2009 Stars & Stripes U12 Autumn Tournament – Week 4

Monkstown LTC vs Sandycove

As Frankie Valley said Oh What A Night!! The big match in Sandycove lived up to expectations and produced definitely the best tennis of the tournament so far. Four of the six boys games and one of the three girls matches finished 7:6 and the quality of the matches really was first rate. Sandycove were excellent hosts, the weather was beautifully mild and a very large group of parents from both clubs thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment – much better value than Croke Park, although some of the parties got to both!!

The evening started with David Cullen and John O Mahony against the Sandycove no 1 pair of James Cronin and Luke Bennet. Sandycove started playing faultlessly and raced into a 4 nil lead. It was looking bleak for Monkstown LTC but John and David clawed their way back into the match point by point with some wonderful retrieving and attacking play, and despite facing match points at both 5-6 and 6 all, just shaded the tie-break to win the game 7-6 – a really wonderful game (match of the tournament so far for me) and well played all four boys. At the same time the Monkstown LTC no 2 pair of Harry Crossan and Mark Earle were locked in an equally tight battle with the Sandycove no 2 pair which included the son of tournament instigator Sheelagh Cunningham who was providing all the hospitality on the night. I’m sure that didn’t affect play in any way, as there were plenty of mars bars for everybody, but unfortunately for Monkstown LTC the Sandycove pair took the tiebreak to win 7 6, exactly levelling the match. For the Monkstown LTC boys then it was down to the number 3 pairing of David Keane and Kyle Murray, who played later in the evening. Despite it being their first time playing as a pair, the boys played really great tennis against an equally skilled Sandycove pair – one rally in particular had the crowd audibly gasping – and came out winners by 8 games to 5. So the boys won 21 points to 18.

 In the girls matches the No 1 pairing of Lucy Byrne and Siofra Watson were pushed all the way by the Sandycove no 1s, but having conceded one 6 all game two weeks ago, the girls were not going to do it again and really dug it out and produced excellent shots to win 8 games to 5. The other two girls pairings – Kate Doyle and Juliette O’Flynn and Caoimhe O ‘Connor and Sophie de Patoul were the real stars of the night as they produced two first class victories of 11-2 and 11-2 respectively. This meant the girls came in 29 -10 winners. They were in fact the key results of the night as that pushed Monkstown LTC back onto the top of the overall leader board with an 18 point lead over next placed Sandycove with just one fixture remaining. So WELL PLAYED THE GIRLS!!!! Remember that boys!

In the Boys only 3 way competition, Gary Kelly and Aaron Grogan had a tight battle with Sandycove no 1 pairing and were up match points at 6 all. However the Sandycove pair held them off and then took the match 7-6. No 2 pair Patrick Byrne and Gary Galvin had a tough draw against a very strong Sandycove pair and battled hard, but were beaten 10-3. The third pair of Jack Hartnett and Sean Desmond produced their trademark acrobatic retrievals and almost shaded the match but just lost out in the end 7 6. Sandycove took that match 24-15, but that 15 points was enough to take Monkstown LTC ahead of Glenageary in the three way competition so it will be a Monkstown LTC Sandycove final in Monkstown LTC next Saturday to round off that competition so well done boys.

The updated leader board is shown below so it is all to play for on the final night in Monkstown LTC on Saturday. The team is in a good position but there are 78 points up for grabs for each team so every game will be important.

Catherine Keane