The Fermanagh Open tennis tournament, sponsored by Flogas and Mahon’s Hotel, came to a spectacular end on Sunday at Irvinestown Lawn Tennis Club when spectators were treated to a thrilling display of high-quality action and tightly-fought finals.

Play had continued throughout the week in perfect conditions with more than 100 competitors from clubs throughout Ulster, Leinster and Connacht competing for the all-important chance to take the honours in A, B and C sections.

The few showers on Sunday did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm as play got off to an early start with Hilary Kilcawley/Joanna Mullan (Sligo) just edging a 6/2 7/6 10/7 win in the C Ladies’s Doubles from Irvinestown’s Kirsty Murray and Doreen Jones (Donegal).

Kirsty went on to take a 3/6 7/6 10/7 win from Hilary when they met in a C Singles’s Final immediately after their doubles match.

Stephen King of Cavehill tennis club began the first of his three finals with a 6/4 7/5 defeat in the B Men’s Singles when he met an in-form Stephen Wallace (Limavady Recreation), but went on to secure the win in the B Men’s Doubles with partner Colin Watterson when they met the Omagh pair of Peter Craig and Stephen Cuthbertson.

The last match of the tournament saw him partner Irvinestown’s Kathleen Maguire to a nail-biting 7/6 1/6 11/9 win over Sonja Hateboer (Enniskillen)/Colin Watterson (Hilden T.C).

It was an all-Omagh C section Mixed Finals when Cliff Worley/Clodagh Kerr battled hard to take the match 6/1 2/6 11/9 from Ita Bonner and son David Grainger.

In the C Ladies’s singles final, Emma Gormley defeated her fellow club member Debbie McCann to take the match 6/4 6/2.

Omagh’s Nikki Hawkes had a great week of play and figured in both the Ladies A Singles finals, when she was beaten by Hawarden’s Jessica Leeman (6/0 6/0) and A Doubles finals with partner Aoifin Shorten (Sligo T.C) when they were defeated 6/2 6/2 by Kathleen Diamond/Jessica Leeman (Hawarden T.C.)

Ulster Branch Tennis Ireland Club President, Greg O’Rawe was joined by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council Chairman Councillor Errol Thompson to witness top-quality hitting in the A Men’s Singles finals when Dylan Leeman ran out a 6/2 7/6 winner against fellow club member Rory Cunningham (both Hawarden T.C.).

These two incredibly talented young players joined forces to meet Francis Venzon and Robert Thompson (Butt Hall) to win a thrilling A Men’s Doubles finals with a 5/7 6/1 10/8 scoreline.

Dylan went on to his third finals success of the afternoon when he partnered his sister Jessica to a 6/4 6/2 win over Francis Venzon/Elaine Chambers.

There was success for Irvinestown’s own club members when Wendy Eaton/Christelle Andrich secured the C Ladies doubles title in a round-robin competition and Paul Hynes and Simon McCormack battled to a 2/6 6/2 13/11 win over Omagh’s Sean O’Donnell/Peter Wong.

Ciaran Gillen (City of Derry) took the C Men’s Singles title with a 6/1 6/4 win over Tomas Navickas (Mullingar T.C.)

Councillor Thompson expressed his appreciation of the efforts of ILTC Tournament Director John Maguire and his team in staging this prestigious event, and paid tribute to George Beacom, manager of Bawnacre Centre and his staff for their support in making it such a success.


He alluded to the constraints which Covid 19 had placed on everyone’s life throughout the past year and remarked on the pleasure of seeing some level of normality returning with events such as this.

Greg O’Rawe, UBTI President, congratulated John Maguire and the organising committee of ILTC for undertaking to hold this first major Tennis Ireland tournament, adhering to all safety regulations.

In the aftermath of a year without any such events, he was delighted to see how successful the tournament had been, with players from across three provinces taking part.

In response, John Maguire thanked the Council, George Beacom and the Bawnacre staff and particularly the sponsors, Flogas and Mahon’s Hotel, as without all of their support the tournament could not have been staged.

He commented on the high standard and quality of play over the preceding eight days and the wonderful atmosphere of friendliness and sportsmanship which had been such a feature throughout the entire event.