Some of the best young tennis players in Ulster and surrounding Border counties descended on Irvinestown Lawn Tennis Club on Saturday for the finals of the Fermanagh Open Junior Championships.
Saturday's finals day was the culmination of a week of top clas tennis action from the young players representing clubs such as Cavan, Sligo, Millford, ATT, Lurgan, Cloughey and local clubs Enniskillen, Omagh and Irvinestown.
Indeed, the weather came good for the finals on Saturday and the standard of tennis reflected well on the popularoty of the game and the quality of the coaching ongoing.
The U12 girls' singles (GS) was won by Eimear Smith, Enk with Kathy Bannigan, Butt Hall, runner-up while the U12 boys' singles saw Kyran Maguire come out on top with Irvinestown club mate, Conan Whitley runner up 7/5 6/2.
In the Novice U12 GS round robin Lucy Humes was first and runner-up was Vanessa Anrassak while in the Novice U12 BS Oliver McCaughey came first and Nikita Atunicas runner-up.
The U12 Boys doubles (BD) was an entertaining encounter with all four boys enjoying their tennis and the atmosphere of finals day. Kyran Maguire and Conan Whitley won 6/4 6/0 over Craig Humes, Irv and Henry Ross, Lurgan.
In the U14 GS Sarah Cousins, Enk beat Laura Griffin, Enk,in a close match 6/4 6/4 and in the U14 BS Ronan McKeever, Enk, proved to be the stronger player, overcoming Cormac Coney, Omagh 6/3 6/1.
In the U14 Girls Doubles (GD) Emma-Jayne Cahoon and Isy Ross, Lurgan beat Cora Meade, Irv and Emma Neill-Smith, ATT 6/2 6/2 and in the boys equivalent Eoin Meade and Conan Whitley, Irv lost to Marc Acum, Lurgan and Ronan McKeever, 6/1 6/4.
In the U14 Mixed doubles Kyran Maguire and Emma Neill-Smith lost to the more experienced pairing of Ronan McKeever and Sarah Cousins, Enk 6/2 6/0 while in the Novice U16 BS Round robin, Dylan Funston, Enk finished 1st with Luke Dillon, Enk, 2nd.
U16 BS Paul Bannigan, Butt Hall, and Headon Hughes Jordan had a tough match, both boys fighting for every point in long rallies, Paul winning 6/3 2/6 6/3. In the U16 BD Thomas Muldoon and Headon Hughes Jordan won 6/4 7/6 over Paul Bannigan and Daire Dillon. The tie break in the second set was tense, swinging one way then the other.
in the U18 BS Round Robin, Conor Caheny, Sligo came out on top with Ultan McGettigan second while in the girls Sophie Murray, Lurgan beat Lauren Stead, Omagh 6/2 6/0.
In the U18 Girls' Doubles (GD) Sophie Murray and Lauren Stead won the final against Sarah Cousins and Emily Donaldson while in the U18 BD Paul Bannigan and Thomas Muldoon beat Conor Caheny and Conor McShea 6/0 6/2.
U18 XD Conor Caheny and Sophie Murray won 6/0 6/1 over Sean Dillon and Hannah Cousins and in the Novice U18 GS Sarah-Jayne Lawson, Cloughey, won the Round Robin winning all four of her matches while Hannah Sharkey was second.
Sophie Murray, Lurgan in her last year as a Junior, achieved three wins as did Ronan McKeever, Enk who also completed a hat-trick of wins.
Consolation places In the U14 BS, the winner was Patrick Cunningham with Aran Dillon and Ryan Irvine taking second and third places while in the U14 GS the winner was Isy Ross with Cora Meade runner-up. In the U14 Mixed Doubles first was Oliver Guette and Dearbhla Dillon, second Dylan and Sasha Funston and third Luke Dillon and Amy Griffin.
At the presentation of prizes, Sinead Maguire, Junior co-ordinator thanked competitors for participating, for their sportsmanship and excellent behaviour both on and off court. Parents were thanked for supporting the championships and ferrying their children to matches. The sponsors, Lakeland Leisure Sports shop, Pill Box Pharmacy, Party ON in and ASC Security and Audiovisual for sponsorship, their support is acknowledged and greatly appreciated. Thanks was conveyed to Fermanagh district Council for the use of the courts and pavilion, especially Mr. George Beacom and staff of the Bawnacre Centre who provided refreshments and maintained the facilities.
Sinead acknowledged visits by Jim Watt, UBTI, Mr H. Andrews, Vice chairman of FDC, Valerie Rowan and Jackie Muldoon UBTI, throughout the week. Sinead then closed a great tournament by presenting gifts to Laura McDowell, tournament director and John Maguire, referee for their work during the week.