Edinburgh success remembered in Auckland

On the Auckland waterfront (left to right) Alan Tomlinson, Yvonne Fogarty, Kadia Kellor-Rice and Geoff Rau (Photo: courtesy of Yvonne Fogarty)

by Ian Marshall, Editor

The Scottish Open in Edinburgh, the young lady to catch the eye was Yvonne Fogarty; notably the teenager from Otago in New Zealand captured two titles.

She partnered Cathy Johnson to success in the women’s doubles event, in addition to securing the junior girls’ singles title.

Now 50 years after those successes on Sunday 19th March 1967, when the duo accounted for Scotland’s Lesley Barrie and Olive Hawkins (21-13, 12-21, 21-17, 17-21, 12-17) in the women’s doubles final and a straight games win was posted against England’s Linda Bashford (21-16, 21-16) in the Junior Girls’ Singles title decider, there was a time to reminisce.

Recently Yvonne Fogarty alongside fellow Swaythling Club members Kadia Kellor-Rice, Barry Griffiths, Alan Tomlinson and Geoff Rau were present at the 2017 World Masters Games staged earlier this year in Auckland from Friday 21st to Sunday 30th April; the multi-sport event has age groups from 30 years plus to beyond 85 years. It is very much in the spirit of the World Veteran Championships in which Yvonne Fogarty was very much involved when the tournament was staged in 2014 in Auckland.

Also present was Geoff Rau, a former member of the ITTF Board of Directors and former international Alan Tomlinson.

“We had a most enjoyable time over lunch near the spectacular Auckland waterfront and learned more of each other’s table tennis stories. In particular, I found it fascinating hearing about Geoff Rau’s time with the ITTF. Truly it is unique and special in our sport to have an international network, our Swaythling club International, that facilitates getting together and remembering and promoting active participation in table tennis.” Yvonne Fogarty

Alongside Murray Dunn, Bryan Foster, Terry O’Carroll and Harrison Waterhouse, Alan Tomlinson had been a member of the New Zealand team that toured England in 1967 en route to the World Championships in Sweden. Neti Traill completed the Women’s Team alongside Cathie Johnson and Yvonne Fogarty.

They played a series of matches, facing Yorkshire, Lancashire, Scotland and Edinburgh Select in addition to competing at the North East of England Open and the Scottish Open.

The latter was a tournament in which they did rather well. Additional to the successes of Yvonne Fogarty; Neti Trail beat Lesley Barrie in the women’s singles final (21-7, 21-14, 17-21, 21-16) and partnered Barry Foster to mixed doubles gold, they overcame the host nation’s Malcolm Sugden and Lesley Barrie in the final (21-15, 21-19, 21-18).

Success and there was more for the Kiwis; Barry Foster and Alan Tomlinson beat England’s Brian Burn and Brian Kean (21-15, 21-19, 21-18) to be crowned men’s doubles champions but in the men’s singles event, the New Zealanders had to settle for the silver medal.

Alan Tomlinson was beaten by Malcolm Sugden in the final (21-14, 12-21, 19-21, 21-19, 21-18, 21-13).

Defeat for Alan Tomlinson but 50 years later there was better news; at the 2017 World Masters Games he won the men’s singles over 80 years men’s singles grade a title, at the final hurdle he beat New Zealand colleague, Larry McCallion in the final (11-6, 11-9, 11-9).

Meanwhile, Barry Griffiths secured the Men’s Singles Over 50 years title, whilst Yvonne Fogarty won women’s team gold as well as being a women’s doubles silver medallist in partnership with Sue Shirriffs and mixed doubles runner up with Lee Nam Hang.