A bumper crowd took part in the recent first social tennis tournament at Enniskillen Tennis Club since they reopened in April.

The Fermanagh weather smiled down and while the tournament entries were restricted to forty, the courts were full all evening. The forty players played four rounds of timed doubles with a BBQ and chat between each round!

Carol McKeown made a strong start, partnered with one of the new recruits Dean McWilliams. They were against Anne Mooney and Mark Crawford. Play was outstanding from all four players with Carol and Dean narrowly beating them.

Martina Boyd provided the anchor when she partnered Colin Wykes, but it was Jenny Humphreys who accidentally hit Martina with a volley, partnered by both left and right hitting Peter Neill, who emerged the winners of that game.

Alex Knowles also got quickly off the starting blocks with Madeline Casey and picked up good points. Madeline played her next game with Barry Lynch who is making strong progress against the best players and enjoyed a win over Ruth Elliott and Ian Weir with some fine baseline play.

Ruth Armstrong was also enjoying her night. She was dressed as any tennis professional should be! Her points were topping the leader board along with Brenda Davies.

Over on court 4, everyone could hear Maria laughing, it is so infectious! Maria played with the ever-cool Lesley Campbell. Their opposition was Hugh Maguire and Michelle McTeague. They battled over eight games and Maria and Lesley won 5-3. Meanwhile, Andris Stebers was gathering good scores in all of his games. The opposition found it hard to deal with his ground-strokes.

After all players had played four games the scores were added, it emerged that two women were equal on 20 points and had to ‘roll the ball’ to gain a place in the final with Ruth Armstrong. Carol McKeown and Madeline Casey lined up and as the official, John Griffin, counted down and explained what to do. Both players rolled the ball to the service white line and Madeline just missed out narrowly putting the ball across it by inches.

The final was an enthralling encounter because it brought together the two individuals in the club who have made outstanding improvements to their game in recent times. Carol McKeown, who is renowned for her forehand cross-court and Andris who has a spectacular backhand down the line. Ruth Armstrong and Andris were partners and Carol played with Alex Knowles, this match took no prisoners.

Ruth and Andris led 2-1. The crowd was on the edge of their seats. Ruth and Andris could have won it but missed a volley in the fourth game. The games were level at 2-2. It was Carol and Alex who eventually emerged victorious winners on the fifth and final game.

A huge thanks was acknowledged by Committee member Ruth Elliott to Maxine for organising the matches, to Evelyn for organising the kitchen, to all those who brought salads and delicious sweets and to Mark who was in control of the BBQ. Mark thanked Carol McKeown who is heading away in September for all her help with the juniors over the last two years. A brilliant evening of tennis food and fun. It was lovely to have so many of the new members playing and having the chance to meet some of our long-standing members.