Week 3 of Winter League saw 4 of our 6 Men’s teams securing valuable wins with our 1st and 5th teams narrowly losing out 2-1. There is plenty still to play for going into Week 4 this Sunday. Thanks to those who subbed in last Sunday – Luke Bennett, Paul Fitzgerald, Conor O’Neill, Des Noctor, Ronan Prior and Liam Hurley and to those who had to shuffle up a team or two.

After a loss in Week 1 the Easter Cup team got into their stride with a super 2-1 win over Blackrock. Well done lads!

See below for the captains write-ups.

First Team, Class 2: 2-1 loss to Brookfield 1
A brief summary of the matches on Sunday.

Unfortunately, it was a tough loss for the 1st team on Sunday. We came up against a well organised and strong in-depth Brookfield 1st team. A team that we nearly played against in the final of the over 35’s league last year.

Number 3 Doubles: Rob N and Robbie Kernan played against a very strong pair at number 3 doubles. One of the players was a top Irish junior under 16 and 18. They did very well to take the second set and test their opponents but ultimately came up just short.

Number 2 Doubles: Colin Grant and Max Vidal were playing for the first time together. They played in my opinion maybe the strongest pairing. An over 35’s player hoping to represent Ireland this year in the world championships and another excellent young player. Colin and Max at times looked to be pushing their opponents hard but in the end they were too strong.

Number 1 Doubles: Catalin and Cormac Jennings got off to a flying start winning the first set 6-0. But it was too easy and like in many matches the momentum of the game changed. It was suddenly hard to hold serve and our opponents’ confidence grew and grew. We were able to stay close to them in the third and then got some lucky breaks in the tiebreak to win.

Second Team, Class 4: 3-0 win against Wicklow Town 3
After 2 away games we were at home for the first time of the campaign…..and what a fantastic home it is.

We were to be without 2 key members of the team, Colin & Robbie, their fine form and quality earning them a call up to fill a void in the first team. Kudos to the ‘engine room’ for lining up Paul Curran & a certain young Boom Boom Bennett to fill in at third doubles.

First doubles of Stephen & Brian are quietly and efficiently going about their business this campaign, yet another comfortable win of 6-1 6-2. Their humble opponents commenting after the match, ‘they ‘re class 2 quality those two fellas’.

Second doubles of Jocelyn O’Callaghan & Mark Fourie are steadily growing as a couple. The score line of 6-1 6-1 somewhat flattering, but the determined concentration to keep winning games when the quality was lacking was a big positive.

Not easy for 2 subs to be thrown in to a team determined to win every point possible, but the two subs combined beautifully. Paul is such a class player who will win more matches than most and praise must go out to young Luke Bennett for his eagerness and determination to keep the campaign going for us by giving every point his best effort. A good 6-4 6-3 victory.

Third Team, Class 4: 3-0 win to Carrickmines 4
We were at home to a Carrickmines team, struggling for points but with three subs required, this was going to be a challenge to get the necessary win.

Jon Paul Begley kindly subbed in at number one doubles with Alex Wardlaw, with JP returning after an injury lay off, they did not hang around, winning comfortably in straight sets.

Caoimhin Cronin moved up to second doubles to play alongside Roy Bailey and the blend of youth and experience worked well, delivering another straight sets win.

Frank McCooey and Colin Wardlaw kindly agreed to sub up from their own team, they took the first set comfortably 6/1. Unfortunately, the second set did not go as planned, losing it in a tie-break, order thankfully was restored in set three and we took it by the same score as in the first set.

Thank you to the team and most importantly the subs on agreeing to play on our team and each delivering a win. We have a chance of making the play-offs, with two matches remaining, against the top two teams in the group.

Fourth Team, Class 5: 3-0 win against Ashbrook 2
Sandycove 4 travelled to play Ashbrook 2, knowing that a 3 nil win would keep them in the hunt for a play-off spot, and the team duly delivered.

No. 2 doubles Alan Casey and super-sub Paul Fitzgerald were first off court with a rapid 6-1 6-4 win. The other two doubles went all the way to three sets.

No. 3 doubles Ian Brady and Dave Murphy won 3-6 6-0 6-1, and no. 1 doubles Pauls Ivory and Kilduff eventually delivered the third point with a 3-6 6-3 6-3 win. The 4th team are joint top of their section in Class 5 and are well placed for the final two matches.

Fifth team, Class 5: 2-1 loss to Meadowvale 2
Wounded from the previous weeks loss 2-1 v Claremont RU we headed into the Meadowvale 2nds clash down our first pairing McCooey and Wardlaw having been subbed up for the greater good.

Eaton and Warren moved up to play 1st doubles and lost 6-2, 6-2, McDowell and sub Ronan Prior moved up to play 2nd doubles and battled hard in the second to come from 4 love down to 4-4 only to be edged out in a point by point battle 6-1, 6-4. Big shout out to Ronan Prior for giving it his all!

Down to the two subs Des Noctor and Conor O’ Neill at No 3 who brought home the much needed point in a nail biting 3rd set tie break to save us from a bagel. Thanks Des and Conor! We have a full strength team going into this week and look forward to writing up our home match v Monkstown.

Sixth Team, Class 5: 2-1 win against Carrickmines 5
The 1st pair of Andrew Browne & Liam Hurley couldn’t repeat their victorious exploits of the same fixture last year going down in straight sets.

Paddy Dempsey & Cian O’Higgins felt the heat in the first set winning a tie break 7-1. This heat was brief as the cool calm and collected duo cruised to a 6-0 2nd set to level up the tie.

Focus turned to stalwarts Dermo & Steve McGoohan who powered through the first set 6-2. Strong serving from Steve and lightning quick volleying from Dermo kept the points short and their opponents frustrated.
The second set was closer. With their opponents serving at 4-5 and 30-0, Dermot whispered to Steve that he was not in the mood for risking a 3rd set so he quickly converted a few points and an emphatic smash into the feet of his opponent on match point closed out the second set 6-4!

The match goes to Sandycove 2-1. With 2 ties remaining against the 5th & 6th in the pool, maximum points & a play-off berth is the aim!

Easter Cup: 2-1 win against Blackrock
After a slow start to the campaign last week away to Bray, the team really stepped up this week and pulled off a very good 2-1 win at home to Blackrock. Paul Holmes and John Cronin were first off the blocks with a fine 6-4, 6-2 win which was Paul’s first Easter Cup scalp – well done Paul…!
Richie Porter and Paul Sinnott went down 6-1, 6-3 to an experienced Blackrock pairing which left it even and down to the third match. Once again Peter McCann, this time teaming up with Roger Perceval and his excellent serving, pulled the cat out of the bag! Having lost a close first set 6-7, they came roaring back to win 6-4, 6-3 to take the tie. Next stop, away to Deerpark…..with the wind in our sails..!

In the main it has been a strong campaign so far with most of our teams well placed for play-off spots! This is a key weekend for all involved! Good luck to both our Winter League and Easter Cup teams playing this weekend.