The midland leagues started last week with Athlone teams having two victories in divisions 4 and 5.
Athlone division 4 team had a winning start to their midland league campaign when they defeated Loughrea last Tuesday on the score line of 3-1.
In the ladies doubles, Athlone’s Joan Conway and Ann O’Sullivan defeated Loughrea’s Maureen O’Beirne and Linda Heffernan 9-1. Both Joan and Ann played faultless tennis from both the baseline and the net, showing both skill and tactical awareness to overcome their opponents.
In the men’s doubles Ailbie Conway and P.J. O’Reilly suffered a close defeat to Loughrea’s Pat Conlon and John Lawlor. This was a closely contested game with an array of shots both to and from the baseline and some deft touches of net play.
In the mixed doubles Ann lined up with Ailbie and Joan with P.J. Both the Athlone pairings had 9-3 wins to record a winning start to their campaign.
Division 5 team had a winning start to their campaign but only by the minimum after drawing 2-2, Athlone accumulating 26 games to Birr Wilmer’s 25. In the first doubles Julie Costello and Mary Jo O’ Farrell beat the ladies from Birr Wilmer 9-1, Rose Costello and Olivia Sumner were beaten 2-9 in their doubles.
Rose and Olivia had better luck when they competed in their second doubles against the other two ladies from Birr Wilmer winning 9-6. However Julie and Mary Jo lost 6-9. As already stated when the match scores were totted up the four Athlone ladies were happiest.
This Week’s Fixtures
Athlone 2 will play Loughrea in division 3 this Wednesday, the team consisting of Anne Dooley, Paula Dowling, Tomasz Koza and Luciano Molinari will travel to play, on the scenic courts by the lake, in Loughrea.
Athlone 1 had to postpone their first match against Birr Wilmer 1 last Wednesday and they have a bye this week. Orla Kinahan, Michele Culligan, Richard Frank and Des Windsor Mc Glynn will get off the mark the following week.
After their initial win Ann O’ Sullivan, Joan and Ailbie Conway and P J O’ Reilly have a break this week before playing Birr Wilmer the following one.
The Athlone ladies will travel to play Roscrea 2 and this will be new territory for Julie, Rose and Olivia. Mary Jo is the only member to have played on midland league teams previously.
Last Monday Christy Tibuh and Jimmy Raleigh were among the large group of men competing in the usual round robin series of matches.
Tuesday was again a busy night for the ladies. Annette Dalton and Marie Bernard were in excellent form both playing faultless tennis.
During Thursday’s mixed doubles Stephane and Cathal Kenny had a good night on the courts combining well together and winning numerous rallies.
Clem Higginbotham continues coaching lessons for junior members every Saturday. The lessons begin at 10 for children under 8, at 11 for under 12 and at 12 o’ clock for older children. His contact number is 0864022490.
Derek Stenson is available to give individual lessons contact number 0851080013.