MATTHEW HAYNES produced an outstanding performance to overcome Sylwester Hadjul in the semi-final of the men’s singles table tennis class two event at the Munster Open which took place at the Neptune Stadium.
Haynes, who is a player at Leeside in Cork, took a one-game lead over Hadjul, who is a member at Beech Hill.
Both the players started strongly from the start of the first game with little to separate them until the later stage where Haynes took a two-point lead before ending the game winning by three points as he conceded eight points.
Haynes continued his winning formula in the second game and his attacking game brought him several vital points as a result of his forehand topspin.
He ended the second game conceding three points before another outstanding performance in the third game where he conceded five points brought the match to a finish and a place for him in the final.
The second semi-finals match saw Philip Shaw of Beech Hill battled it out with Kevin O’Keeffe of Leeside with the former taking a one-game lead after conceding just three points in the first game.
O’Keeffe recovered in the second game as he ended the game on a winning note dropping six points before leading for the first time after he successfully eliminated his opponent and conceded just six points. He needed to win the fourth game to qualify to the final as he was leading two games to one.
The fourth game was closely fought with Shaw making a strong fightback when he levelled the proceedings at 10-10.
Shaw’s forehand topspin won him the two deuce points to force the match into the deciding fifth game.
Another close encounter took place in the deciding fifth game where Shaw took his opportunity well to win and conceding nine points.
The stage was set for the final showdown between Haynes and Shaw with the former started on the attacking mode, however, Shaw managed to retrieve his opponent’s forehand topspin.
Haynes trailed at the beginning of the first game before he recovered towards the end to level and securing the two deuce points to win after both the players were tied at 10-10.
Once again, Haynes was behind at the start of the second game before he found his form to take the lead.
He managed to restrict Shaw to seven points as he ended the game on the winning note.
Leading by two games, Haynes became confident in the third game and he maintained his game plan with his strong forehand attack and occasionally using his backhand topspin effectively.
He conceded just five points in the third game to wrap up the match winning in straight games and at the same time securing the title.
Prior to the semi-finals, Haynes defeated Leinster’s Raino Soikkeli in straight games at the quarter-finals conceding six points in the first game, four points in the second game and three points in the third game.
Shaw also had a successful outing as he beat Paddy Vaughan of Leinster in straight games.
O’Keeffe did not drop a game in his encounter against Mykola Koval of Beech Hill, conceding five points in the first game, four points in the second game and the third game ended after he won the two deuce points.
Hadjul had to bring out his best to overcome Shane O’Connor of Ballincollig when trailing after losing the first two games.
Hadjul recovery started in the third game before he levelled the score after winning the fourth game. The deciding fifth game had to be played with the winner going to Hadjul.
Shane O’Connor was unbeaten in the first round group stage where he defeated Mykola Koval in straight games and Emma McSorley of Ulster in four games.
McSorley was the only women player in this event. Kevin O’Keeffe was unbeaten in his group as he overcame Beech Hill’s Mark Bryant and Sylwester Hadjul without dropping a game.
Matthew Haynes beat Paddy Vaughan in straight games in his group while Philip Shaw was on top of his group as he defeated Matthew Collins of Beech Hill in five games and Raino Soikkeli in straight games. The top two players from each group qualified to the quarter-finals.
This men’s singles class two event would be for players outside the top 20 rankings at national level.