What a day it was on Sunday with our three playoff teams winning their semi-final matches to go through to the finals next Sunday 23rd October in Wicklow.

At 11am with the crowd and excitement building it was the turn of our 2 Men’s teams to go into battle…

O35s 1st team (Men’s) vs. Deerpark 1

On the Jimmy Casey court Catalin and Cormac Jennings were in the mood and got off to a flyer, determined to get an early point on the point on the board. The lads did not disappoint, not giving their opponents any scope to enter this contest. They were first off with a 6-0, 6-0 victory. The balcony were treated to some awesome and really smart tennis.

On Court 2, team captain Dave Cooney and Rob were also playing some sublime tennis with angles and shots which were out of the top drawer. Securing promotion and winning the final next week means a lot to these two gents and their focus throughout was unwavering. Like Catalin and Cormac, the lads did not open the door to their opponents and came through 6-2, 6-3 to secure promotion and spot in next week’s final. The balcony erupted with joy!

On Court 3, Robbie Kernan and Philip Craig picked up where they left off last week and were playing some amazing doubles tennis. Their styles and approach complement one another and they quickly went into the lead, taking the 1st set 6-2 and were cruising to a certain win, when at 4-1 the match was ended as Dave and Rob had brought home the overall match victory.

O35s 2nd team (Men’s) vs Glenageary 4

The O35’s second team had a rip roaring semi-final against noisy neighbours Glenageary, a must win event, and bloody hell the team delivered.

First off were the mercurial Ian Brady and his partner Steve, winning 6-3, 6-3 in a match that was much less routine than the score-line might suggest. A battle against two very worthy opponents.

As Ian and Steve walked off court, 1st and 2nd doubles had both just reached the wrong end of two tight first sets. Alan and Des were edged out in the second set just as Tom and JP managed to level the score in their match at 1 set apiece.

The white-knuckle ride begins… Glenageary raced to a 4-1, 30-0 in the 3rd set and the raucous balcony was on the edge of their seats. Tom and JP managed to block out the Glenageary cohort at the gate of Court 4 and fought their way back to 4-4 with some heroic, battling tennis. They clawed their way to 6-5, big serving and booming forehands from JP, swinging serves and precision volleying from Tom. JP held firm in the final game and sent Sandycove through to the final next Sunday.

Two true competitors who never backed down or gave an inch, they left everything out there on the court to set up the dream finals day. It was a proper sporting spectacle to behold and at the absolute limit of what the balcony’s nerves could handle.

(Editor’s note – thanks Steve for the highly descriptive write up of the team’s performance!)

O35s 1st Team (Ladies) vs. Malahide 3

Nicely warmed up from their victory over Portmarnock the previous afternoon the same six ladies, led by captain Sandie O’Callaghan, took their places at 2pm on Courts 1 to 3 for their semi-final against Malahide. Despite an unsettled weather forecast, conditions remained calm as did each of the players.

On the Jimmy Casey court, Ali O’Connor and Ellen Pinschmidt played with authority and skill, neatly dispatching with their opposition in two swift sets. First off with a 6-0 / 6-1 victory, the balcony remained glued to the remaining two matches which were proving to be slightly closer affairs.

Sandie O’Callaghan and Sarah Emerson got off to a great start and, with plenty of everything, won their first set comfortably (6-2). However, their opposition geared up and managed to take the second set leaving it all to play for in the third set. Balcony nerves began to fray as Sarah-Jane Lloyd and Joanna Van Remoortere’s opposition on the adjacent court #3 began to look like they might also be catching up. However, with grit and determination, the Sandycove duo held firm and, in the end, clinched victory in straight sets 6-3 / 6-3. The team will now play Brookfield 1 in the finals.

Next Sunday promises to be a day of excitement with four of our ten senior league teams playing in the finals. This day will also see Mary O’Connell being honoured for her contribution to tennis with her set to receive the prestigious Muriel Bolton Award for 2022.

Huge thank you to all the players who have subbed along the way, we wouldn’t be here without you. To all supporters, you are very welcome to come along and cheer on our teams and Mary; the Finals are taking place in Wicklow LTC, County Wicklow . The Men’s 035s will start at 11am followed by the Men’s O55s and Ladies O35s at 12.30pm.

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