WITH the Junior and Frostbite Doubles leagues now dominating the courts, beginners and seasoned players alike are being well-catered for at the Kilkenny Tennis Club.
There was some exhilarating tennis in the league matches which were played on Saturday. Max Powell and Donovan Ashcroft got matters off to a fine start with an impressive display of court skills. Max took the first set, but Donovan stormed back to take the second 6-4. The tiebreak was a closely-fought affair, as Max took victory 10-8.
The next match down for decision was the encounter between Isabel Bourke and Molly Naughton. In an interesting encounter, Isabel was victorious on a 6-4, 6-1 scoreline. Killian Larkin was forced to concede the opening set, albeit a tie break, in his match against Shane Roberts. However, Killian had enough in reserve to win the second set, earning the decision by virtue of a tiebreak (6-7, 7-5, 10-6).
Long rallies dominated proceedings in the match between Craig Byrne and Sobha Singh. Having conceded the opening set, Craig was subjected to more pressure in the second set, but had enough in reserve to win 7-5. This was indeed a fine demonstration of court skills as Craig progressed to victory in a score of 3-6, 7-5, 6-2.
In the other contests Muireann Kelly continues to impress, having extended her unbeaten run to eight matches. There were also fine victories recorded by James Feeley, Josh Lamb, Alan Kelly and Karen Lynch.
Tom Madigan and Robert Cummins are leading the field in Grade A of the Frostbite Doubles League, with three victories under their belts. Jimmy Morrow and Tom Brennan are also making an impressive mark on proceedings with two matches won. They showed considerable resolve in their encounter with Eoin Maher and Michael Nicholson, with to tiebreaks deciding matters, it was indeed a match worthy of note.
All that remains to be decided in the first section of Group B is which partnership will join Ivan Powell and Kevin Bergin at the penultimate stage. In section two of the grade Martin Mullally and Jack Brett overcame Paddy O’Neill and Brian Kenny, but both partnerships are on the same score of five sets from three matches and appear to be on the way to the semi-finals.
In Grade C Fergal Conway and John Cuddihy are the clear leaders having won their first three matches. P.J. Trait and Darren Brennan are also in contention with success in two outings.
In the ladies competition Claire Roberts and Heather Sharman have been impressive with seven sets to their credit in Grade A section two. Rose Doheny and Paula Nolan are also in contention, but will need another victory to ensure progress. Ann Walton and Hilda Anthony are approaching the winning post in section one by virtue of six sets accumulated in four outings. Laura Heffernan and Dorrie Lenehan have got their campaign off to a fine start, with two victories recorded.
Rena O’Connor and Joy Cox have had success in their first two matches in Grade B, and are clearly in contention to progress. Nora Darcy and Val Nolan have also been impressive in their first three outings in section two. Players are reminded that all matches must be played by March 20. No extension will apply.
There will be a tournament with a green flavour for St Patrick’s Day. The competition, which will begin at 7.30pm, will be divided into the usual four grades. Entry may be made via the tournament notice or by text.