Inter-Firms tourney off to flying start

The first series of games in the annual inter-firms tennis tournament, sponsored by Caulfields Super Valu, Loughboy, was played last week and the competition will continue up to the grand finals on May 26.

The first series of games in the annual inter-firms tennis tournament, sponsored by Caulfields Super Valu, Loughboy, was played last week and the competition will continue up to the grand finals on May 26.

There will be the customary cessation of hostilities next weekend, as competitors prepare for the closing rounds of this popular competition. The tournament has grown to be a spectacular event, attracting not only visitors from nearby counties but also players showing an interest in the game for the first time.

All are welcome to Archersfield and it is all bubbling up to produce a most interesting competiton.

On Saturday the club is hosting a charity tournament in aid of The Chernobyl Charity. The organisers are well aware that the tournament clashes with the Heinekan Cup rugby final involving two Irish teams for the first time – Leinster and Munster.

However, that difficulty has been overcome by virtue of the tournament not starting until the eagerly awaited rugby match has been completed.

Hardcourt league finals

The annual hardcourt singles league, sponsored by Hennessy Sports, came to a conclusion on Saturday night with the finals in all grades. The mild weather certainly made it an ideal evening for playing and some scintillating performances were produced.

It has been a successful tournament this year with a number of new members participating. The organisers are delighted with the numbers who have entered and for the first time, there has been a Grade D section in men’s and ladies singles.

It was a busy time on the courts during the week, as the penultimate stages of the tournament took place to decide the finalists in all grades. As for the finals, the pinnacle of the evening’s play was the destination of yhe Justin Wall Cup in the Premier Division.

Robert Cummins took on Tommy Rochford in what was destined to be an intriguing encounter. Robert certainly put up stern resistance but it was Tommy’s court power, together with his international and domestic experience, which gave him an advantage.

The final was an exciting affair as Tommy ran out winner in the close score of 7/6, 6/4.

In Grade A, Edward Teehan, after being pushed to the limit by a plucky Tom Madigan in the semi-final, faced stiff opposition from John Skuce at the final hurdle. Indeed, it was a most successful tournament for Tom, as he was victorious in a big number of games.

Exciting contest

As for the final, John was playing at this stage in Grade A for the first time. He provided ample evidence that he is not out of place in this grade. The first set was decided in a tiebreak and the second was not one way traffic either.

However, Edward had the experience to secure victory 7/6, 6/4.

In Grade B, Paddy O’Neill and Ivan Powell battled it out in an exciting contest. This encounter was always predicted to be competitive and fans were not disappointed.

Ivan got off to a good start and took the opening set. Paddy refused to take things lying down and stormed back to seize the second. Ivan steadied the ship in the final set to register a hard-earned victory, 6/3, 3/6, 6/2.

In the Grade C final, Larry Moloney and Bob Moore traded court play in an exciting and titanic match. This match was exciting to the final shot as the score clearly indicates.

It was Bob who got off to the better start via victory in the opening set. Larry produced some impressive tennis to take the remaining sets, albeit by slender margins, 5/7, 6/4, 6/4.

Finally, in Grade D Sean McMullan was unlucky in his match with J.J. Drennan. The score indicates it was another exciting encounter, with J.J. getting the upper-hand 7/5, 6/4.

In ladies Grade A, Emer O’Keeffe and Ailish Scott produced a right battle, necessitating three sets to decide the issue. Ailish opened by winning a closely fought opening set. Emer impressed in the second and took the set. In the third, Ailish put in a concerted effort to take the trophy presented by the Dore family. The final score was 6/4, 2/6, 6/3.

In Grade B, Helen Fitzgerald earned her place in the final after a marathon semi-final match against Nicky Read. This was one of the best matches in the entire tournament. Both players battled for over three hours, taking two tiebreaks to decide the issue.

Her final encounter with Joy Cox was not to be an easy assignment either. This 2-set match was to be an exciting match, with Joy edging to victory, 6/4, 6/4.

In Grade C, Susan Kenny and Dor Keane produced their share of drama before deciding matters. They had faced each another in an earlier round. Accordingly, there was considerable speculation that matters might be different at the final hurdle.

Dor Keane laid down the gauntlet in taking the first set. However, Susan had enough in reserve to command the situation, taking the remaining sets - final score 2/6, 6/2, 6/2.

In Grade D, Aoife O’Neill provided stiff opposition for Ber Stapleton in a closely fought final. It necessitated a tie break and a tight second set to decide the issue. In the final analysis it proved to be a tough assignment for the winner, Ber, to take the title, 7/6, 7/5.

On Saturday night a successful tournament was played. Tom Madigan and Eadion Power won all their matches to take first prize. Runners-up were Pauline McHugh and Maeve Power.

The club thanked Brian Doyle for organising what was a very successful tournament, which was thoroughly enjoyed by the participants. After the completion of the inter-firms tournament, the tournament will be played every Friday. Intending entrants should telephone Brian at 0868714941.

Meanwhile, Robert Cummins showed great form when taking the over 35 singles title at the Munster championships recently.