Tuesday and Wednesday evening showcased two more nights of exciting Handicap Tennis. After many close matches on Tuesday, Wednesday – another balmy and dry evening – provided the balcony with some great entertainment.

First up on Court 1 was mixed doubles between Margaret Branigan & Declan Keane vs. Jade Hanley and Andrew Browne. It started off as a fairly tight affair but strong play from the youngsters, including some great smashing from Andrew, put this pair in the lead with an eventual win of 6-3 / 6-2.

Another mixed doubles game followed on Court 1 – this time between Clodagh Lowry and John Quinn vs. Eva Bennett and Cian O’Higgins. Yet again youth prevailed but not without a fight. Super play from all four with Eva and Cian eventually winning in 3 sets.

Meanwhile Court 5 saw more married couples braving the tennis court together. Greg McDowell and Aoife O’Gorman had a very close 1st Set against Barry and Mairead Totterdell but in the end, lost out when Barry and Mairead ran away with the 2nd set.

Both Aoife and Declan were allowed just a short break before being sent out again – this time Aoife took on Lindsay McMillan. A good game was had with Lindsay prevailing and winning 6-2 / 6-4.

Beside this court Declan joined partner Rory O’Hagan with the two taking on Tom Gilligan and John McKeown. A surprisingly calm affair with just a couple of outbursts from Rory. Both Rory and Declan now go into the Semi-Finals having beaten Tom and John 6-1 / 6-3.

Other singles matches included a repeat of last year’s Ladies Final – Mary Donohue vs. Oilbhe Doyle – and the welcome appearance of some relative newcomers – Iain Walker, Larry Endersen and Mark Gill. Oilbhe and Mary played for well over 2 hours with Oilbhe pipping Mary to the post in two sets. Iain beat Larry but not without a fight – also a marathon, the final score was 4-6 / 6-5 / 6-1 to Iain. Meanwhile over on court 6, Mark Gill had an impressive and close win against John Emerson – 6-4 / 6-5.

The final match of the night was a lengthy battle between Anne Hayden and Margaret Worrall vs. Fiona Kelly and Gabrielle Kelly. Stretching on beyond 10pm, Anne and Margaret overcame a tough handicap to win 6-3 / 6-5.

Tournament committee to be commended again – they’re getting a lot of these handicaps spot on! And a big thank you to Catherine and Mairead for last night’s delicious food.

More excitement this evening with some quarter finals and semi-finals taking place. The first pair of matches start at 6.3pm and the second set at the earlier time of 8pm. Also don’t forget, tickets for Saturday evening are available behind the Bar.

Paul, Greg, Mandy & Jenny