Finals Eve

–The finals are tomorrow – should be a good day
–Yeah – two pints please – hard to call the games
— I’d call them tough, but I suppose that’s where you want to be.
–Having it tough? Don’t know about that now.
–No no I mean having to test yourself, you know pushing yourself, to win. Pit yourself against the greatest. Seek out the adulation and love of the crowd as you run down your opponent over 3 magnificent sets of gruelling intensity.
–We are talking about the club championships arent we?
–Ah yeah, getting carried away, it is great though?
–You Luadhraman. yeah, but its more than that.
–What do you mean?
–Well its being part of the whole thing, isnt it. Getting out to compete, having the crack, watching the games with a mug of tea and some of that delicious apple tart. Jaypurs Im making myself hungry now.
–And the fitness, don’t forget the fitness. My resting heartrate is the same as Conor McGregor’s.
–That’s some rest you must do.
–Anyway I wonder what they are doing now.
–Probably getting sick on themselves Like O’Gara. Or checking the strings and all that.
–Ah jaysus I’d doubt it. Anyway I meant Pep and Jose, I bet their getting sick on themselves. See you down here for the game and then we’ll head down and watch real sport.
–Yeah, see you then

Moving Week

Nearly There.

“Its called moving week”


“Yes, Seriously”,

I regard the comment with caution and try not to laugh, but it makes sense, the business end of the championships is upon us,  moves are made or stopped in their tracks. It feels pretty ruthless – maybe Clane Tennis Club has a steelier underbelly then I had given it credit for.

“I suppose you’ll tell me next we have our own Amen Corner”

“Well not quite – we have Limelight corner – see,  its there between the turn at Court 1/2 or Court 3/4/5. Either you have played well and are turning left for the Limelight games or you will play your game in peace and quiet!”. – maybe the club isn’t too steely.


Playing tennis is sometimes described as a genteel sport, rough and tumble are not part of its vocabulary. Club tennis championships draw upon the whole gamut of their member’s abilities, ages & competitiveness. Over the last week we have witnessed older generations take on younger and win, where speed and agility face off against guile and patience. Players of differing abilities across the court, showing respect for their opponent,  wanting to make a game of it for both. Matches where people are laughing out loud at the gymnastic attempts of their fellow players to get a return back over the net. Matches where a racket is thrown to the ground in frustration, where the will to win bursts uncontrollably on the court. It may not be rough and tumble in the traditional sense but the players are leaving nothing on the court and that to me is the same thing.

Like anything good in life there is a balance between a lot of different elements. That’s what can make someone curse loudly when they lose a point to another laughing uproariously when a shot is rocketed into the nights sky.We are a club with good balance and this championship week brings it out.

Finally - In a singles game last night – a shout from one of the players after 3 or 4 over-hit shots was heard - in the interests of propriety I will paraphrase -  “A Surplus  Richard”. The outburst led to wild imaginings by some of the onlookers and prompted prolonged fits of the laughter.

So the club definitely has a sense of humour and if you can figure out the euphemistic outburst and the effect of punctuation on its meaning– I guess you do too.

A week in

An so it begins....

"The draw, when is the draw out".

"It'll be out Monday, yeah Monday maybe about 9"

"Grand, We'll be down then"

And so it begins. The entries are in, singles, doubles, mixed. Lists are made, seedings debated, numbers drawn, the crowd awaits. Mixed doubles, then the mens and womens doubles, finally the men and womens singles are called. Some of the matches draw comment and ooohs from the assembled. Knowing glances among the more seasoned members as to the likely outcomes of matches. Clear paths for some not so for others. It is now set in stone, or at least a4 copies as we await the schedule of matches to begin.

That was already a week ago and the championships for 2016 are in full swing. We have been very lucky with the weather so things are moving along 'relatively' well. Being both player and part organiser this year, I have had occasion to sit, watch and listen to the drama that is a tennis championship in a small rural tennis club in Ireland. I would never have anticipated how much this captures the attention and feelings of all concerned. Hotly anticipated matches are well attended with mini-commentaries on going as to the reasons for the ebb and flow of the participants. People considered social tennis players become ruthless in their dispatch of forehand drives down the trams. Excitement builds and fades as the teams and individuals realise or fritter away their dream of winning a trophy.

It is truly magical and a tribute to all concerned.

And so it will continue, hopefully so please check back into here or our facebook page for more updates.

Clane Tennis Club.