THE Inter-Firms Tournament is steadily building towards the grand finals night in Archersfield this Saturday.
The predicted warm weather should help to provide quality tennis on the courts in the next few days. The introduction of a new format by the tournament committee for the competition, which is sponsored by Caulfield’s Super Valu Loughboy, has brought a fresh impetus to proceedings. Having men and women both joining forces and mixing seems to have been popular indeed.
In the Premier Grade, which is being played on a league basis, Tommy Rochford’s team has seized first place. They are being closely pursued by a strong outfit from Clonmel, led by Declan Tarrant.
In Grade A Super Valu A had an exciting adventure against Game Birds in the quarter-final. Super Valu had enough in the tank to resist the Game Birds, edging into the penultimate stage on 25-24 margin. The victorious team in the remaining quarter-final, Abbeyleix or Tom Brennan’s team, will be Super Valu’s next opponent.
Meanwhile in the bottom half, Madigan Agri face Hospital Hopefuls in what should be an entertaining encounter. In the plate event of this grade the Carlow Lawn Tennis Club team, captained by James Nolan, face Hibernian Hotel at the penultimate stage.
In Grade B Trapatommy’s Army had a serious scare in their opening encounter with King TV. With all games shared equally, it necessitated a play-off, but the military outfit saw off the considerable opposition provided by their opponents. In the quarter-final they will face Smart Aces, to advance in the tournament.
Already through the penultimate stage are Parasol and Wise & Eyes. The teams have reached the semi final stage in Grade C. Court Cats, who overcame VHI in the previous round, have a date with Conway’s. This should be an entertaining encounter as Conway’s have been equally impressive in seeing off the challenge provided by The Dream Team.
Sarah Drea’s team faces Maeve Power for the remaining place in the final. Both teams have had impressive performances in the quarter-final, having overcome St Pat’s De la Salle and KSP Parents respectively. However KSP have the opportunity to amend matters and make it to the final. They do have the task of overcoming State Street in the semi-final of the plate.
The largest section in the whole tournament is Grade D. Accordingly, the competition is intense for a place in the final. In the first of the quarter-finals Lahart’s Skoda and Glanbia are in competition to advance. Meanwhile Different Strokes await either Try Aces or AIB Bank. Next up for decision are The Jokers, who will be in no laughing mood, as they take on another team from Glanbia.
The final quarter-final has The Nore Bar competing against Coco Nuts to advance further in the tournament. All the teams, who have reached this stage, have impressed considerably. Accordingly, it will take skilful displays to advance.
The club hosted a successful fund-raising tournament in aid of The Chernobyl Charity on Saturday, with considerable numbers participating. The night’s entertainment was raised to an even higher plateau as many players took the opportunity to see Leinster beat Ulster in The Heineken Cup final.
The climax of the evening was the presentation of the tournament’s proceeds, which amounted to E1,250, by the organisers to Mary Hoyne who represented The Chernobyl Charity. Thanks went to the organisers for making the evening such a success and to all who participated.