Author Archives: Chris Main


Funding Boost : NAVT

North Ayrshire Table Tennis Club is celebrating a major funding boost they hope will see the sport’s popularity soar across the region.

The group will receive almost £30,000 over the next three years after securing money from North Ayrshire Ventures Trust (NAVT).

This grant programme was developed to enable voluntary, community and

social enterprises in North Ayrshire to explore new opportunities to help them grow in size and improve long-term sustainability.

And the table tennis club are sure this investment will help them smash into parts of North Ayrshire they have yet to reach.

The group’s organiser Billy Main said: “We’ve been running for 15 years now and it’s turned into a bit of a monster. It’s just grown and grown and this funding from NAVT will really help us become sustainable and help us achieve what we want to achieve.

“We started up in a small hut with one table and basically wanted to get as many people as possible into the sport.

“We moved to St Matthews, with 16 tables, and now there are clubs in Arran and West Kilbride which are all under the auspices of North Ayrshire Table Tennis Club. When the Portal opened we ran sessions there and due to the popularity, Irvine Table Tennis Club was set up and now it is a fully constituted club in its own right.

“But we haven’t really touched Largs, Garnock Valley and other areas, so we want to get into all the areas in North Ayrshire and grow the game. We’ve had funding previously from Sportscotland and recently acquired 20 tables which will enable us to get the sport into schools, community centres and other centres in North Ayrshire. There is a real appetite for the game and we now have an opportunity to grow it.

“This money will allow us to put together a three-year plan. We hope to appoint a development officer and increase our coaching team to meet the challenge ahead.

“Ideally we’d like lots of different franchise clubs – all linked to North Ayrshire Table Tennis Club – across the region.”

The group has produced a number of Scottish Champions – including Billy’s sons Chris and Richard – and have won the Scottish National League five years out of the last eight years, and are the current Scottish Champions.

They have been competing in the British Premier League for the past two years and hopefully will have a place again this season in the top league in the UK where the top eight clubs in the country compete on a home and away basis.

The highlight was when they staged the European Cup at St Matthew’s two years ago.

Billy added: “We’ve had some great times and have worked closely with the Council. They have provided plenty of support. We are now really grateful for this North Ayrshire Ventures Trust funding. It will really help us move forward with our long-term plans.”

Richard Yule, Table Tennis Scotland`s Chief Operating Officer, welcomed this significant investment from NAVT. “The North Ayrshire Club is a brilliant example of how table tennis can be a force for good in a local community, providing opportunities for all ages and abilities to interact, get active and enjoy our great sport. Congratulations to Billy Main, his sons, Chris and Richard, and his superb team of volunteers who continue to drive the club onwards and upwards!”

Councillor Louise McPhater, Cabinet Member for Communities, added: “North Ayrshire Ventures Trust has supported many local groups and organisations and we’re delighted that North Ayrshire Table Tennis Club has benefited from funding.

“They have some really bold and ambitious plans and we’re delighted to be supporting them as they move forward. Sport and being active is hugely important to us. It’s great to see that the club are engaging with people from all ages and backgrounds and growing the sport in North Ayrshire.”

If you would like to apply for NAVT funding, please email


North Ayrshire Open : Entry Form

North Ayrshire Open will take place on September 1st & 2nd at our club venue St Matthews Academy, Saltcoats. On Saturday 1st September will be Senior events such as Mens & Womens Singles, Banded Events & Over 55s. On Sunday 2nd September will be all the Junior Events, from u11s to u18 boys and girls.

There will be a minimum of £1000 worth of prizes up for grabs including cash prizes and vouchers. The entry form can be found below with full information.

We welcome all players of all standards and ages to enter, with each player permitted to enter 2 singles and doubles per day, guaranteeing 8 matches. We hope this year’s event will be as successful as it has been previously and would be delighted to see all clubs and regions support this year’s North Ayrshire Open.

Sat: Mens & Womens Singles, Open Doubles Over 55’s, Standing Disability & Banded Events

Sun: Juniors, U11s to U18s plus Junior Doubles

North Ayrshire Open 2018 – Entry Form


Promotion to WoS Division 1

Congrats to our top team in West of Scotland Senior League for successfully gaining promotion to Division 1. The team of Jill Taylor, Ian Macpherson & Jamie Johnson beat Uddingston TTC 5-2 in the play off to secure promotion to the top teir of the WoS Senior League.

