Whelan opens season with win

A new season of Irish Table Tennis competition got underway the past weekend in DCU Dublin with U-12 National champion Kate Whelan taking gold in her first defence of her title.

A new season of Irish Table Tennis competition got underway the past weekend in DCU Dublin with U-12 National champion Kate Whelan taking gold in her first defence of her title.

In a superb performance the Ballyroan player cruised through each and every round including a superb victory of 11-7, 11-2, 11-4 in the final. Mounthrath’s Dylan Grace started his season in incredible fashion also, as he performed mind blowing performances to reach the semi-finals of Boys U-12, where he was joined by players from Mayo, Cork and Belfast.

He was norrowly beaten by eventual winner Eoin Cathcart from Belfast but went on to take third place with a win over Eddie Ditchburn in the playoffs.

Jessie Hayes from Mountrath who was last season’s U-10 winner moved up to more demanding levels where she produced many excelent victories taking sixth place at U-12 and seventh at U-14.

Her club mate Nadia Krawczun, who has shown good form recently, made an excelent start to her season on taking seventh place U-12 with Leanne Delaney also hitting high notes in the same age group and reaching the latter stages.

Fine performances were displayed by many players from Mountrath, Ballyroan and Rathdowney clubs. Young guns Tiegan O’Connor (Mountrath )and Jack Carroll (Ballyroan) performed well in very strong groups of U-10 and will find the experience usefull as they undertake to climb the ranking ladder.

Next upcomming event is Leinster Junior Ranking in IWA on September 29 and 30. Below are some selected national rankings featuring players from Laois.

U-14 Girls

1st - Katie McClone; 2nd - Rebecca Finn (Glenburn); 3rd - Chloe O’Halloran (Leeside); 4th - Kate Whelan (Ballyroan); 5th - Valentina Poutkazyze (Killarney); 6th - Kerry O’Mahony (Topspin); 7th - Jessie Hayes (Mountrath)

U-12 Boys

1st - Owen Cathcart (Glenburn); 2nd - James Kelly (West Cork); 3rd - Dylan Grace (Mountrath)

U-12 Girls

1st - Kate Whelan (Ballyroan); 2nd - Rebecca Finn (Glenburn); 3rd - Marie Williams (Kilkelly); 4th - Devon Brady (Killarney); 5th - Ciara O’Toole (York Road); 6th - Jessie Hayes (Mountrath); 7th - Nadia Krawczun (Mountrath)