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Paul McCreery and Ashley Robinson to spearhead Irish bid at Senior Six Nations Championships

By Frank Brownlow

Published 12/11/2015

Top table: (from left) Gavin Maguire, Ashley Robinson (Ireland
team), Ulster High Performance Coach John Murphy, Charlotte
Carey (Welsh number one) and Dan O’Connell (Wales) take a
break from practice yesterday at Lisburn Racquets Club
Top table: (from left) Gavin Maguire, Ashley Robinson (Ireland team), Ulster High Performance Coach John Murphy, Charlotte Carey (Welsh number one) and Dan O’Connell (Wales) take a break from practice yesterday at Lisburn Racquets Club

Ulster duo Paul McCreery and Ashley Robinson will lead Ireland's challenge in the annual Senior Six Nations Championships at Lisburn Racquets Club.

The event - supported by the new Lisburn and Castlereagh Council - comes just ahead of the new-look Ulster Open on November 27-29.

Along with the host nation, England, Scotland, Wales, Jersey and Guernsey will all be in action, starting tomorrow evening.

Ireland's men's and women's teams, led by TT Ulster High Performance Coach John Murphy, have a very youthful profile with the average age of the seven players on show just 20 years old.

The men's team are led out by local star McCreery (Saintfield), as national champion for the last three years.

Robinson (Clogher), now playing part-time with Club SV Weil in Germany after full-time training in Sweden, is also in the line-up.

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Another TT Ulster employee, Gavin Maguire (Dublin), is on top form with three tournament wins this season. He is juggling his role as TTU part-time Active Clubs Co-ordinator with playing for his German club Medizin Magdeburg.

Full-time player Ryan Farrell (Dublin) is also in the side after his debut at the Worlds last year.

The women's team is packed with promise and potential.

Ashley Givan (Dungannon, Ormeau and QUB) leads the way as four-time national champion and is joined by another TT professional in top junior Katie McGlone (Dublin) along with rapidly improving 16-year-old Rebecca Finn (Carryduff) who will be making her first senior appearance after claiming the Irish Senior and Junior Classification titles.

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The Down High School pupil is also the 2015 UK Schools Games Champion.

A plethora of international stars will be on show, including charismatic Scot Gavin Rumgay while the Welsh threat comes form Mike Marsden and Dan O'Connell. England have called up two top youngsters - hot prospects Helshan Weerasinghe and Alex Ramsden.

Big names to look out for on the women's teams include Welsh number one Charlotte Carey, no stranger to the Irish players having trained with Murphy and Maguire in Lisburn, while Karina Lefevre (England) and Alice Loveridge (Guernsey) bring class and talent.

The team event starts tomorrow at 4.00pm in Lisburn Badminton and Table Tennis Centre in the racquets club, resuming at 9.00am on Saturday morning. The singles event takes centre stage on Sunday with play commencing at 9.00am. Spectators are welcome.

Belfast Telegraph

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