Full league team and results available – WoS Division 2 league table

Well done to Ian, Jill and Jamie on a great season and also winning the Divisional Cup.


New Club Sponsor – FRESHII

North Ayrshire Table Tennis Club are delighted to announce our new main club sponsor, FRESHII.Freshii will be our main shirt sponsor for the season 2018 – 2019 and will support our British League & National League teams.
A Freshii franchisee from Canada with a local family connection is behind the sponsorship and is looking to support/promote North Ayrshire TT Club and aim to develop opportunities for UK franchisees to join the Freshii family.
More about Freshii 
Freshii is a Canadian fast casual restaurant that serves burritos, wraps, soups, salads, and frozen yogurt. It was founded in 2005 and has 370 locations in North America, South America, and Europe.  By the end of 2019, the company expects to have 760 locations worldwide.

Successful National Championships

Senior Events
Andy Macpherson reached the last 16 with wins over Paul Monteth & club mate Ryan Henry, Andy fought hard v Drumchapel’s Yaser Razouk but eventually lost out 3-0. Martin Johnson & Kayser Collins drew in same group alongside Colin Dalgleish & Dumfries’s Keir Morton. Martin got better of club mate Kayser and followed it up with strong win v Keir, 11-9 in deciding set. Martin put up some fight  but went down to Sean Doherty, 17-15 in the fourth in last 16.

Chris Main worked his way to QF with wins over Danny Bajwa and Edinburgh’s Calum Morrison, Chris drew Scottish no2 Craig Howieson, and lost 3-1 in a close and entertaining match. Chris teamed up with Sean Doherty to reach final of Mens Doubles and teamed up with club mate Holly McNamara where they reached QF.

Jill Taylor alongside Alisa Khalid finished runners up in Women’s Doubles with a good win over Aberdeen pairing Isla Scott & Tessau Yau to secure 2nd spot.

Junior Events

Nathan Hogg won two super close matches in his opening group stage v Aberdeen’s Johnathan Pan & South Ayrshire’s Aron McDonald to qualify to QF of U13 Boys, where he lost out to no4 seed Charlie McGowan.

Chad Duncan worked his way to last 16 of U15 Boys Event in an eventful group stage, coming back from 2-1 8-2 down to qualify. Chad lost out to a strong Borui Chen 3-0. Holly McNamara played brilliantly in both U18 Girls & U15 Girls event, Holly won 2/3 matches to progress to the semi finals of U15 Girls event, where she lost to eventual winner & top seed Faye Leggett.

Kayser Collins who has played his first season for NATTC in British League this season, was unfortunate not to qualify through his group stage, losing out to the improving Tony Nelson & top seed and eventual winner Calum Morrison. Ryan Henry qualified through his group in 2nd place, and pushed no2 seed Dylan in both the second and third set. Ryan lost to club mate Martin Johnson in last 16.

Naomi Provan who has shown great improvement throughout the season and has recently been selected to represent Scotland as part as the U18 Girls schools team at British School Championships. Naomi lost out in several close matches and failed to qualify from group stages.

Martin Johnson lived up to his top seed billing, winning the U15 Boys National title without dropping a set. He beat an in-form Y Fang in a fast paced final 3-0. Martin also teamed up with Dumfries’s Danny Bajwa to win the Junior Doubles title, saving several match points v top seeded pairing of Keir Morton & Calum Morrison to win the title.

Huge well done to Jamie Johnson who was beaten finalist in the U13 Boys Singles Event. Jamie showed his class as he advanced to the final, wins over up & coming players South Ayrshire’s Kris Taylor & Edinburgh’s Charlie McGowan. In the final, Jamie lost out to Borui Chen in a tight 3 set match.

Congrats to Jess Hogg who became U13 Girls National Champion. Jess won in straight sets v Hannah McDonell (Penicuik) in the final. A well deserved way to finish a rewarding season for Jess, with several title wins at Scottish ranking events this season.

Report by Charlie Ellis

Full List of Winners of SNC 2018

Full results of all age groups 



Golf Day Fundraiser Results

Another successful Golf Day Fundraiser at Kelburn GC in aid of our junior development programme. Thanks to everyone who entered, donated prizes and participated in our raffle / auction. Big thanks to Billy Main for all his continued hard work in organising this event and hope to see everyone back again for next years edition.

