The annual Junior West of Ulster Tennis Championships took place at Enniskillen last weekend. Thanks to the generous sponsorship by Innes Redmond (Lakeland Veterinary Services, Derrygonnelly),it attracted one of the largest entries in years with participants from clubs in Cork, Ballymena, Belfast, Donegal, Dundalk, City of Derry, Sligo and Claremorris as well as from clubs in Fermanagh and Tyrone.
The U18 Boys Singles final was between two seasoned hardhitters, Jared Monaghan and Irvinestown’s Kyran Maguire. Kyran had earlier beaten Conan Whitley 7-5 6-3 in another quality match. Both these boys know each others game inside out and never fail to disappoint whenever they clash. In the other semi-final Jared narrowly beat Ryan Irvine in a tense second set tiebreak. The final saw the ever improving Kyran come out on top.
In the U18 Girls Singles, Eimear Smyth cemented her position at the top with a good win over Laura Griffin in the final 7-5 6-2. Both girls traded baseline rallies throughout the match with Eimear’s volleying proving to be a decisive weapon.
The U18 Girls Doubles was won by Klara and Nina Hjalmers despite a remarkable fightback by Laura and Amy Griffin. This was one of the most keenly contested finals of the weekend and Amy’s forehand coupled with Laura’s groundstrokes just failed to peg back the Dundalk duo who took the match 6-4 7-6.
The U16 Boys Singles saw Kyran Maguire complete the singles double with another fine win over Conan Whitley. However, it was Conan’s semi-final match that caught the eye with a fine three set win over Donegal’s Bernard McGettigan 3-6 6-3 10-8.
Kyran completed the treble when partnering Jared Monaghan in the U18 Boys Doubles. They beat the number two seeds Ryan Irvine and Conan Whiteley 6-2, 6-2.
The U16 Girls Singles was won by Eimear Smyth who so often in competition raises her game at key points in a match. Eimear took the first set in a dramatic tie-break 7-6 against Dundalk’s Klara Hjalmers and then followed up with an impressive 6-4 in the second set.
City of Derry’s Michael Hatrick and Donegal’s Conall Murphy took the U16 Boys Doubles in the round robin without dropping a set. However, the fight for second place went to the wire with Spain’s Inigo Eslaza and Ned Burke from Claremorris just edging out Senan Cullinane and Sean O’Baoill (Donegal) 7-6 7-6 in a two set marathon.
The U14 Boys Singles went to Omagh’s Ciaran Daly who beat Inigo Eslaza decisively in the final. Ciaran followed up this singles win with an equally impressive performance when partnering Enniskillen’s Declan McBride against Harry Allsopp and local boy Kyle Deery in the doubles.
The U14 Girls Singles went to Nina Halmers from the second seed Zofia Mullen also from Dundalk. However, Nina’s toughest match was against Sligo’s Cliona Walsh who show immense potential for an U12 who pushed Nina all the way to a 7-5 4-6 10-8 win in the semi-final.
The U12 Boys Singles was won by Andrew Hatrick who beat Harry Allsopp 6-2 6-1
The U12 Girls singles was won decisively by local girl Eve Callaghan who continues to show great potential. Eve took the final 6-2 6-1 over the number 2 seed Claudia Mullen from Dundalk.
The Novice Girls Singles went to Irvinestown’s Sarah Murray who beat close friend Emily Stewart for the top spot. The Novice Boys Singles was won by Conall McCaffrey who clocked up a lot of tennis hours over the weekend and deservedly went home with a trophy. Conall clinched top spot from City of Derry’s Oisin Sweeney. However, Oisin did not go home empty handed as he won the novice boys doubles in the third set when partnering Charlie Keys.
The trophies were presented by Sonja Hateboer, representative of Lakeland Veterinary Services. John Griffin, tournament organiser thanked all the juniors and parents for supporting the tournament in such large numbers and to Lakeland Veterinary Services for their continued sponsorship of our main junior event in the calendar.
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