After all the wind and rain of the past two weeks, Finals Day dawned sunny and fairly warm, as long as you weren’t sitting in an umpire’s chair for three sets, that is!
Our first finalists took the court at 12.30, with Aine Leonard and Chloe Giacometti contesting the Ladies Singles on the Jimmy Casey Court, while Ronan Sweeney took on Player of the Two Weeks So Far, Jocelyn O’Callaghan, in the men’s final. Our Over 65 men were battling it out for the title on Court 3 at the same time, so the club was alive with electric tennis.
Aine got off to a relatively slow start, pressurised by Chloe’s powerful forehand. The first set was tit-for-tat for the first six games until eventually Aine found her stride and treated us to a wonderful display of sheer class.
Similarly in the men’s final, Jocelyn maintained the excellent standard he had played at throughout the tournament, but Ronan was, once again, too good. How lucky are we to have two such talented players as Ronan and Aine in our club? They are both a pure pleasure to watch.
Down on Court 3, the Over 65s were producing some magical points. After a highly entertaining match, Jimmy Morrissey and Pat Smyth emerged triumphant, 6-2, 6-1.
Singles were swiftly followed by Doubles, with Rob Neiland and Stephen Gill taking on the reigning champs, Oisin O’Hanlon and Harry Owens. Luckily there was no sign of Harry’s sore wrist this time around as the two pairs served up a smashing spectacle. Gill had prepared with a champions’ lunch of (Barbecue) Hula Hoops, but incredibly this nutritious base wasn’t enough to spur him and his distinguished partner to the title this time around. However, the non-existent crowd was treated to a fantastic doubles show, even if Neiland and Gill weren’t their usual magical selves, and the young raiders O’Hanlon and Owens emerged deserving winners.
The Ladies Doubles turned into a fantastic match between promising Junior Rebecca McNally O’Rourke and Aine Leonard on the one hand, versus last year’s winners, Sandie O’Callaghan and Sarah Emerson on the other. This match was a classic, with Aine and Rebecca just managing to pull away in the third set to clinch the double for Aine and a first but surely not last for Rebecca.
Finally it was time for our last hurrah, the two 8ups and the Lucky Dip Mixed Doubles. Your captain John F. Burke was gearing up for his final appearance with a sounder nutritional approach by making his own very nice looking sourdough and ham sandwiches. Unfortunately he must have eaten too much because he was certainly weighed down by something, perhaps just expectation, and didn’t perform to his usual bombastic standards. His partner Margaret Hartnett did her best to spur him on with loud shouts of HUP! But it was all in vain against the sheer class of new member Paul Curran and his partner, the redoubtable Margaret Worrall. Both teams played very entertaining tennis and this match was thoroughly enjoyed by the six members of the balcony, who were getting slightly giddy by this stage.
Meanwhile, Roy Bailey and Alan Warren played a great match v Tim Eaton and Paul Kilduff, with Bailey and Warren coming through victorious after many entertaining points,
And true to form, Liz Murphy and Yvonne Fitzsimons let the young Moore girls away with nothing in the Ladies 8up. Liz might have already played 18 holes of golf, but she was as elegant as ever and she and the wily Yvonne led the girls a merry dance for a set and a bit before eventually youth won out.
It has been a wonderful Championships, despite “everything’. We were treated to some superlative tennis, we were able to compete and enjoy our courts and our club, and – maybe because things were a little weird – we laughed a LOT.
We are so grateful to Mary O’Connell, Harry Wall and Dave Hanley who helped immeasurably, and to Joe Cunningham who took all the fabulous photos of Finals Day which are on the website now. But particularly to all our wonderful members who entered, played and competed, thank you. See you all next year and may we have the Mother of All Knees Ups come August 2021!
Fleur, Aileen and John F.
Championships Finals Day – Photos