Young players do well in top tournament

unior ekn Ross McMaster and Laura Griffin  U15 mixed doubles winners

Junior Enniskillen members Ross McMaster and Laura Griffin – U15 mixed doubles winners

Last week the biggest tournament in the junior calendar in Ulster took place at Belfast Boat Club. Local clubs were well represented with many juniors from Irvinestown and Enniskillen taking part.

Sarah Cousins, the number 1 seed cruised through to the finals of the U14 Girl’s Singles.


Although Sarah started well by taking the first set against the number 2 seed Bangor’s  Amy Rothwell, she couldn’t maintain this momentum and Amy fought back taking the second and third sets. Jarad Monaghan had a tougher route to the final of the U16 Boy’s Singles facing Hilden’s Peter Corrie from Bangor in the semi-final.

After a slow start and losing the first set 6-1, Jared showed his true mettle, bravely clinching the second set in a closely fought tie break. That proved to be the turning point in the match with Jared taking the third set 6-1. He then faced Matthew O’ Boyle in the final and Jared took the first set decisively 6-2. However, Matthew to his credit grew in confidence as the match progressed and took the next two sets 6-1 6-4.

Laura Griffin  reached the semi finals beating Bonnie Ramsey (ATT) in the U16 Girls Singles but was beaten in the semis by the number 2 seed Annie McCullough 6-0 7-5. Laura enjoyed better luck in the U15 Mixed Doubles with ATT ‘s Ross McMaster.

The final turned out to be a nail biting match from start to finish. The number 1 seeds Arianna Kennedy and Leon Gibson both from Belfast, got off to a flying start, taking the first two games. However, Laura and Ross kept plugging away winning five of the next six games. At 5-3 up with Ross serving for the set, an upset seemed on the cards.

However, Leon and Arianna had other ideas, took that game and soon were on level terms at 6-6. After a closely fought tie break Laura and Ross scraped home taking the tie break 7-5. The second set went to Leon and Arianna 6-4 which resulted in a deciding championship tie break. Laura and Ross got off to a shaky start as Leon was driving the ball at some pace taking a 6-1 lead. However, Laura and Ross showed great determination with some brave shots from both players hitting the lines before drawing level at 6-6.

The pendulum swung from one side of the court to the other and with match point to Leon and Arianna for the second time , Laura retrieved an over head shot and managed to hit it deep to the corner of the baseline to draw level once again at 12-12. That proved decisive because Laura and Ross finally clinched the match 14-12 in a match not for the faint-hearted, but in which all four players emerged with credit.

Irvinestown’s Kyran Maguire and Conan Whitley performed admirably in the U14 Boys Doubles. After reaching the semi-finals they were beaten by the eventual winners Jordan Mc Keown and Harry Ellsmere 6-3 6-4.
Ronan Mc Keever enjoyed two good wins before coming up against Hawarden’s Joe Heatley. Unfortunately for Ronan, he couldn’t get into his stride and lost the match 6-3 6-1.


Matthew Duffy showed he was in fine form as he progressed through to the fifth round of the U18 Boys Singles before losing to the number 3 seed Alasdair Knox.

Making his debut appearance at the Boat Club was Luke Dillon who played in the under 12 Boys Singles. Luke played some great tennis against Aidan Gribben from Rostrevor with some long rallies a key feature of this match. Despite losing the match 6-3 6-4, Luke showed great determination as he fought to the end.

Other local players performing well and benefitting from the experience included  Eimear Smyth, Conor Mc Shea, Daire Dillon, and Amy Griffin.

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