Senior Handicaps Round-up

The Senior Handicaps concluded in glorious sunshine on Saturday 16th July following two weeks of competitive and good humoured tennis with strong support from the balcony throughout.

Finals day started early with preparations for the Handicap Final’s night celebration being led by Kate Sheehan and Jeanne Hecksher-Doyle and their team who did a fantastic job getting everything ready and looking so well ahead of a most enjoyable evening. More to follow below…

On court, we saw a break with tradition where the Mixed Double final took place on Saturday at high noon, with Jade Hanley and Andrew Browne taking on Oisine Hannan and Pat Leamy in a very entertaining and tense affair. Oisine and Pat charged into a strong lead only to be reeled in and over taken with Jade and Andrew taking set 1, 6/3. With the warm-up now complete in very hot conditions, Oisine and Pat settled into their stride taking the second set 6/2. The third set was extremely tight and could have gone either way but the younger pairing of Jade and Andrew came through strongly to win 6/4 in the third. What a game and a great start to final days!

Next up we had the Ladies and Mens singles finals. The Ladies final was contested by Lindsay McMillan and Oilbhe Doyle who went toe to toe for over 2 hours in the searing heat. Oilbhe took the opening set 6-4 as both players were finding their form. Lindsay came out strongly in the second to win the set 6-3 leaving it in the balance as they went into the third set. Both players competed strongly and played some excellent tennis throughout with Lindsay eventually coming out victorious winning the third 6-4. Well done to both finalists on a super match.

Out on the Jimmy Casey court, Ian Brady (2021 Handicap Singles Winner) returned to the final again this year taking on the up and coming Mark Gill. Ian brought his excellent form into the final coupled with his experience helped him overcome a tight start to win the match 6-2, 6-2. Mark played excellently over the two weeks securing some brilliant wins most notably against an experienced and highly rated Iain Walker in the semi-final which went to 3 sets. A great final played in excellent spirits!

Next up was the Men’s Doubles Final featuring Steve and Mark Gill and John Quinn and Greg McDowell. Steve and a fully warmed up Mark got off to a flyer in the first set winning 6-0 as John and Greg struggled to get to gripes with what was coming at them. However, the second set was a lot more competitive with John and Greg bringing it to 5-5 and deuce only to lose the next point which could have taken the match into a third set and who knows what could have happened… It was nice to see the father and son combination coming out on top playing some excellent tennis.

Last but by no means least, was the Ladies Doubles Final where Caroline Grant and Anne-Marie Murphy took on Anne Hayden and Margaret Worrall. The first set was long with each point competed for with no quarter given, Caroline and Anne-Marie played their game to come through 6-2. Although they continued to stay in the battle the second set slipped away from Anne and Margaret losing 6-0. Both done to all on an enjoyable final.

Overall the tennis over the two weeks was of a high standard with plenty of long three set matches played in a good spirits and simply enjoyable. Well done and thank you to everyone who took part in what is a really important event in the club’s calendar. The Captains would also like to thank Mary O’Connell for her support and advice over the 2 weeks – much appreciated.

So with the tennis complete it was home to get ready for the evening’s entertainment. With the clubhouse looking amazing and marquees erected in case of inclement weather everything was set fair for a great evening. We had fabulous food, music, prizes, speeches, photos, refreshments and most importantly great fun! A huge thank you to Kate, Jeanne and the wider team who did a brilliant job organising the event and then working hard throughout the day and on the evening itself to ensure everything ran smoothly. Also a big thank you to Steve McGoohan and the bar staff for making everything behind the counter run like clockwork. Thank you!

Sara Hanley kindly agreed to take photos on the day and night, bringing her expertise and professionalism to bear. You can view the photos which are brilliant. Thank you Sara for doing a super job over many hours.

Lastly, we hope everyone enjoyed the Handicaps tournament, the finals day and night and we look forward to an entertaining and successful Senior Championships which start on Sunday 14th August – more to follow soon.

Mandy, Jenny, Paul and Greg

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