Laois Table Tennis wizard Kate Whelan continued her remarkable performances in Belfast recently as she made it a mighty seven All-Ireland victories in a row at the Valley Leasure Centre
However this latest event was a very close encounter with Rebecca Finn who was literally on fire and seeking extra devine help as she pointed to the heavens on many occasions during an epic match in the final
All five sets in this U-12 game were close encounters especially the last where nerves of steel were required as an all out attack by the Ulster girl set the pace .
However Ballyroan girl Kate kept her nerve to see off the challenge and just edge it in overtime to make it a magnificent seven in a row, beating Finn in all of the finals.
Make no mistake the Antrim girl is improving fast and training at high level and come Killarney in January she will arrive at the Glen Eagle for the next All-Ireland event determined to settle a score. Kate will have her own ideas and will certainally keep the pedal to the metal and fear nobody as she defends her title.
Many other exciting moments graced a fantastic event as many midland players were on spectular form. Paddy Vaughan was in tremendous form and captured the standing disability event and also performed extremely well in U-12 Boys event.
Mountrath’s Dylan Grace cut through all opposition as he made it to U12 Boys semi-final where he was up against Ulster’s Owen Cathcart who was in blistering form and made it through to the final. However it was a fine performance by Dylan who holds onto 4th place in Ireland with a view to improving it.
Tadhg Downey was on an excelent run untill he came up against the eventual winner Eddie Ditchburn who had brought in top notch trainer Arthur Brett from Ulster for the event. Downey later followed up with an excelent top 8 in U-14 event.
Another excelent result on the day was that of Nadia Krawczun who finished at number six after a remarkable win over Yasmine Barry. In the same event Jessie Hayes was 9th and Leanne Delaney 10th.
Other excelent performances by local players included Amylou and Katie Hayes Tiegan O’Connor, Scott Jestin, Leanne Delaney and Jessie Hayes all collecting medals along the way.
Superb performances also at this high level by Jack Carroll from Ballyroan, Claire Handcock from Rathdowney and Sarah O’Connor from Mountrath.
Current Irish Ranking includes the following local players.
U12G 1- Kate Whelan Ballyroan 6 - Jessie Hayes Mountrath; 7- Nadia Krawczun Mountrath 11 Leanne Delaney Mountrath 19 - Claire Handcock-Rathdowney
U12B - 4 Dylan Grace Mountrath 7- Tadhg Downey Mountrath 12 Paddy Vaughan Crosspatrick
U14B-11-Tadhg Downey 12 - Dylan Grace 25 - Scott Jestin
U14G 4 Kate Whelan 9 Jessie Hayes 13 Katie Hayes 18 - Leanne Delaney 26 - Claire Handcock 27 - Nadia Krawczun
U17G -11- Amylou Hayes15 - Katie Hayes.
U17B Scott Jestin.