On a most glorious sunny Saturday morning, Team 5 & Team 6 took to the wonderful setting of Sutton Tennis Club for an early 10am start to Summer League final’s day. With both teams playing at the same time and location all was set for a pulsating finish to a great Summer League campaign. With great support from Jenny Cullen, Ellen Cronin, Liz O’Mahony, Colette McNichols, Ken Browne, Mike Fenlon & Dave Widger the teams got down to business!

Class 6 Final

Team 5, captained by multiple League Winner Joe Cunningham, went into the finals as the top performing team in the Class but knowing that they were up against the newly formed Donabate 1 who had recruited an Irish Vet at 1st singles and a very strong, lower class player at 2nd singles. First off court were Dave Hanley & John F Burke (covering for the sun-soaked Dermot Bennett in Portugal) with a fine display against strong opposition, winning 6-3, 6-4. Despite the best efforts of Colin Wardlaw & Alan Warren as our top singles, the opposition was too strong and we were soon down 2-1 across the matches. Sam Totterdell, like Dave Hanley continued his unbeaten record with a solid 7-5, 6-2 score to tie the game up at 2-2 and all was to play for at 1st Doubles where Jim Brady and Joe Cunningham were slugging it out. After a slow start and trailing by 1 set the Sandycove duo settled well into the second set and served for the set at 5-4. Unfortunately, the game ebbed and flowed through a number of deuce points, with the match eventually swinging away from Sandycove 7-5 much to the disappointment of Jim & Joe, Team 5 & the entire support present. While the team will reflect on what could have been, they know that they have done the club proud bringing back the Class 6 Runner’s Up pennant. Well done Team 6, the future is bright!

Class 7 Final

Team 6, captained by the in form Tom O’Higgins, went into the final also as the top performing team in the Class and as the only team in all Men’s Classes not to have lost a match in any of their outings through to the finals (as well as only dropping 7 sets in all matches prior to the final). With a blend of youth and experience, and great teamwork, the team lined up without the services of the youthful Harry Wall (who was topping up on the sun tan in France) allowing the able services of Simon Hugh Jones to be called upon (and beating the subs bench of Larry Staines, Declan Keane & Dave Widger for final’s day selection!).

First off court were the dynamic duo of Sean Cronin & Liam Hurley who both played inspirational tennis to quickly close out their opponents in a 6-2, 6-0 score line. They were followed by the 2nd doubles pairing of Tim McNichols & Simon Hugh Jones who disposed of their opposition 6-2, 6-1 in as nearly a clinical fashion as young gun’s Cronin & Hurley! With all singles games delicately poised, and Steve McGooghan was taking control of his game at 2nd singles (wearing his trademark shorts!), Pat Leamy was wearing his opponent down and closing in on victory but it was captain fantastic himself, Tom O’Higgins who despite a shaky start, came in next with the vital 3rd and winning match point, winning 6-4, 6-1 to give Sandycove a 3-0 victory. Thanks to Simon, Larry, Declan & Dave for also playing their part throughout the campaign as super subs. The team remained unbeaten in every team position from start to finish, with Tom & Sean playing all matches and not losing a set! In addition, It was 20 years ago to the year when Pat Leamy also won the same Summer League title for the club…..a club record we believe!

So a day of mixed fortunes for the club, with 2 pennants and a nice piece of silverware to add to the collection.

Well done to all our teams this Men’s Summer League, we achieved many milestones this time out as summarized below:

7 Teams entered to Summer League 2018
All 7 teams won in Round 1!
Team 2 remained in Class 2 despite using 14subs throughout the campaign
No team was demoted from their class!
4 Teams Qualified for the Play-offs (with Team 4 losing out on a countback, it could have been 5!)
4 Teams made the quarter-finals (1st Team losing in the deciding match in a 3 set thriller at home, 3-2, to miss out on a semi-final in class 2)
3 Teams made the semi-finals and all were promoted to the next class up for 2019 Summer league (3rd Team lost out for a final spot in Class 4, losing out 3-2, and, 7-6 in the 3rd set of the final match… another close margin which on another day could have had a better outcome!).
2 Teams made the finals, 1 Winner & 1 Runner Up
Not a bad outing!

Well done everyone, for committing, playing, subbing, supporting, encouraging, believing and teaming. Next year we will have Teams playing in Class2 (2), Class 3, Class 4, Class 5, Class 6 & Class 7!

Don’t forget to sign up for Senior League!

Upwards and onwards Sandycove!

Thanks, Liam