Website of the Enniskillen Lawn Tennis Club
Last week saw the semi-finals and final played in the Enniskillen Spring League. Sponsored for the first time by Enniskillen’s newest entertainment establishment, Jazzeys Restaurant and Wine bar, the league finale proved to be the closest and most competitive in many years.
Mondays first semi-final saw the much fancied Aristocats led by John Griffin take on Andrea Crawford’s Blue Notes. Following a potential match winning 10-2 victory for Aristocats Donal Burns and Enid Redmond, the powerful Blue Note pairing of Stephen Kettyles and Mary Griffin pulled out a perfectly timed 9-3 win to keep the Blue Notes in the match and trailing by only two games at the end of the first half mixed doubles. The doubles then seemed to be going the way of the Aristocats as they drew one and won two leaving the Blue Notes distinctly out of tune but step forward the inform Stephen Kettyles this time partnered with Johnny Guette to record a superb 10-2 win and bring the overall match in at level scores 48 games apiece. Needing a winner on the night the fate of the two teams was now to be decided by a 12 game play off after the second semi-final.
The nights second semi featured Martina Boyd’s Nice and Fly, runaway winners from the Wednesday night group, against Monday group runners up The Jazz Standards led by Mark Cousins. As in the first semi, matters were again very close with Nice and Fly’s Martina and Martin Sharkey swapping 8-4 victories with Jazz Standards Kevin Burns and Jenny Kelly. A win for subs Allen Reynolds and Bennie Sheridan in the bottom mixed left the Jazz Standards in a surprising two game lead with all to play for in the remaining four doubles games. With so much at stake every game was a battle but two tough 7-5 wins for Nice and Fly’s top two pairings of Finn Corrigan with Martin Sharkey and Brenda Davis with Martina were just enough to bring the second semi-final into a tie again needing a play off to decide which team got the spot in the final.
Having subbed for the Blue Notes in the first semi and played for his own team in the second semi Finn Corrigan found himself on court for four hours on Monday night. In the first semi play off he found himself on the losing side as John Griffin and Leonie Madigan found their form quickly to take an early 3-0 lead and then go on to take the Aristocats into the final 7-3 . The second play off was a much closer affair with Jazz Standards Jerome Nicolle and Louise McGann just falling short of the winning line as Nice and Fly’s Finn Corrigan and Brenda Davis came from match points down to again tie the match 6-6 and eventually see their team into Wednesdays finale with a 10-6 win in the Championship tie breaker.
Wednesday night was now finally set up for the Monday group winners the Aristocats to take on Wednesday nights winners Nice and Fly. The early mixed encounters went the way of the Aristocats with John Griffins charges winning three and drawing one of the four matches to lead by a convincing eight games at the half way stage. However momentum quickly swung the way of Martina Boyd’s Nice & Fly as Martina partnered by Brenda Davis and sub Kevin Burns partnered by the back in play Paddy Gillen won their matches 9-3 to bridge the gap. Aristocats Kathleen Murphy and Liz McGuinness kept their cool to bring in an important 10-2 win on court four leaving the number ones mens doubles to decide the match and the title. With Finn Corrigan and Martin Sharkey taking a 100% win ratio into the final the pressure was on John and Donal Burns to hold the unbeaten pairing and while Finn and Martin did keep their record intact, the tight 7-5 win was just one game short of forcing the final into a play-off with the Aristocats securing the title by the minimum 49-47 winning margin.
After the match, winning captain John Griffin saluted both his own players and the runners-up and thanked new league sponsors Jazzeys Restaurant and Wine Bar, represented on the night by manager Chris Noble, wishing them every success as they prepare to open their doors on Darling Street on the 14th April.