6pm on Day 2 of the Championships and, as precisely as the players took to their courts, so too did the torrential rain begin. Nevertheless, play went on with some thrilling matches and impressive results.
Newcomer Stephanie Hegarty, making her Sandycove debut, had a superb win over Lisa Morgan. Youngster, Caoimhin Cronin, put up a strong fight against number 5 seed, Robbie Kernan, with Robbie going through to the next round. Another youngster, Alex Wardlaw, played brilliantly against John Shanley also securing a place in the next round. Meanwhile, Ian Brady and Andrew Sherry were put through their paces by Pat Leamy and Ken Peare. Playing for nearly two hours and hitting three close sets, Ian and Andrew were the eventual winners. Simultaneously, another marathon match was going on between Dermot Bennett and Cian O’Higgins. Cian got through while an unlucky Dermot had to retire, at tie-breaker stage, due to an ankle injury.
With most of the 6pm matches completed, more or less on time, another five matches got going. Luckily for the 7.15pm contenders, the rain had eased. This time it was mainly doubles, apart from the Jimmy Casey court, where Colin Wardlaw and Paul Kilduff were playing an extremely tight game of singles, eventually won by Paul. Father and son pair Paul and Will Fitzgerald had a comfortable win against Samuel Hughes and Andrew Percival, while Philip Craig and Fiona O’Reilly saw off John Quinn and Mairead Totterdell in the Lucky Dip. Also playing in the Lucky Dip were Conor O’Reilly and Jenny Cullen against John Harrington and Grace Weldon. This match was close and finally won by Conor and Jenny. Meanwhile Karen Johnson and Jenny McCann were battling against Katie Cunningham and Maebh Moore coming out on top in two sets.
Next up were the 8.30pm crew. President Dave Hanley and partner Helen Curran had a close and exciting game against John F Burke and Ellen O’Carroll, with John F and Ellen pulling through to win in two sets. Also playing in the Lucky Dip were Ken Browne and Siobhan Smyth against Rory O’Hagan and Beccy Breach. This match was long with the rain briefly re-appearing. In the end Ken and Siobhan prevailed, also winning in two sets. In the Ladies 8-up, twins Cara and Sophie Fitzgerald played brilliantly, beating mother and daughter pair Oisine Hannan and Nicole Hemeryck. And meanwhile, over on Courts 5 and 6, two single matches were unfolding between Jamie Campbell and Des Noctor, and Conor O’Reilly and Nicholas Mahon. Conor, nicely warmed up from his preceding Lucky Dip doubles, won against Nicholas, while Des came out triumphant against Jamie Campbell.
Matches start again tonight at 6pm. Again, it’s a packed schedule and so please arrive 15 minutes before you are due to play. As usual all players are reminded to check the schedule for any updates.