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Successful Conclusion to the 85th Claycourt Championships of Munster
16/Aug/2011(No Expiry Date)When it comes to organising tennis tournaments, Marcella Kelly is the director with the Midas touch. With the help of her stalwart committee and huge support from other clubs, she executed the 86th Clay Court Championships of Munster and County Tipperary 2011 in a manner befitting the All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon!

The tournament ran from August 7th to August 14th, and was generously sponsored by Pierse Motors (Tipperary) Limited, David and Norrie Mullins of Agridata Limited, and several other members of the County Tipperary Lawn Tennis Club.

Among the many highlights of the week included the match which saw Men's Singles Milan Ferguson losing to top seed Tom McGrath in a 3-set ding dong battle.

Spectators enjoyed wonderful displays of tennis by ladies singles players Elizabeth Coman and Mary Clare McCarthy, and spectacular ladies doubles exhibitions by Hannahmay Morrissey and Sinead Dunne.

Supporters were treated to an electrifying performance by hugely popular and highly regarded Club Honorary Secretary, Jacinta Coman playing with the distinguished, much decorated and widely appreciated John Heffernan in the final of the championship mixed doubles event.

Back from Canberra, Australia to defend his title was the very popular contestant, Pat Moloney, who is President of Tennis Seniors Australian Capital Territory. Pat, whose father emigrated from the beautiful Glen of Aherlow in 1922, enjoyed the opportunity also to spend time with cousin John Moloney in the family homestead in Newtown.
Indeed family unity was the order of the week which saw Belfast father son combination, Michael and Milan Ferguson, Anna McCarthy and her daughter Mary Clare from Limerick and brother and sister duo, Matty Ryan and Lorraine Ryan.

The members of Tipperary County ensured there was never any shortage of dining options available to players and spectators during the week! Delicious teas were provided in the Russell Pavillion.

A lively party atmosphere was guaranteed in the clubhouse bar. An impromptu 'brasserie' was set up at various intervals throughout the week, and the usual haute cuisine was offered at the barbeque on Friday night! Among those who were spotted enjoying the evening were club President, Anne Bourke and her son, Brian,George and Claire Ryan and their daughter, Joanne, former President Paddy Connery and his wife Hanora, Deirdre Fitzgerald and Emma Kirby, Jayne Coman and her son Denis, Sean Fitzpatrick, John Shannon and Matt and Margaret Ryan, Eric and Majella O'Connor, Sarah Aherne and Stephen McInernery, Josephine Kelly, Hazel Russell and Therese Roche, to mention a few!

The finals were held on Saturday, in front of a large audience, with fair weather and courts which were in immaculate condition.
Admiring the tennis and supporting their favourite players were David Russell and Mark Ryan, sisters Patrice O'Connell, Ann Mulcahy and their cousin John Ryan, nine month old, Zoe Lonergan supporting her mum, Sonia, three year old Molly Dunne supporting her mum, Sinead, Bridie Hassett and Doreen McInerney, Sadhbh and Conal Donovan with their dad, William, Emma Heffernan, Caitriona and Sophie Hayes, Mary and Brian Devlin, Ella and Irene Flynn and Clodagh and Orla Kissane!

The Prize-giving Ceremony on Saturday evening was officiated by the eloquent President Anne Bourke who said the tournament had enjoyed one of its largest ever entries. She acknowledged the many players who had journeyed from near and far ensuring the very highest standards of tennis.
She thanked the sponsors and the neighbouring clubs for their support. She praised the Tournament Director and her team, observing that Marcella had been the anchor lady who ensured that everything ran smoothly.
She thanked the Courts and Grounds committees, and the Social and Bar committees led by Eddie Fitzgerald, Tom Russell, John Heffernan, Sandra Russell, Pat Kennedy, Pat O'Dwyer and Kate Fitzgerald. She thanked everyone who contributed to making it a wonderful tennis and social occasion.

The prizes were presented by the impartial and ubiquitous referee, John Pierse, representing main sponsors, Pierse Motors (Tipperary) Limited, and many of the inspirational figures in the winners' enclosure proved that experience and age can still give youth a run for its money!

The winners of the singles events were Tom McGrath, Hannahmay Morrissey, Michael Galvin, Michael Waldron, Karen O'Neill, Gus Carey, Orla Donovan.

The runners up were Robert Cummins, Mary Clare McCarthy, Patrick Moloney, Eugene O'Mahony, Evelyn Kelly, Conor Ahern, Sinead Pearl.

The winners of the mixed doubles events were Jacinta Coman and John Heffernan, Catherine Fitzelle and Declan Webster, Barbara Ryan and Paul Anglim, Loraine Ryan and Matty Ryan, Sonia Lonergan and Adrian O'Neill.

The runners up were Joanne Ryan and Denis Howe, Joanne Lonergan and David Goulding, Angela O'Dwyer and James Kennedy, Yvonne Sheehan and Michael Khan, Siobhan Donovan and Dominic Hayes.

The winners of the ladies doubles events were Sinead Dunne and Hannahmay Morrissey, Mary Gavin and Fidelma Seymour, Jennifer McKenna and Loraine Ryan, Anne Quinn and Barbara Ryan, Catherine Kennedy and Joanne Lonergan.

The runners up were Madeline Kelly and Sheila Lonergan, Margaret Foley and Nuala O'Connell, Noelle Hassett and Yvonne Sheehan, Theresa Anglim and Evelyn Kelly, Lora Diffly and Sinead Glascott.

The winners of the men's doubles events were Michael Ferguson and Milan Ferguson, Garath McGlinchey and Gerry Shannahan, Sean Looby and John O'Dwyer, Keith Hoare and Jamie Keety, Paul Anglim and Benny Dudley.

The runners up were William Guiry and Tommy Rochford, James Caffrey and Philip Ryan, Garath Austin and Brendan Gavin, Bernard Ryan and Edmund Tobin, James Morris and Matty Ryan.

Finally, to the victors and the vanquished, President Bourke bade farewell, and Director Kelly disappeared into the sunset to compete on the Munster Squad the following day!
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