Matthew wins prestigious title

Matthew McGann, Enniskillen Tennis Club, winner of the National Indoor veterans tournament in Belfast

THE Irish Veterans Indoor Championships was held last weekend at the David Lloyd Tennis Centre in Belfast.
This prestigious national event attracts a large amount of senior players from all over the country.

Matthew McGann from the Enniskillen Tennis Club finished runner up last year in the over 35 mens singles and was vying to go one better this year.

It turned out to be a very tough draw though, with an encounter with the number 1 seed in the semi final, Tony Davison.

Tony is a world ranked senior player reaching as high as the top 45 in the world last year in his age group.
The first set went Matthews’ way, just one break of serve was needed to take the set 6/4.

In the second set Matthew lost concentration and with Tony’s experience he quickly took the set 6/3 so the match went to a champions tiebreaker.

The tiebreak was very closely contested. At 8-8 Matthew hit a huge backhand winner down the line that set up his first match point which he easily took.

This would certainly be considered one of the best wins of Matthew’s career so far.
The final was against the number 2 seed, last years champion Brian McRandal. Matthew was fast out of the blocks and took the first set 6/2 but as in the semi-final he lost the second set 6/3 so once again the match was decided on a champions tiebreaker.

The tiebreak was extremely close with a lot of aggressive hitting and huge serving resulting in winners from both men.
Despite facing 2 match points against him, Matthew held his nerve and took the title 14-12.

He now holds the title of National Indoor Veteran in the mens singles over 35 age group.
The west was well represented with Irvinestown’s John Maguire playing in the over 50 mens singles.

Seeded number 2, John had a very close quarter final encounter with the highly rated Martin Ormond.
It turned out to be a fantastic match as John at a set and 5/2 down raised the level of his game and fought back with aggressive hard hitting tennis to take the second set 7/5, it came down to a champions tiebreak and John just missed out 10/8.

Clive Funston from Enniskillen Tennis Club made his debut at this event. Clive has made the transition from badminton to tennis look very easy.

His tennis has been going from strength to strength. His first round match was against Galway’s Al Watterson.
It was a closely fought match with Al coming through 6/4 6/4.

Clive had a few chances but this was his first national event and with this experience under his belt he will surely be a player to watch out for next time.

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