Following the nail biting quarter-final win against Glenageary we had a home semi-final yesterday against Donnybrook.
On Court 1 Caoimhin Cronin was up against a very strong sub that Donnybrook had brought in for the semi-final. Despite having to take a pain killer in the knock-up and then breaking a string early in the match Caoimhin put up a great effort before losing in straight sets.
On Court 2 Alex Wardlaw played a great match with big hitting and coming into net on a regular basis to finish the points winning in straight sets to level the match score at 1 match each.
All eyes were now on Court 3 where our doubles specialist and team stalwart Ronan Prior was playing with our own super-sub Paddy Buckley. Ronan and Paddy had won a very tight 1st set 6-4 combining aggressive groundstrokes with consistency and great net play. When the singles matches were over we lead 3-2 in the 2nd set and anticipation was building on the balcony. Following some great returns we were 4-2 up with Ronan to serve. Following some big serves from Ronan and great net play from Paddy we were 5-2 up. Another strong returning game saw Ronan and Paddy clinching the win on their 2nd match point and qualifying us for the final!
A special thanks to super-sub Paddy for coming up early from Cork yesterday to get back in time for the match and then teaming up successfully with Ronan to win the deciding match.
Caoimhin and Alex (playing all 7 matches) and Ronan (playing 6 of the matches) have been the backbone of this team but we have valuable contributions from the rest of the squad. Max Vidal despite still nursing an injury and not being fully fit has played twice including winning a key point at top singles in our top of the table clash with Shankill in the group stages which ultimately won us the group and home advantage in the playoffs. Sam Hughes, Paddy Buckley, Daniel Nolan and Mark Gill have all subbed in and played doubles in various matches winning valuable points. Without the contribution of our subs throughout the campaign we would not be in the final.
Thanks to everyone who came down yesterday to support the team.
The final will be next Sunday in Shankill (time to be confirmed) against a very strong County Wicklow team and all support is welcome.