Team Winner : Northern Services, Captain John Clements.
Team R-Up : G Campbell, S Campbell, J McNamara & R Main.
3rd Hole Longest Drive : Tilney Investment, John Blair.
8th Hole Nearest the Pin : Pure Forged Golf, Fergus McAinsh.
14th Hole Nearest the Pin : Paterson Accountants
1st Hole Nearest the Pin : Phil Greenham’s team

Big thanks to Billy & Veronica Main for all his continued hard work in organising this event.

brit 2nd

British League Team Secure 2nd Place

A fantastic season for both our british league teams has finished, which seen 10 players / coaches travel to Dudley for the 4 weekends of matches throughout the season. British League is the premier competition for all performing clubs throughout the UK, with each division being competitive and challenging. North Ayrshire players and coaches kept a spirited and positive attitude through-out proving a great experience for all involved.

Division B2 : Andy Macpherson, Martin Johnson, Ethan Chapman & Danny Bajwa.
Coach : Chris Main

Division C2 : Harvey McDonald, Ryan Henry, Jamie Johnson, Kayser Collins & Charlie Morton.
Coach : Jordan McGinlay

Huge congratulations to Martin , Andy , Danny & Ethan on securing 2nd place in Division B2 of British League. An incredibly tough league where the boys just finished 2 points behind eventual winners Milton Keynes. The team finished ahead of a strong TT Daily team, Woodfield team and Sycamore team and hope to do 1 better next season and gain promotion.


Link to the final league table – British League Division B2 Table 

Link to the final league table – British League Division C2 Table 


Fantastic Five Are Called Up

Article from Ardrossan & Salcoats Herald

Five fast emerging players from the three towns club will fly the flag for their country in a national event later this year. A quintet from North Ayrshire Table Tennis Club recently qualified to represent Scotland at the British Senior Schools Championship in London in June.

Playing in the Scottish Schools Finals in Edinburgh last week the following players won their way through after a hard fought mumber of tense matches where the top four qualified from each age group.

U14 Girls – Holly McNamara (Ardrossan Academy), Jess Hogg (Largs Academy)
U14 Boys – Jamie Johnson (Auchenharvie Academy), Chad Duncan (St Matthews)
U16 Boys – Martin Johnson (Auchenharvie Academy)

The Johnson brothers are both top of their age group ranking with Martin no1 in u15 Scottish rankings and Jamie no1 in U13 Scottish rankings. The NATTC players have all came through our junior development programme over the years, and all have represented Scotland in the British Primary School Championships previously.

Special mention to Chad Duncan who defeated the number two seed from Aberdeen to qualify. Chad who was number 9 seed on the day, was tied two sets all and 10-6 in the final set, only to see his lead slip away and suddenly found himself match point down. However, Chad showed great courage to win the next three points and clinch his place in the Scotland team.


TTS Regional Training with Stephen Gertsen

During the February school holidays, National Youth Coach Stephen Gertsen visited our club for two days training as part of Table Tennis Scotland’s Regional Training Initiative.

Stephen delivered two sessions on Tuesday, 11-1pm for intermediates and 1.30 – 4.30 for advanced players which saw a great mix of players from North Ayrshire and South Ayrshire TTC taking part. Stephen commented on the great work rate and potential of all players involved and hopes everyone left the session with some new ideas and tips for their game.

The following day seen 8 of our top junior players involved in 1-1 sessions with Stephen and club coach Chris Main, which was mainly multiball and fitness based. We would like to thank TTS and Stephen for their efforts over these two days and hope everyone who attended found the training beneficial and enjoyable.

From Table Tennis Scotland website :

Table Tennis Scotland have been providing Regional Training Days to regions, leagues and clubs across the country. Over the past few months Stephen Gertsen has been delivering coaching sessions to players and providing coach education opportunities to coaches on the ground. The regional training days have proven very popular with sessions being held in Aberdeen, Dundee, Stirlingshire, Dumfries, North Ayrshire, West Lothian and Edinburgh.        

Table Tennis Scotland would like to thank all our members, coaches, players and parents for all their support. Our clubs, leagues, and regions are doing a great job and your efforts do not go unnoticed.


Stephen Gertsen


Main ‘Buzzing’ after ‘Unexpected’ League Title

North Ayrshire A have again won the Scottish National League – now making it 5 titles since the league was reconstituted in 2010. They will again have the opportunity to compete in the ETTU Cup. Richard Main described the victory as ‘absolutely amazing’, especially as they had been unsure of whether they could field a strong side for the final set of fixtures.

