Ashley ROBINSON heading the charge on the men's side
Butterfly Irish Senior National Championships
DCU Sport will play host to the seasons showpiece event as the Butterfly Irish Senior National Championships kicks into gear this weekend, with play starting on Saturday morning and running right through to a close on Sunday afternoon.
As ever, the cream of Irish Table Tennis will all be in attendance, aiming to take home those prestigious National titles on offer. In one of the most exciting and eagerly anticipated Nationals in years, there is talent in abundance in both of the main events, as the Men's and Ladies singles are stacked with genuine title challengers.
Heading the charge on the men's side is top seed and Ireland's leading International player Ashley ROBINSON, who will be looking to clinch the title which has eluded him to date. Hot on the Clogher mans heels are two of Ashleys close friends and long time rivals, Paul McCreery and Gavin MAGUIRE. Paul, the most decorated player in the Men's draw, goes into this event aiming for National title number four while Maguire goes in search of his third Nationals success as he defends the crown he won in such dramatic fashion twelve months previous.
The Men's singles has some extra spice this time around however, as the big three of ROBINSON, MAGUIRE and MCCREERY must deal with an emerging batch of youngsters if they are to find themselves in a familiar three man shootout on Sunday.
Leading this challenge is Owen CATHCART, Ryan FARRELL and Zak WILSON, while French based Alex GILLEN will also be looking to have his say when we get to the business end of proceedings. One way or another, there will without doubt be fireworks as this event hots up!
Similar to the Men's event, the Ladies Singles is a tough one to call. Leading the charge here is top ranked female player Katie and multiple winner on the Irish domestic circuit this season, Katie McGlone. The UCD player, like men's top seed ROBINSON, is still chasing that elusive National title so she will no doubt be chomping at the bit this weekend. Katie is in some good company at the top of the seedings. Mia O'RAHILLY EGAN, who has had some big wins on the International stage of late, will be a major force come Sunday. Ulster duo Rebecca FINN and Ashley GIVAN are also likely to have something to say in the latter rounds. GIVAN goes into this years event aiming for a historic 6th National title and judging by her record at this event, the Queens Student will be very tough to beat.