Week 3 of the Francos Spring League at Enniskillen Tennis Club saw the weather play a role for the first time as high winds on Monday night and lashing rain on Wednesday meant only two of the week’s four matches could be played.
After the night’s first match failed to survive the gales resulting in the top two teams sharing the match 48 games apiece it was down to the hardy Crème Brulees and Silverhill Ducks to battle the elements and try and reclaim some of the ground lost in the opening two weeks of the league. Fielding four subs on the night, the Crème Brulees were always going to be up against it, but even they were not expecting to get blown away 57-39 by Michelle McTeague’s Silverhill Ducks as the Ducks won 5 and drew 3 of the 8 matches on the night. Leading the way for the Ducks were the perfect pairing of Scott Hubbard and Martina Boyd whose decisive net play saw them win the day 9-3 against subs Innes Redmond and Eilis Bogue. Martina then went on to secure a total of 16 games winning her doubles match 7-5 with Leonie Madigan. However it was on the lower courts that the margin of victory was sealed as the Ducks won both the mens and ladies doubles matches 8-4 firstly with Jason Burns and Andrew Jackson over Andy Elliott and Cyril Boyd and finally with Nadine Stewart and Michelle McTeague against Maxine Leary and Jenny Cruikshank. Given the high winds throughout the result was always more important than the style and this comfortable win has put the Silverhill Ducks up to second in the group only 11 games behind the leaders.
The first match on Wednesday got going in reasonably dry conditions as the group leaders Chilli Monks looked to complete a clean sweep over all three opponents in the first three weeks of the league. However it was the Diners who got out of the blocks quickly as captain John Griffin and Vanessa McBrien scored an impressive 8-4 win over Dominick Burns and sub Lisa Greaves. The Monks quickly recovered courtesy of an 8-4 win for the super consistent pairing of Marius Blake and Veronica Bogue over Ruben Permaul and Rut Armstrong and with the last two mixed matches shared 12 games apiece it was all square going into the doubles. While all four doubles were tight affairs it was the Private Diners who came out on top with a 6-6 tie in the mens top doubles combined with a further three 7-5 wins giving the Diners a 51-45 win and bringing themselves right back into contention for the group victory. Indeed with only two games separating the top three it is looking like the Wednesday group will go all the way to week 9 before we know who will qualify for the semi finals. Special mention must go to Miller household who saw Miller senior partnered by Mark Cousins come back from 5-2 down to win 7-5 in the pouring rain against Miller junior partnered by John O’Callaghan.
The nights second match never got going with persistent heavy rain flooding the courts leaving the Pizza Slicers and Early Birds having to settle for a declared 48-48 tie and an early night.
Standings after Week 3
Monday: 159 Francos Specials; 148 Silverhill Ducks; 145 Fine Wines; 124 Crème Brulees
Wednesday: 149 Chilli Monks; 148 Private Diners; 147 Pizza Slicers; 132 Early Birds