Masters Munster Open 2018 – Full Report

The group stages of the 40s provided several cracking matches to whet the appetite for 2018 at Palmerstown recently. Brian Devereux and Dave Gibbons scored notable 5 set victories here. Tibor Pofók was unfortunate to lose two of three five set matches. Pat McCloughan scored a worthy win over Phil Wallace, and a fifth set victory over Devereux en-route to the final. However, Daryl Strong managed to ward off all challenges to secure another title. Losing only two sets all season, he truly is on a roll!

The Ladies event saw some great performances from Paula which did not result in victory. Ikuko prevailed 12-10 in the fifth, and Annemarie had to overcome a 0-2 deficit to fend off Paula’s challenge also! Gillian and Ger served up a real cracker over five entertaining, close fought sets. Coping with tennis elbow, Ger did well to counter Gillian’s formidable forehand attack. Annemarie’s good showing in the 40s event really paid dividends, scoring narrow victories to come through undefeated. Ikuko can be pleased with her performance level here.

The Over 50s event was depleted with the injury to Dave Pemberton. However, debutant Branislav Jakovetic added a new dimension to the mix. Pat McCloughan continued his fine showing in the 40s to triumph over Kevin Mackey in the final.

Branislav beat Oliver and Martin on his way to a semi-final with Tommy Caffrey in the 60s. Using his forehand flat kills very effectively, he led 8-3 in the first game before the maestro found his way back to win out 12,8,5. Earlier, Caffrey had produced a resolute performance to beat Peter Aird in the fifth. On the other side of the draw, Finn came from 0-2 down to beat Philip Shaw. In the final, Brian started very slowly. Unable to penetrate the defensive wiles of the master, he lost the first two games. Persevering with an offensive mindset, he clawed his way back to set up a fifth set. This went nip and tuck to 5-5; then Tommy eked out a 9-6 lead. Playing some courageous last ditch shots, Brian levelled again at 9-9. Unfortunately, he picked the wrong ball to attack, putting a forehand into the bottom of the net. Probing and feinting at match point, he set up a loose high ball which Caffrey dispatched with a rare backhand winner. Stranded, vanquished, Brian could only laugh, swatted away like a fly on a scoreline of 7,9,-9,-9,9!

The 70s went to form with Tommy beating Martin 3-0 in the final. Ken Peare beat Jim Sheehan 7,-8,8,-10,7 in a close encounter at the group stage. The participation here of Liam and Jim is most heartening.

Our thanks to all who assisted in setting up the hall, particularly Denis, Norah, Ray, Terry and Hiroto. The readiness of everybody to umpire when called upon is greatly appreciated. It is hoped that Jim really enjoyed that chocolate digestive late on. Ger’s efforts in the catering department increase everyone’s enjoyment. Dave as referee and Sharon as treasurer/co-ordinator guided the day’s progress with aplomb. The assistance from Leinster Branch in procuring access to the facility is most welcome.

Best wishes to all of our members who are coping with illness or injury!