Treasured moments of magic came around again in Athlone last weekend for Laois Table Tennis, as Mountrath TTC collected this years All-Ireland U13 Girls Community Games title.
This national event starts out with a host of teams from around the country battling it out to win through within their county and province, in order to qualify for the national finals each year.
The impressive team of Jessie Hayes, Leanne Delaney, Nadia Krawczun, Tiegan O’Connor and Hailey Hayes produced a most impressive display of table tennis, as they took on Connaught champions Bunninadden. The Connaught girls had extreme talent their team in the form of Amanda Taylor, with good support from Grace Hodgins, Aoife O’Dowd and Roisin O’Dowd.
Taylor gave the Sligo outfit an early lead with a 3-1 result over Jessie Hayes, however excellent 3-0 wins for Leanne and Jessie gave the Laois girls a 2-1 lead, but Taylor made it 2-2 with a 3-0 over Nadia. Then followed an excelent 3-1 win for Leanne Delaney and the same for Krawczun to give Mountrath a 4-2 lead with the doubles remaining.
Here, a very close encounter saw Tiegan O’Connor and Hailey Hayes just lose out to Taylor and O’Dowd on a 2-3 score, but it concluded a most exciting match as the midland outfit took a 4-3 win to book their place in the final.
In the final they would face Ramelton, who were Donegal and Ulster champions, and who beat Cappagh of Limerick in the other semi-final.In the decider Mountrath upped their game and produced a more attacking system of play, including blistering topspin, devilish spin and excelent serve, resulting in wins for Jessie, Leanne, Nadia, Tiegan and Hailey over Ramelton’s Chloe Moore, Erin Piper, Hannah Hunter, Leanne Boyce and Tori Steele, concluding in a 7-0 win and gold for the Laois girls, and also a great result for team coach Amylou Hayes, who took on her first assignment in that role.
The 2011-2012 season has concluded with many golden moments and excellent results for Laois players from many clubs throughout the county, to such an extent that the area is fast becoming a haven of young talent recognised at the highest level within the sport.
The financial Celtic Tiger may be gone but the table tennis one has announced its growth locally in recent times. All clubs within the county have injected much development and progress as they endeavour to compete in upcoming local, provincial and national events at the highest standards.