So, week 1 of Winter League is behind us. And it was a lovely afternoon and great craic all round.

Our inspirational Class 2 team delivered a decisive 2 points vs Deerpark. Chloe Giacometti and super sub Aine Leonard (while growing a human!!) took no prisoners with a 6-1, 6-1 win; displaying incredible volleys and groundstrokes throughout, our girls were just too strong for their opposition on the day. Our no. 2 pair of Sandie O’Callaghan and Sarah Emerson – ever steady, and coasting on the momentum from their Championships partnership, were never in doubt with a 6-2, 6-0 win. Sarah Jane Llyod and sub Jacqui Lyons were unfortunate to go down in a feisty 3 setter; up against a tough Deerpark combination, there was brilliant net play from both Jacquie and SJ. Next time!

Our first Class 3 team were disappointed against a crafty Clane team, although Fleur Muldowny and Sarah White at 3 secured an all important point for the team – onwards and upwards!

Our other Class 3 team suffered a similar fate – unlucky to lose 2/1 to Greystones; with Breege English and super sub Aileen Reegan delivering a commanding 6-1,6-3 to secure a point to build on.

In class four, against the always steady Carrickmines, our number 1 pair Ruth and Colette, despite a valiant effort and aggressive net play, lost 3 and 1 to a hard-hitting niece of Frank and Catherine McCooey and her steady partner. Natalie and Mandy in the number 2 slot had a decisive win at 6-2 6-0 never letting the opposition into the game; commanding net play combined with calm and cunning game management meant that a win was never in doubt!
With the teams equal; all eyes fell to the number 3 pairing of Clodagh and Sarah-Beth to seal the deal. After a nervous start the pair lost the first set 6-4. However SB and Clodagh settled into their rhythm and were eventually victorious 6-2 7-5 keeping the watching teammates on the edge of their seats…and late for their dinner dates! Thrilled with the strong start. . . .

Class 5 met Monkstown and were delighted to secure 2 points against this always tricky side. Catherine McCooey and Margaret Worrall wore their opponents down in a 3 set spectacular. Our beloved Subs pairing from Handicaps fame – Zuilmah Wallis and Fionnuala Hayes delivered at no. 2 pairing, winning 6-4 and 6-3. Young Emma Flanagan and Jade Hanely were unlucky at no. 3 with a very close and testing first set – a promising pairing, one to watch

Class 6 came up against Claremont and were also victorious – delighted to get 2 points to commence their campaign. Well done to Fiona Spillane and our sub Anna Quinn who won 7-6, 6-1; and Mairead Mackey and Oisine Hannon who flew through with a 6-1, 6-0, making it look easy. Anita Kane and Anna McDonald fought hard for 3 sets and were unlucky not to cinch it.

Class 7 against Wicklow LTC 5 were also victorious. Ellen O’Carroll and Niamh Hughes as no. 1 pairing barely broke a sweat with a 6-2, 6-3 win. Oilbhe Doyle and Elaine Prior also coming out on top 6-2, 6-4. Mary Donohue and Aisling Sheils also put up a valiant fight but came out the wrong side of a gruelling 3 setter.

With 12 points banked across the 7 teams, Sandycove Squad did us all proud.

Looking forward to next week already!

Ails and Mandy