Well it was another topsy-turvy week in Dublin women’s tennis, with many matches being postponed just ten minutes before play last Sunday. Those of us who did take to the courts were promptly pounded by a biblical shower of hail at about 2.20, just as most matches were starting.

Our weather struggles continue this weekend, with Storm Dennis causing the DLTC to cancel all of today’s matches. Matches have been rearranged over the coming week after hundreds of texts and phone calls between all our very patient and dedicated team captains. We’ve never seen a season like it for weather, and we are grateful for all the captains digging in to help in a thoroughly bizarre situation.

However, thanks to our marvellously-maintained Sandycove courts which drain almost immediately, our home matches last Sunday the 9th February went ahead. Karen Johnson’s Sandycove 3, Class 4 team were unlucky not to win maximum points for the third week in a row when our third pair had to retire due to injury. Best wishes, Breege, for a speedy recovery! Sandycove 3 now remain equal on points at the top of their extremely close group. They will face Shankill today and then rivals Naas at home in the final round-robin match. This is a great team and we are sure they will fight their way out of a tough group.

Ruth Milne’s Sandycove 4, Class 4, are currently in third place in their group with a crunch match against Castleknock now scheduled for Tuesday night. The redoubtable duo of Angela Bennett and May Gallagher clawed their way back from 1-4 in the third to clinch a crucial point against Wicklow Town, and no doubt enjoyed every minute of their comeback. The win was no surprise to spectators – as Angela is prone to reminding her opponents, the cream rises to the top.

Our Class 7 team had a tough day in St Mary’s, being forced to sweep-off flooded courts and then facing stiff opposition in very challenging conditions. Luckily Aisling Shiel and Katie Cunningham decided to put their match off and after a texting marathon to rearrange, managed to clinch a win on Friday morning. Well done girls!

Our Sandycove 5, Class 6 team gave up their romantic Valentine’s evenings to travel to Claremont and made it worthwhile by winning two points against a good Claremont side. Many thanks to Sarah Beth Casey and Suzanne Quinn for forgoing the chocolates and flowers to sub! This team are in a very close section and if they can get two good wins, they are in with a shout. You can do it girls!

Our other Class 6 team had a tough day last Sunday against section-leaders Donabate, with Joanne Morrissey and Sheila Carew unlucky to lose in 3. Many thanks to Denise Hugh JOnes for travelling to subin vicious weather. They face NewtownPark today and will be in a good position to get some more points on the board, weather permitting!

Our first team faced the formidable Laytown/Bettystown in Sandycove, who had not dropped a point or even a set so far in the competition. Sarah Jane Lloyd made a most welcome return to secure a brilliant point with Beccy Breach, while Áine Leonard and Sandie O’Callaghan were really unlucky not to get the win at 1 in a tight three-setter.

Sandycove 2, Class 3, braved the floods and great prevaricators who liked to change jacket depending on which way the wind was blowing, to claim three points in St Mary’s. Starting with a good core workout that consisted of sweeping the courts for twenty minutes, the afternoon seemed to go on forever in some sort of suspended reality of wind, rain, hail, WEIRD tennis and cups of tea, but somehow we made it through. We face Castleknock 3 indoors today, bolstered by some obliging subs, so onwards and, hopefully, upwards we go.

Best of luck to everybody braving the elements today. As we write, the wind is not too bad at all, so fingers crossed we will get most home matches played today and members will have courts to play on during the week!

Aileen and Fleur