There were fireworks galore at the Guy Fawkes night Des Flanagan Investment
Solutions County Antrim Table Tennis Open held Ballymena Academy.
The Over 60s and Over 40s events dominated the morning and early afternoon
sessions with top seed Sean McAnaney qualifying from his group to defeat Lisburn
legend Jimmy Robinson in the quarter final, Banbridge’s Arnold Morgan in the semi-final
and Omagh’s Jeremy Lappin in a hard-fought final. The over 40s was won by Ormeau’s
Daryl Strong who qualified from his group to play Letterkenny’s Bert McCloy in the last
16, Kingsland’s Gus Agnew in the quarter final, team mate and top seed Philip Wallace
in the semi-final and Omagh’s financial guru and tournament sponsor Des Flanagan in
The late afternoon and evening sessions was set aside for the Open event with an
excellent turn out of players ensuring a late conclusion to the days’ proceedings. The
eventual winner, top seed Tom Colvin from Craigavon, played an exciting attacking style
of table tennis enthralling all onlookers with his table tennis skills, most especially the
large Craigavon player contingent who supported him throughout the day. After
qualifying from his group Tom played Des Flanagan in the last 16, Ormeau’s eleven-
year-old world ranked sensation Peader Sheridan in the quarter final, Ballymoney starlet
Adam Faulkner in the semi-final and reigning County Antrim champion Conor Nugent in
the final. Well played Tom on a great day’s play.
Each of the competitions had a consolation event for those not making the top two
places in the group stages. The Over 60s consolation was won by Portadown’s Barry
Dixon who defeated Banbridge’s spin king Jimmy Sterling in a close final. The Over 40s
Consolation was won by Craigavon’s Wai Tat Som who defeated local Ballymena anti-
loop specialist Vladimir Brzak in the final. The Open Consolation was won by Ormeau’s
Junior Close who defeated Ballyclare’s Peter Baird.
The Ballymena TT Club, who hosted the County Antrim Open, would like to thank Mr
Des Flanagan for his generous sponsorship, Ballymena Academy for the use of their
gymnasium and to every player who participated in the event, making it such a success.
Umpires, Messrs Brown, McAllister, Sterling, Lappin and Morgan deserve special
mention too for their assistance throughout the day.
The next tournament in the Ulster Table Tennis calendar is the Jimmy Robinson Ulster
Open on the 26 th November: an extravaganza celebrating one hundred years of table
tennis in Northern Ireland. The Ballymena TT Club intend to hold an Adult Challenger
and Veterans event on the 10 th December as part of its Christmas Schedule with the
possibility of an Open Doubles event also being mooted before the club’s well-deserved