Jim and I think he was watching Stephen too much as he also went two sets down before he came back to win it easily in the 5th set 3/11.
This was another humdinger of a match. Kevin Mc Carthy lost to Kris Donaghy 12/10 in the 5th set with Kris getting four net balls in a row in one of the sets. Brian Keenan had another close game against John Lockhart winning it 9/11 in the 4th set. Shay Quinn went two sets down to Jim Sterling but won the next two only to lose 11/9 in the 5th. Kevin had a great win over John, again in the 5th set to even the score 2-2. Belfast won the next but Brian pulled it back again with a win over Jim in the 4th set to make it 3-3. Shay then won a very close and tense game against John wining 10/12 in the 5th but Belfast were not giving up and Jim beat Kevin 13/11 in the 4th set to once again even the score 4-4. As in Div 2 it was down to the wire and Brian had to take all the pressure and he did it in style winning in straight sets.
The player of the day went to Stephen Keenan for his three nail biting wins and he was presented with the Pat O’Brien individual trophy.
It was a fantastic day of table tennis and well done to all the players for giving us some of the best table tennis played in such a sporting manner and great style even though they were playing with the new ball that some of the players had never played with before.
The following report was made by Terri McKeon from the Leinster League:
Team 1: Derek Zatylny, Csaba Szollosi, John Dennis
Team 2: Marta Zareba, Dave Butler, Dave Pedner
Team 3: Tony Healy, Christy Ray, Aidan O’Regan
THE LEINSTER LEAGUE V BELFAST & DISTRICT LEAGUE MATCH TOOK PLACE ON SATURDAY 22nd
This match was first played in 1946 and has been played every year since with the exception of a couple of years during the foot and mouth epidemic. That’s some achievement. As usual the match was played in a real friendly and sporting manner that involved some great table tennis and is was great to see plenty of spectators at it.
This match started off being a real close one with the first two games shared. The third game was a real nail biter and we thought we had it won when John led 9-7 in the 5th set.But fair play to Willie Cherry who didn’t give up and got back to 9-9 and eventually won it 10/12. Derek then beat Phil Wallace in the 4th set to make it 2-2. Willie Cherry was again involved in another nail biter. This time against Csaba who beat him 12/10 in the 5th set. John won the next one against Martin Pickles to lead 4-2. Next match up was Derek against Willie Cherry and Willie got off to a great start winning the first two sets but Derek came back to win it 11/7 in the 5th set. That gave Leinster the match. The last two games Belfast won but Csaba only lost his 10/12 in the 5th set.
There were five games that went to five sets in this match so it was much closer than the result suggests. It started off with Dave Butler losing a five set game to Syd Beasant but Marta beat Peter Moffit in straight sets to make 1-1. Peter told me later that he had been really looking forward to playing her because she was a lovely open player but realised fairly quickly that she was just too good for him. The next two games were both five setters with Dave Pender beating Andy Loane 11/6 in the 5th having been two sets up and Marta lost to Syd 5/11 in the 5th. The score was now 2-2. Leinster won the next five games and Dave Pender was involved in another two five setters winning both.
This match didn’t really go our way from the word go. The Belfast team were just that bit too strong and all played with pimples or anti loop. There were only two five setters in the match. The lads fought really hard and never gave up but it just wasn’t our day.
WELL DONE TO ALL THE PLAYERS FOR MAKING IT AN ENJOYABLE AND COMPETITIVE MATCH PLAYED IN THE SPIRIT IN WHICH IT IS MEANT TO BE PLAYED AND THERE WERE SOME BRILLIANT GAMES THROUGHOUT THE DAY.
PAT O’BRIEN DONATED A NEW TROPHY TO BE PRESENTED TO WHO THE COMMITTEE THOUGHT WAS THE BEST PLAYER ON THE DAY AND THE FIRST RECIPIENT OF THIS AWARD WAS DEREK ZATYLNY.
THERE WERE ALSO PRESENTATIONS MADE TO VINNY O’NEILL AND PADDY MURPHY FOR THEIR LONG INVOLVEMENT WITH LEINSTER LEAGUE AND WHO RETIRED RECENTLY FROM THE COMMITTEE.
THANKS TO JIMMY AND SPORTSCO FOR THE USE OF THEIR PREMISES AND EQUIPMENT.
Best of luck to all the teams, and make sure you go along to show your support.
For a look back at last years match in Belfast, click here.
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