The West of Ulster Junior Open tournament got off to a great start with the running of a tens event last weekend. This event was sponsored by Innes Redmond of Lakeland Veterinary Services and attracted a total of 25 children. They came from Portadown, Belfast, Butt Hall (Donegal), Omagh, Irvinestown, Dungannon, Cavan and Sligo.
All those taking part did their clubs proud by displaying friendly and positive attitudes thoughout whilst displaying some fine skills. Five boys took part in the under 10s competition. Results were very tight with our own Kaelan Deery finishing on the same points as Aidan Morrow from Belfast Boat Club. Sam Morrison showed great potential by playing up an age group and putting in some very solid performances. James Robinson finished off his series of green ball matches with a fine win over a participant from Belfast.
The under 9s had the biggest entry. The 11 children played a total of 22 matches in a series of three round robins. The Enniskillen juniors in this group have only been training for a relatively short time. However, Carla Smith still managed to finish top in her group and Matthew Wilson finished a close second in another group. Paddy O’Hare and Connor Rice played some lovely shots and will be worth watching in upcoming competitions.
Five of the seven under 8s were from the Enniskillen club with many making their debut appearances. Cormac King, Harry Welsh and Finn Hegarty played in some very tight matches throughout the afternoon. Aine Rice and Chloe Smith kept the flag flying for the girls with some fine performances.
Enniskillen’s head coach Matthew McGann was delighted with the excellent turnout from so many different clubs. This event showed that the standard of tennis amongst our younger juniors is very encouraging. Much of this credit of course goes to the children themselves, their parents and to the sterling work of our two coaches Matthew and Louise McGann. Louise, the under 10s coach is particularly satisfied with the development of these children both as individuals and as tennis players. She will be launching Judy Murray’s Miss Hits tennis later this summer to encourage more girls to get involved in the sport. In closing, Matthew paid special tribute to the generous support of our sponsor, Lakeland Veterinary Services, the hard work of our junior committee, our junior helpers (who umpired for almost three hours) and the parents for giving up their time. We look forward to the rest of the events taking place this Friday through to Sunday that comprise the 2017 West of Ulster Junior Open Championships.
Photo shows the many participants at the tens event last weekend at Enniskillen Tennis Club