Blessed with glorious sunshine all day, last Sunday saw players from Enniskillen, Irvinestown and Omagh come together in a one off event to celebrate local player Matthew McGann’s forthcoming trip to Palm Beach, Florida where he will become the first Fermanagh player to represent Ireland in an international tennis tournament.

With strong links forged between the three clubs over many years, there was a relaxed and friendly atmosphere throughout the day meaning old rivalries will have to wait until the Enniskillen Open in May to be renewed.

The format was four teams of eight with each player competing in six mixed doubles matches throughout the course of the day and the team with the most games won taking the prize.

The honour of opening the day’s play fell of course to guest of honour Matthew paired with Kathleen Maguire against Matthew’s former star pupil Connor Donaldson, who was home from England for the weekend, playing with Andrea Irvine. It was straight down to business for Matthew and Kathleen who secured a convincing 4-1 opening win and immediately followed this up with a 5-0 win over fellow Vets National Champion John Maguire and Omagh’s Rachel Logan.

Starting to look like a Brian O’Driscoll stroll to man of the match, Matthew and Kathleen were quickly brought back down to earth in a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Stephen Cuthbertson and Sonja Hateboer.

Conor, who had such a long trip home, didn’t have such a long wait for revenge on his old coach as Conor’s team, the Smashers, ran out ultimate winners. Key points accumulators for the Smashers were John Griffin and Donna McSorley who won 13 of their 15 games together. Other star performers were Lisa Greaves and Ollie Mcshea with Maxine Leary, Andrea Irvine and Chris Cieplucha ensuring the cup, chocolate eggs included, went to the Smashers. Once the day’s tennis was completed it was back to the clubhouse for refreshments and tales of the wins that got away. On thanking everyone for making the day so enjoyable Maxine paid tribute to Matthew wishing him the best of luck in his upcoming venture in Florida and recognising the honour and credit his selection to play for Ireland has brought to the club and tennis in the region in general.

In turn, Matthew thanked everyone for their support especially those in each of the clubs who had made a superb job in organising the day. Matthew is due to fly out to Palm Beach next week where he is qualified to play in both the singles and doubles competitions in the World Team Championships. Who knows, maybe soon we will have a World Champ in our midst.