Stars & Stripes returned to our club for the third round. Blackrock did not have far to travel and arrived early, ready to stampede the courts with their talented players.

With a little last minute juggling of our Sandycove girls team my gratitude first extends to Jack Pinschmidt who stood in to play on court four until his sister Clara arrived to take over – Thank you Jack – hope you enjoyed that hot chocolate!

Meanwhile Saffron Nolan and Mia McGuigan warmed up against a strong and confident pairing on court 1. The balcony had a sprinkling of supporters – most standing indoors due to the bracing wind making conditions definitely more tricky for the players. Our girls committed to playing great shots but unfortunately the wind sometimes carried the ball outside of play, something that some more match practice will correct in the future. Saffron – I hope you are feeling a little better. Well done for playing despite feeling a little under the weather.

On court 2 good friends Maya Hughes and Emma Doherty battled it out and secured a win in a nail biting match 7-6 to Sandycove. Well done girls.

Court 3 had a few delays requiring some guidance from more experienced players. This match certainly delayed the boys starting but Catherine McDowell and Alannah Hughes battled it out but were unfortunate not to get a win here. Better luck next time.

Clara Pinschmidt – thank you for running to the rescue and playing alongside Lucy Heavy on extremely short notice in a friendly match on Court 4. It’s wonderful having players who live so close to the club! Mum Ellen was busy coming to and from the club – Thank you super mom!!

Despite great efforts our girls were defeated by a confident and more experienced Blackrock team. Onwards girls!

It was a cold, late start for the boys, with games only starting at 18:26! Our strategy to let the Blackrock boys run around and tire themselves out playing on Courts 5 & 6 didn’t work though!

Court 1
On Court 1 we had another outing for Cathal Smyth and James Sherry. Despite being under the weather, Cathal arrived determined to play and help out his team who were low on numbers. Unfortunately, the opposition were not suffering any ill health, and were on top of their game with a very strong pairing. Blackrock ran ahead to a 0-6 lead before our Cathal and James figured out a strategy. Sandycove then pushed them on a number of fronts, with some classy shots from James and Cathal, however the heads were down and the mountain was too high to climb and Blackrock won 0-13. A flattering score considering the number of games that went to Deuce and Advantage. But you learn from the defeats too, so our boys will have to take this one away!

Court 2.
On Court 2 Charlie Casey and Jack Pinschmidt played well but couldn’t get to grips with the windy conditions. Sometimes less is more…but try telling that to an 11-year-old boy! Some really good communication between the playing partners and good long rallies, however the boys lost out 4-9 to Blackrock.

Court 3
On Court 3 Euan Starbuck was back and Fionn Reynolds returned for his second match and they had another interesting game against Blackrock. Euan ran for everything, and Fionn was certainly getting the hang of the doubles court in his second outing, however the boys lost out 3-10 to a more experienced pairing from Blackrock.

Court 4 (Friendly)
On Court 4, we had a friendly match with Leo Boucher returning for his second match, this time with Fionn’s twin brother Jude Reynolds, making his debut. The boys were up against an older pairing, so it looked like we were going to have a duck against Blackrock. However, the newcomers played some lovely tennis, and clinched the friendly 7-6 in the tie break!

So not a great night overall for Sandycove U12 Boys and girls. The scoreboard flattered Blackrock…and our boys and girls will come back stronger from this!

It all comes down to our points whether we now play for the Cup or the plate! Very exciting.
Onwards and upwards team Sandycove.

Tips from the balcony:
Talk to each other and help each other out. Always have 2 balls ready when you are serving.

Committee for Junior Tennis.