In the centenary year of the Ulster Open Championships, it was Ulster’s Paul McCreery and Charlotte Carey from Wales who were the top performers in the Men and Women’s Open Singles, with both players winning the respective titles for the third time.
In the Men’s event Paul came through his first-round group and progressed to the final without dropping a game, that included wins over Colin Judge (R32), Paddy Vaughan (R16), Ben Watson (QF) and Adam Faulkner (SF). In the other half of the draw defending champion, Tom Davis from Dublin secured a place in the final after wins against former champion Na Ning (QF) and Scotland’s No. 5 ranked player Danny Bajwa in the semifinal. In a thoroughly entertaining final, it was Ulster’s Commonwealth Games veteran Paul McCreery who came out on top, winning in four games.
In the third and fourth place play off, Danny Bajwa edged out Ulster’s exciting young prospect Adam Faulkner to claim 3rd place. Whilst only two Ulster players managed to reach the QF’s, there were a number of notable performances from Ulster players in the earlier rounds, particularly from Tom Irwin, Conor Nugent and Ben Watson.
In the Women’s Open singles, Commonwealth Games bronze medallist and two times former champion, Charlotte Carey from Wales topped her group and progressed to the QF where she was too strong for St Anne’s promising young player Crystal Ho. Charlotte then secured a place in the final with a straight games win over Ulster’s Emily Flynn.
In the other half of the draw, Scotland’s Alise Khalid lost out in the QF to last year’s runner up, Lowri Hurd from Wales. Hurd then overcame a strong challenge from Ormeau’s Grace Looney in the SF to reach a second consecutive final.
In an all-Welsh final Carey won in straight games to complete a hat trick of Ulster Open titles, having previously won in 2015 and 2017.
Ormeau’s Phil Wallace started as favourite in the Men’s Masters event and after winning a tight tussle against Paul Gallagher in the QF he survived an epic encounter with Pat McCloughan in the SF coming back from 2-1 down to win in the fifth game. In the other SF Munster’s Philip Shaw got the better of Sylwester Hadjul to reach the final, however, it was the Ulster player who came out on top winning in four games.
In the Women’s Masters Susan Hanlon proved to be too strong for Ulster trio Mary Toland, Chui Lin Kwok and Ruth McGilligan.
The Restricted Singles proved to be very competitive with a number of Ulster players progressing to the latter stages including Tiago Sauto and Tomasz Toman who met in the first SF with Tomasz winning in straight games. In the other SF, Mark McAlister just lost out in a tight match to highly rated Vincent Ni from Dublin who went on to defeat Tomasz in the final.
In the Para event Ulster’s Jude Sheldon and David McCaughern were involved in some highly entertaining matches, however they both narrowly missed out in qualifying for the SF’s. Paddy Vaughan lifted the title after a thrilling five games win over Para-Olympian Colin Judge.
In the Under 21 Men’s event, four Ulster players progressed to the SF’s with Ben Watson playing Adam Faulkner and Alex Lo up against his Ormeau clubmate Peadar Sheridan. It was Adam and Peadar who went on to contest the final with Adam winning 11- 8 in the deciding game.
In the Women’s event Lowri Hurd recovered from losing the opening game in her SF against Anjali Singh to win in four games and set up a final with Emily Flynn who edged out Grace Looney in the other SF. In the final Lowri had to come from behind again after losing the first game 13-11 but she recovered to take the next three games and claim the U21 title for the second time in successive years.
The standout performer in the junior events was Ormeau’s highly rated Peadar Sheridan who is currently ranked No.5 in the ETTU standings after a string of impressive performances that includes a silver medal at the WTT event in Podgorica, Montenegro. Having narrowly missed out on winning the U21 title, Peadar claimed both the U19 and U17 Boys titles.
In the U19’s Boys event Peadar gained revenge on Adam Faulkner after hisr defeat in the U21 final to reach the final. In the other half of the draw St Annes, Tom Irwin produced some exhilarating TT to move into the final with wins over Junior Close, Alex Lo and the highly rated Vincent Ni, however, despite winning the first game of the final it was Peadar who came out on top to claim the title.
The U17 Boys event was equally as competitive with a number of Ulster players producing excellent performances throughout the knockout stages. In particular Aedan McGivern had some good wins to reach the semifinal but eventually lost out to the eventual winner Peadar Sheridan who also proved too strong for Vincent Ni in the final.
