Friday, Day 6 of the Championships, and the great tennis was accompanied by delicious burgers cooked by chefs extraordinaire Rory O’Hagan and Mick Boland. A special thanks to the lads as when asked, Rory’s immediate reaction was ‘no problem, we’ll sort everything’. They even managed to fight off the scavengers and keep 4 burgers back for the stragglers stranded on Court 1 until 10.45!

The Men’s Singles progressed towards the Quarterfinals as Ivan Brady, No 2 seed took on Paddy Dempsey. Based on DLTC league positions the gulf in class should have been evident but Paddy really put it up to Ivan in a tight first set where Paddy had a number of chances to create an upset. Unfortunately, he couldn’t maintain the level and Ivan was very happy to exit the court on the way to a mouth watering clash against the winner of Brian O’Gorman and Keith O’Byrne. Brian had a tremendous win over Paul Curran, No 6 seed which was only enhanced when Paul continued his great open form in winning the East of Ireland Class 3 event in Lansdowne, well done Paul.

Other seeds advanced as No 1, Oisin O’Hanlon and Sam Hanley eased their way into the quarterfinal against Paul Ivory and John Quinn respectively. No 3 seed Rob Neiland, our swashbuckling coach put Andrew Browne to the sword, also going through to the quarters, although Andrew’s serve is a weapon to be reckoned with as he left Rob stationary with some blistering aces.

In the Ladies singles Linda Walsh was put to the pin of her collar as Eva Bennett took the first set against the No 4 seed. However, Linda showed a dogged determination to claw her way back into the match and take a tense decider 6/4. Aideen Sheehan also had a tight first set against Oilbhe Doyle before racing into the quarter finals.

Family relations were very much in evidence again last night. First up were the Percival mother and son combination of Emma and Andrew against new parents Jocelyn O’Callaghan and Sarah Gill. Five-week-old Violet was down to support, ably minded by grandparents, uncles and a myriad of people all vying for her attention. As the match entered a decider it could be assumed that tiredness would overcome the new parents but they found stamina from somewhere and came out on top to the delight of Violet.

Father and son, Colin and Alex Wardlaw took on the wily Paul Kilduff and Iain Walker, but the power produced by the Wardlaws, especially Alex brought them through in a very tight two setter. We had all types of family combinations and next up were brother and sister, Will and Cara Fitzgerald, against Eva Bennett, fresh from her long 3 setter against Linda, partnered with Cian O’Higgins. The Fitzgeralds produced a controlled performance placing volleys just out of reach and making their way to the quarter final of the Mixed doubles.

We now had the unusual situation of Peter and Jenny McCann playing opposite each other as Peter partnered Oilbhe Doyle and Jenny matched up with Fred O’Neill in the Lucky Dip mixed doubles. Peter seems to revel in these family duels as he recently sent one nephew packing as he partnered another! Again, he came out on top and gained the breakfast table bragging rights.

Mark Fourie and John Shanley had an interesting evening as first they played against each other in the Men’s doubles. Mark & Sam Hanley progressed against John &Tom O’Higgins and then Mark and John partnered up against Paul Fitzgerald & Liam Hurley. Liam and Paul were slow out of the blocks but managed to pinch the second set, but the effort was in vain as Mark and John prevailed in a tight third set.

Esther Maguire and Ken Flanagan brought home the bacon twice as they first overcame a valiant effort from Joe Cunningham & Niamh Byrne and then took on Tim Eaton and redoubtable Mary O’Connell. The ambidextrous Tim didn’t manage to confuse their opponents enough and Esther and Ken progressed.

In another balcony pleaser Ruth Milne & Dermot were edged out in a very entertaining and tight match by Yvonne Fitzsimons & Alan Warren.

With Week 1 over with, we can all look forward to more superb tennis and also a full balcony in Week 2. The action kicks off again on Sunday at 10am.

If playing, please remember to check the schedule. Sandycove Senior Championships 2022