Summer 2015 – Junior Newsletter

First of all my apologies for the delay in getting the summer junior newsletter out – my excuse is we had an absolutely hectic September, with the main championship finishing on the last day of August, the senior league starting the day after, four junior teams playing in DLTC junior leagues and 3 teams entered in Stars and Stripes!!!  But it is really all good news – I think our juniors had a wonderful summer. The supervised tennis was really well attended   approximately 50 kids per day! The atmosphere was wonderful anytime I called in, and it was just great to see so many children up playing and enjoying the facilities.  Many thanks to Adrienne and Karen for going above and beyond the call of duty with all their charges

Anne Broderick kindly donated her table tennis table (the old one really was on its last legs) and Ken and Lorraine Ryan delivered it and it got plenty of use so many thanks to them! There were also rumours of nail painting, card playing and other games that I am just too old to figure out – but I am sure they were exaggerated!

I wanted to highlight a few major achievements of our juniors over the summer, which some of you may have already seen on the club website. First and foremost  our top junior (and we only get to call her that for a very short time as she is now in Leaving Cert year)   Julie Byrne –  was selected for the second year by the Irish Federation Cup Team in February 2015. She has had a fantastic year, the highlight being getting her first professional win in a closed circuit event in Egypt. Well done Julie – just great to see someone who used to come up to the club in the summer just like all the kids this year going on to develop into such a top class player

The juniors also made history this summer when a record number of five Monkstown Juniors were selected to represent their province at the annual interprovincial championships. Julie Byrne (U18), Rachel Hartnett (U14), Conor Gannon (U14), and Gary Galvin (U16) were part of the Leinster team while Fergus O’Rourke (U18) played for Connaught – what a fantastic achievement – very well done to all

A total of 24 Monkstown juniors qualified for the National Championships at Fitzwilliam and we had some great results. Julie Byrne was a finalist in the girls u18 singles for the third year in a row, David Cullen was a semi-finalist in both u16 doubles events, Rachel Hartnett was a semi-finalist in the girls u14 doubles and Rex Lloyd was a semi-finalist in the u18 boys doubles.  Daniel Barron, Josh Mackay, Conor Gannon, Matthew Earle, Lily Lloyd, Fergus O’Rourke and Gary Galvin all made the quarter finals of various single and doubles events. Many congratulations to all of them and to Stephen and the other coaches  – to have 11 Monkstown players making the last 8 or better in the National championship is a really wonderful achievement.

We also had  a number of juniors competing in junior opens throughout the country this year with a large number of them winning singles and doubles titles including Julie Byrne, Rachel Hartnett, Conor Gannon, David Cullen, Daniel Barron, Josh Mackey, Harry Crossan, David Keane, Jack Gannon, Gary Kelly and last but certainly not least Fergus O’Rourke who won 5 titles this year!

The Girls under 14 league team won the DLTC summer league – many congratulations to them – you may have seen their picture up in the club with their winning pennant. I remember most of them playing u12 stars and stripes –and most of them started playing friendlies as there is such demand for places on those teams  – I am so delighted to see them coming through now and doing so well. That same team played the Class 1 u14 league in September and October and qualified for the semi-finals where they just lost to Clontarf  -bet very well done girls. The panel is Rachel Hartnett, Anna Schwer, Julie Ringrose, Sarah McAuley, Sarah Healy, Claire Doyle, Emma Walsh, Lizzie Woodcock Nicole O Connell and Suzanne Cullen

The boys u14 and u18 teams also competed very strongly in Class 1 leagues and were narrowly pipped for semi final places – but are well up there. The u18 boys also had a team in Class 2 who also came third in their group just losing out on qualification . Three third places– almost like coming 4th in the Olympics – great to get there but a pity at the same time!

The Junior Handicaps were held at the end of July and the Junior Championships were held at the end of June, organized by Adrienne Cusack. Both events were a great success and we had two wonderful finals days – you probably saw all the photos in the clubhouse over the summer . Gary Galvin and Lily Lloyd are junior boy and girl Champions. David Keane and Julie Ringrose were chosen as juniors of the year while Nicole O’Connell was presented with ‘The Harry Crowe Award’ for sportsmanship. Many of our juniors also competed with distinction in the senior club championships – winning lots of prizes!! Key highlights were Julie Byrne retaining her crown as ladies club champion and David Cullen who came so close to defeating the ultimate men’s champion, Micheal McMahon in a fantastic match.

We also brought a group of juniors to Irvinestown in Fermanagh  pictured above. The kids played a huge amount of tennis and really enjoyed the experience. We maintained our strong links with Castlebar Tennis Club in Mayo and Irvinestown Tennis Club in Fermanagh by sending players to their respective open tournaments. We hope to have more trips this year again

There were summer camps for all age groups throughout the summer thanks to Stephen and Adrienne – great to see the mix of ages and skills all working on improving their game and having a lot of fun in the process. Thanks also to Michael McMahon for his work coaching so many of the juniors.

The Stars and Stripes Autumn competition is coming to a close  – the U12 team reached the playoffs and the U18 team made the semi-final. I must apologies for not getting the sign up sheet up in time – this was another competition that came upon us very quickly after the championship so we just had to round up the plyers in a rush – we will definitely have sign up sheets for the spring competitions. Thanks to those who signed up for the u14 competition which is currently underway. We also held a number of fun tournaments throughout the summer and at Halloween which were very well supported.

The Junior Committee has continued to meet once a month, chaired by Stephen. The aim is to ensure that all juniors are involved in the club. Many thanks to the committee and also to parents not actually on the committee who are so willing to help out with the various teams and events – you know who you are and the junior section could not operate without your help.

The coaching term is well underway and again its great to see so many juniors coming for regular coaching. If you do have any queries or questions just call Judy or drop into the office and she will look after you

Keep those children playing!!

Best regards

Catherine Keane