After the 2-year delay caused by Covid, the Masters returned to Glenburn on 25 February 2022 for a long day’s play in 5 categories. Unusually the winners were almost all different from the previous event at Palmerston. 

The blue riband event is always the men’s 40s, and normal service was resumed with Daryl Strong, back after illness, strolling through. He dropped just 1 game, to the impressive Pat McCloughan in a hard-fought match. Daryl beat his Ormeau team-mate Phil Wallace at the group stage and again in the final, Phil having overcome the Leinster winner, the much-travelled Rory Scott, in the semi. 

It was good to see that Annemarie had recovered sufficiently from Covid to contest the Ladies round robin event. Ger Greene won out, securing a decisive win over Annemarie who finished second overall. Ikuko claimed third place. She won a marathon five setter with Paula, and just lost deuce in the fifth to Annemarie. Though disappointed with close results, Paula can be pleased with her performance. Sharon’s rehabilitation from a serious wrist injury continues, and progress is noticeable. 

Pat was a comfortable winner of the 50s, beating Mark McAlister in the final in straight sets. In the semis Pat had beaten Paul Gallagher (3-1) who had done well to put out Willie Cherry, while Mark had beaten Des Flanagan 3-0. 

The first event of the day was the 60s, which was a triumph for Glenburn’s own Willie Cherry, who was only extended in the quarter final by his team-mate Norman Nabney. 40 years of practising together made the match look like routines at times, but Willie won easily in the fifth 11-6. In the final he beat Keld Jaksland who was making a welcome return to tournament play. Keld had beaten Norman in the group and then Jeremy Lappin in the final. 

The last event to finish was the 70s, which saw another title head to Glenburn, when Norman beat Barry Dickson 11-9 in the fifth – it is well-known that Norman likes to get value for his entry fees and 5 sets is Norm’s norm (sorry)! He beat the Leinster winner Brian Finn  in the semi , while chaos reigned in the other half of the draw. Jim Storey surprisingly lost in 4 to Dave Jacobson, who then lost to Barry in 5. 

Thanks are due to the Glenburn club for running the event, and to their committee, particularly to Neil McGrath who was at the top table without a break all day, and to Herbie Ross who refereed the day’s play. 

Results are available here: