Current All-Ireland Table Tennis champions Mountrath started out the defence of their U-13 Girls Community Games title by meeting Emo in the County final last weekend.
Jessie Hayes, Leanne Delaney, Tiegan and Sarah O’Connor all took on the challenge of Emo’s Gillian Keenan, Zoe Keegan, Emma Lawlor, Chloe Langford and Niamh Crowley.It was always going to be difficult for the village as Mountrath’s players have been hitting high notes at national events all season, and while a very spirited performance was displayed by Michael Slevin’s team they found Mountrath vastly superior on the night.
Meanwhile Emo Boys were collecting gold following their victory over last seasons winners Ballyroan in the U-13 final and so march on with Mountrath to Round 2 where their opposition will be from Offaly or Westmeath.
Dublin hosted the most recent Irish Challenger series over the weekend. Ninety Two junior players from the Leinster area congregated in Lucan in a two-fold event that is an introduction for young players to experment at higher level and also for advanced players to gain competition time.
After many rounds it came down to semi-finals and finals over four divisions where the Premier Division was the pinnacle of the event. Here it was a Laois-Kildare final with Mountrath’s Scott Jestin taking on Oisin O’Rourke of Maynooth in a hard hitting contest.
Jestin executed his potential early to command this encounter and took the first set 11-6. O’Rourke turned the table with a 10-12 win, but thereafter Jestin turned up the heat with persistant preasure to take remaining sets 11-7 and 11-6. and so take overall event winner, while Amylou Hayes kept in close contension throughout the day to take overall third.