Following on from her success in the U21 final, Lowri Hurd completed a double when proving too strong for Ormeau’s highly rated young star Grace Looney, who had an excellent win against clubmate Anjali Singh to reach the final.
In the girls U17 SF, Ormeau’s Anjali Singh got the better of Melissa Johnston to set up a final showdown with her clubmate Niamh Mason who reached the final after edging past Rebecca Scott in the other SF. It was Anjali who prevailed in a tightly contested match to win in four games.
In the U15 Boys final, Dublin’s Stefan Bonchev got the better of his older brother Boris to add the Ulster Open title to his growing list of achievements at international events that has seen him move into the top ten in the ITTF U11 world rankings. Ulster’s Aaditya Singh and Dublin’s Clifford Tan were the loosing semi-finalists.
In the girls event it was Monaghan’s Eimear Hutchinson who got the better of Ahna McDonnell to be crowned U15 Girls champion.
Karsten Close (Boys) and Polly Smith (Girls) were the winners of the U13 events. In the boys event Karsten defeated clubmate Matthew Bailie in the SF and Adam Hedderly from Loop Club in the final. In the girls final Polly had to fight for every point to gain victory over Eimear Hutchinson, winning 11-5 in the deciding game.
It was great to see a large entry in the U11 event which was eventually won by Peter Cao from Loop Club who edged out Ormeau’s Tobias Gal in the final. Charlie Nash from Banbridge and Reece Maguire from Mourne played some delightful TT to reach the SF’s.
Full list of results
1. Paul McCreery 2. Tom Davis 3. Danny Bawja 4. Adam Faulkner
1. Alex Lo 2. Sylwester Hadjul
1. Charlotte Carey 2. Lowri Hurd 3. Grace looney 4. Emily Flynn
1. Nives Golub 2. Sabrina Xu
1. Phil Wallace 2. Philip Shaw 3. Pat McCloughan 4. Sylwester Hadjul
1. Fergal O’Hagan 2. David Irwin
1. Susan Hanlon 2. Mary Toland 3. Ruth McGilligan 4. Chui Lin Kwok
1. Vincent Ni 2. Tomasz Toman 3.Tiago Sauto 4. Mark McAlister
1. Chris Brennan 2. Keith Mooney
1. Paddy Vaughan 2. Colin Judge
1. Aaron Mellows 2. Sam Brennan
1. David McCaughern 2. Sean Geoghegan
1. Adam Faulkner 2. Peadar Sheridan 3. Ben Watson 4. Alex Lo
U21 Men Consolation
1. Joel Smith 2. Sean Patterson
1. Lowri Hurd 2. Emily Flynn 3. Anjali Singh 4. Grace Looney
1. Peadar Sheridan 2. Tom Irwin 3. Adam Faulkner 4. Vincent Ni
U19 Boys Consolation
1. Daniel McFaul 2. Conor Sheehan
1. Lowri Hurd 2. Grace Looney 3. Anjali Singh 4. Niamh Mason
U19 Girls Consolation
1. Lily Parke 2. Rebecca Scott
1. Peadar Sheridan 2. Vincent Ni 3. Isaac Ellison 4. Aedan McGivern
U17 Boys Consolation
1. Richard Pattison 2. Jude Sheldon
1. Anjali Singh 2. Niamh Mason 3. Rebecca Scott 4. Melissa Johnston
U17 Girls Consolation
1. Lily Parke 2. Meghan Philip
1. Stefan Bonchev 2. Boris Bonchev 3. Clifford Tan 4. Aaditya Singh
U15 Boys Consolation
1. Ryan Cairns 2. Jacob Coupe
1. Eimear Hutchinson 2. Ahna McDonnell
1. Karsten Close 2. Adam Hedderly 3. Peter Cao 4. Matthew Bailie
U13 Boys Consolation
1. Curtis Rutten 2. Ashvik Nandhakumar Caesar Rao
1. Polly Smith 2. Eimear Hutchinson 3. Jane Wilson 4. Kelsey Fannin
U13 Girls Consolation
1. Lea Gal 2. Jenny McQuiston
U11 Boys & Girls
1. Peter Cao 2. Tobias Gal 3. Reece Maguire 4. Charlie Nash
1. Oisin O’Hare 2. Jack Williamson