The Longford Senior Tennis championships took place last week and there was joy for Enniskilllen pair Matthew McGann and Susannah Hughes-Jordan as they claimed the Mixed Doubles title.
The Longford Open attracted many players from far and wide, especially from the traditionally, very strong Leinster province. Flying the flag for Fermanagh were Enniskillen's Matthew McGann and Susannah Hughes-Jordan. Matthew entered the Open as defending Singles Champion. Susannah, returning from a recurring hip injury, partnered Matthew in the A Mixed Doubles. After progressing comfortably though their first round match in threatening weather conditions, the Enniskillen pair met Longford coach Noel Strange and Mullingar's Mandy Keroum in the semi final. This experienced duo proved to be difficult opponents and took the first set 6-2, however McGann and Hughes-Jordan found their rhythm and took the next two sets decisively, the final score being 3-6 6-2 6-3.
They then met home favourites Mary O'Donovan and Eoin Corbett in the final, both players had reached the finals of the Ladies and Mens Singles respectively and hence presented a considerable challenge. The first set was an engrossing mix of power serving, big hitting and subtle drop shots as each pair probed for an early advantage. Neither team managed to break, forcing the set in to a tie-break, which the Mullingar duo won 7-4.
Matthew and Susannah responded to the loss of the first set positively and raced to an emphatic lead in the second set, which they won 6-3. The third set was a very close affair. Susannah began to find form of old as she hit a blistering forehand winner past O'Donovan to secure the break at 6-5. Appropriately, this left the teenager serving for the match. After several months absent from competitive tennis, she failed to win her service game, taking the set in to a decisive tie-break. Matthew and Susannah kept their nerve in the tie-break. Susannah responded well to losing her serve in the previous game and began hitting ferocious ground strokes, which accompanied by McGann's flair at the net proved to be a recipe for success. They took the tie break 7-3 and with it their first A Mixed title.