Des Flanagan Investment Solutions Ulster Series – Round 3

South Lake Leisure Centre in Craigavon was the venue for the third round of the Des Flanagan Investment Solutions Ulster Series, hosted by Craigavon TT Club. The excellent facilities and large crowd of spectators made it an extremely enjoyable tournament.

The Over 40’s category attracted the biggest entry with 37 players entering the draw. Number One seed Rodney McKirgan topped his group and progressed through the KO rounds to set up a semi-final against Omagh’s Mark McAlister which he won in straight games. In the other semi-final Phil Wallace got the better of Gary O’Hara who had some notable wins on his way to the last four. In a highly entertaining final, it was Phil who came out on top, winning the deciding game 11-8.

With such a large entry in the Over 40’s, the consolation event was very competitive with many experienced players involved. It was eventually won by Jeremy Lappin who defeated Willie Walker in straight sets, 11-4, 11-9, 11-5.

For the second tournament in a row, event sponsor Des Flanagan and Sean McAnaney contested the Over 60’s final. Des reached the final after wins against Barry Dickson in the QF and Fergal O’Hagan in the SF, whilst Sean got the better of Norman Nabney (QF) and Jeremy Lappin (SF). Matches between these two adversaries usually go the distance but on this occasion, Des managed to secure the win in 4 games.

In the Over 60’s Consolation final Monaghan’s Jimmy Gillanders won in straight sets over Omagh’s Joe Maguire. Jimmy reached the final after defeating Oswald Patterson from Ards in the SF while Joe got the better of Craigavon’s Mary Toland in the other SF.

Despite a few late withdrawals, the Open Singles still attracted a large entry with local players Joe Sheard, Gary O’Hara, Tomasz Toman and Felix Sum all progressing from their respective groups to the KO stage. However, only Joe Sheard managed to progress beyond the Round of 16 going all the way to the final with wins over Gus Agnew (QF) and Phil Wallace (SF). In the other half of the draw Aleks Bartusik playing in his first Des Flanagan Ulster Series event of the season joined Joe in the final after wins against Anthony White (QF) and Mark McAlister (SF). The large crowd who remained to watch the final witnessed some top class table tennis with Joe going on to win in four games.

The Open consolation final was contested between St Annes David Irwin and Craigavon’s Joe Colvin who only returned from a holiday in the sun earlier that morning. The break away appeared to have benefited Joe who raced into a two set lead, however, David recovered to take the next three games winning 11-8 in the deciding game.