The win was, according to Richard Main, somewhat ‘unexpected’ as they had to face a strong Drumchapel A side in their morning match. Prior to the match Chris Main felt that it was ’50-50′ and that the final result remained uncertain even when his team took a 3-0 lead. Drumchapel were bolstered by Victor Guang fresh from his bronze medal in the men’s doubles (with James Hobson) at the English Nationals. Richard Main was delighted with his victory over Guang (8, -12, 7, 9)- one of his best in recent months. Main also recovered from 1-2 down to win versus Sepehr Bidari. The victories helped his side to an excellent 5-1 victory which virtually guaranteed them the title. They completed things with a 6-0 victory over their young B team who themselves have had an excellent season in Division 1. Another key to North Ayrshire A’s victory was Sean Doherty (coming in to cover Colin Dalgleish’s absence) who produced three good victories (he lost narrowly to Guang), although young Ethan Chapman did push him fairly close (Chapman’s bat felt the full force of his post-match frustrations!). Andy Macpherson also put up a good showing versus Richard Main (Main winning 14-12 in the 4th). As Main commented the Division 1 of the 2017-18 season was a ‘strong league’ with ‘greater strength in depth’ and far fewer near ‘walkovers’ than in previous seasons.

Taking the runners up position were Murrayfield A. They began slowly with their no. 1 (Johannes Laute) struggling past Robert Toth and Gillian Edwards (both in 5 sets), While Calum Morrison narrowly avoided a shock loss against Grant Williams-recovering from 4-8 down in the 5th (-10, 3, 3, -8, 11). Morrison and Laute both found form in their afternoon match against Drumchapel A, with the former recording a fine win over Victor Guang (-7, 7, 8, 9). Even more entertaining was Guang’s match against Laute which included some very high quality and entertaining table tennis (one rally included 7 lobs from Guang!)- Guang fighting back from two sets down (-11, -8, 6, 7, 8). The match featured the rally of the day which included numerous smashes, long-distance lobs, drop shots, & a smashed barrier before Guang brought the spectators to their feet with a sensational backhand winner (the next point was a service fault!). In the final match, Yaser Razouk completed a fine personal season with a win over John Hannah to earn Drumchapel A a draw.

The top of division 2 was equally tight: Murrayfield B, Dundee and District & South Ayrshire all in the mix. South Ayrshire took the title courtesy of two commanding 6-0 victories. Murrayfield could only follow up their hard fought 5-1 win versus Dundee & District with a draw against Glasgow South A for whom young Charlie Morton picked up 2 good wins. Central to South Ayrshire’s title win was the form of their two rapidly improving youngsters: Harvey McDonald and Rebecca Plaistow. While disappointed to have lost their match versus Dundee & District, McDonald was delighted with his team’s overall performance and was really looking forward to returning to Division 1. He felt that Plaistow had played well, gaining key wins in their vital victory over Murrayfield B- and that her form had been ‘much better’ in recent weeks. Roy Claxton hopes that Rebecca and Harvey will have a strong third player (possibly a recruit from down south) to accompany them next season-they hope to be ‘more competitive’ than when they last played in Division 1. McDonald’s ‘dream’ is to challenge the top 4 sides in the league but admits that the priority will be avoiding relegation. Claxton is ‘delighted’ that 3 teams from Ayrshire will compete in the top division next season.

In Division 3, Murrayfield C finished their successful season with two ‘solid’ 6-0 victories over Brunswick and an under-strength Grange side. Team captain Keith Dingwall was also grateful to Roy Claxton’s South Ayrshire B side whose 5-1 victory over Edinburgh International was ‘crucial’. Their loss to South Ayrshire B caused Edinburgh International to slip from 3rd place from 1st to 3rd place and thus miss out on promotion.

In Division 4, North Ayrshire C completed their season with two 6-0 victories while Murrayfield D saw their title challenge go up in smoke via a draw against Garnet.

Many thanks to all those who assisted during the season. Particular thanks to North Ayrshire TTC for hosting the final set of fixtures in their customarily professional manner. The SNL committee are particularly grateful to Catherine O’Neill for stepping in to cover top table duties and to Roy Claxton for helping out with the league table calculations.

SNL league winners & runners-up 2017-18:
Division 1: North Ayrshire A. Murrayfield A
Division 2: South Ayrshire A. Murrayfield B.
Division 3: Murrayfield C. South Ayrshire B.
Division 4: North Ayrshire C. Murrayfield D.