Another full house at the Championships last night with some terrific matches on display. Before reporting on the nights activities a gentle reminder to us all that we need to remain aware of a level of social distancing and with this in mind your committee will be facilitating extra seating downstairs. All spectators are very welcome but do be cognisant of this and the much loved balcony will be ‘softly managed’ in terms of numbers over the days ahead.

Onto today’s report. By jingo some of the tournament heavyweights arrived on scene last night! Sailing through to the next round went the pairing of C. Lowry/Aileen Regan, Roy Bailey/Steve Mcgoohan (one of bookies favourite for the 8 ups), The Bennett Boys, Dermott & Luke another favoured pair in the 8 up’s, Caoimhin Cronin & Ellen O’Carroll in the mixed, our 3rd seeds in the men’s doubles Oisin O’Hanlon and Roy Bailey, our 7th seed in what is a very competitive men’s singles event the returning Ivan Brady, our 5th seed Louis Hemeryck and Simon Lloyd/Breifne Mckeever in the mixed.

Second seeds in the Mixed Neiland/Mc Nally O’Rourke had a fine win over Holly Porter & Sam Hanley. Great performance in particular from Holly and the skilled Rebecca with a quality first set going to the seeded pair who won in 2 competitive sets. On court one we had the match up of the number 1 seed Oisin O’Hanlon against a quality opponent JP Begley. While Begley did not present an aura of confidence pre match his display in the first set was both assured and accurate playing some great tennis testing our top seed and taking 4 games. O’Hanlon found his range in the 2nd to progress into the next round.

Nathalie Doyle and the ever smiling Ruth Milne took of the strong pair of Lucy Butler/Sarah Jane Llyod in the ladies Mixed doubles. Really great first set with Doyle & Milne putting on a terrific defensive display and Butler & Llyod reaffirming the balcony held view that they are ones to watch winning the all-important first set 6/4 and taking it in two sets. Onto the later matches we were treated to another great mixed doubles affair with Paul Curran/Joan Heelan Vs Des Noctor & Jenny McCann. In the Lucky Dip yours truly had the good fortune to be paired with another handicaps heroine Siobhan Smyth and met significant resistance and no small amount of guile and skill from our opponents Ann Hayden and Trevor King with the first set again proving pivotal going 7/5 to Burke/Smyth as did the match.

And finally to probably the best matches of the night with some wonderful rallies on display. Curran & Heelen Vs Noctor/Mccann in the Mixed with the first set taken 6/4 by the former. This was never going to be easy for either pair and so it proved. Noctor/Mccann tore back into the match with the critical game coming in game 11 at 5/5 in the 2nd and going to the eventual winners Heelen and Curran. Court One saw our past champions and number 2 seeds Neiland/Gill taking on new-comers Andrew Brown & Mark Fourie. While in truth there was always going to be one winner the free flowing play from Fourie/Browne bears a mention and in particular the ‘shot of the tournament’ to date delivered by Brown following a wonderful rally splitting his opponents literally in two from the back of the court. Court two saw a late night tussle with Caoimhin Cronin & Sam Hughes playing the father and son duo of Greg and Stephen McDowell. Great match up and great tennis delivered by both teams with the elder McDowell impressively setting the tempo and pace of the match. Youth had it’s way in the end with a 6/4 6/4 win for Cronin and Hughes. League selectors were seen writing furious and copious notes as this one played out.

Plenty of great fare on display this evening with our number 1 and 2 seeds in the laddie’s singles, Chloe Giacometti and Sarah Emerson looking to begin to move up the gears and a couple of intriguing match ups in the Men’s singles with Colin Grant taking to court against Will Fitzgerald and Paul Curran and Rob Neiland going head to head.

NOTE: 80 plus tickets now sold for the Finals evening. Remaining tickets now only available at the Club Bar. Thanks to all for the great support for this event. I will leave you with the thoughts of one Truman Capote:

‘Failure is the Condiment that gives Success its flavour’

Your Championship Committee.