Laois junior table tennis players have really got to grips with the mighty Dublin contingent of talented wizzards of ping pong in their own back yard.
At the most recent Leinster ranking event in Clontarf many young players from around the county produced stunning displays of table tennis and came away with much enthusiasm and silverware over the weekend. Amylou Hayes (Mountrath) and Kate Whelan (Ballyroan) both reached the U-14 girls final and following a superb game of wits, tactics and sweat, Amylou took the title 3-1.
In the U-12 girls final it was again an all-Laois affair with Kate Whelan and Jessie Hayes reaching the summit, with Kate taking the final on a 3-0 scoreline. Kate recently won the Irish U-12 title and Jessie the U-10 title. At the same U-12 Leinster event superb performances were given by Katie Hayes 4th, Leanne Delaney 5th and Eimile McWey 6th.
Amylou Hayes also took third in U-17 Girls. In the boys events Scott Jestin, U-12, continues to establish himself as one of the top four in Leinster in a very competitive group, with Rathdowney’s Dylon Grace hot on his heels to join in the the big-time. George Goodson stepped up a notch also to win the Division 2 U-14 event.
At U-10 boys Paddy Vaughan, Crosspatrick TTC, was runner up and Ballyroan’s Brian Whelan third, while Eoghan Flanagan, Rathdowney, took the winners prize in U-10 Division 2. In Girls U-10 Jessie Hayes and Sophie Kenny-Cleare were second and third. Next Leinster ranking event is March 18/19 in Carlow, with round three of the Irish Open taking place from the 24th to the 26th of March in Brieffy House, Castlebar, Mayo.
In The Starball League, Portlaoise continue their excelent form in the Premier Division, only dropping one point to Mountrath to date. Ballyroan lead the way in Division 1 and are unbeaten to date and look good to top the table at the end of the season. Ballyroan are also leaders in Division 2. In Laois Junior League, Carlow lead from Mountrath in Division 1, In Division 2 Mountrath lead the way while a close battle remains between Ballyroan, Killermogh and Rathdowney in Division 3.
The next local one day junior tournament is Feburary 4th in Castletown Community Hall. This event is open to all young table tennis players U-17 with divisions to suit all levels from beginners up to national champions. Entries to firstname.lastname@example.org or text 086-8684693. Closing date is Wednesday, February 1.