2011 : Claire Breen & John Goff
The format of this year’s competition differed from previous years to accommodate the imbalance between male and female competitors. Rather than the traditional seeded mixed doubles draw, a men’s doubles and ladies doubles competition was run before drawing the partners for a mixed doubles final from the winning pair in each side of the draw.
It looked from the onset that things would not go to plan as a heavy downpour initially delayed play and resulted in the starting time being until 2pm.Thankfully the weather did brighten considerably and play began for the 13th Kevin Tiernan at2.30pm. 9-game matches were to be played between each of the teams in the men’s 2 groups with the winners meeting in a men’s doubles playoff to decide the men’s players for the mixed doubles final.
The ladies doubles was played in a similar fashion with the winners providing the better looking halves to the mixed doubles finale.
Group 1 Men
Although the rain had subsided, conditions were still a little difficult as the wind played havoc with some of Tom Gallagher’s shots in the opening game. Tom, partnered with Pat Gaughan for the men’s doubles on paper would seem a formidable opposition but the spoils of the opening game were to go to the farther and son team of John and Darren Goff who quickly came to terms with the conditions and the opening opposition. John and Darren would go on to top the group defeating Henry Byrne and Rurai Gaughan in their second match. The final match in this group between Henry/Rurai and Tom/Pat would require a mathematical miracle to topple the Goff pair but as it turned out, they were too equally matched and Henry/Rurai were the narrow victors.
Group 2 Men
The opening match in group 2 saw the pairing of Richie Ryan and John Gallagher pitted against Liam Tiernan and Michael Collins. This was a really hard fought match with Michael and Liam playing some really powerful but equally erratic shots and Richie and John playing steady safe tennis. In the end, it was the steady safe play that was to see Richie/John progress from this group defeating Marius, playing in his first Kevin Tiernan and Lorcan Gaughan in the second match. Liam/Michael would go on to defeat Marius/Lorcan in the final match of this group but the damage had been done earlier and the final playoff would be between John/Darren from group 1 and Richie/John from group 2.
The men’s doubles was to be played over 1 set. John/Darren got off to a fantastic start, flying into a 3-0 lead over Richie/John. This was in no small part due to some brilliant and consistent tennis played particularly by Darren. Both Richie and John tried to avoid Daddy Goff as being the clubs top player at present, they didn’t expect to get much past him but they didn’t count on the quality and consistency of the younger Goff who won important points at crucial times in every game. The farther and son partnership would go to win 6-2, thus ensuring a Goff name on the cup come what may.
Although with only 6 participants, the ladies doubles threw up some really good quality tennis due mainly to the highly competitive partnerships. Catherine Hackett was drawn with Harriot Byrne, Ronnie Heffernan with Michelle Byrne and Mary McCrann with her sister Claire Breen.
9-game matches were to be played between each of the teams and from the opening game, it became obvious that the formidable partnership of sisters Mary and Claire were going to be the ones to beat. Unfortunately Catherine suffered a bad calf injury midway through the competition and this resulted in the play-off between Ronnie/Michelle and Mary/Claire to see who would join the Goffs in the mixed doubles final.
This was always going to be a hard fought encounter but Mary and Claire proved too strong in the end for the ever consistent Ronnie and the ever improving Michelle.
The play-off for 3rd place saw a dramatic comeback by Richie/Michelle to overcome John/Ronnie. Struggling at 2-4 down, Michelle hit some fantastic forehand shots with Richie playing teasing spin shots to get back into the match and eventually run out 6-4 winners.
The final draw in this years Kevin Tiernan was a real family affair with John Goff and Claire Breen pitted against son and sister respectively of Darren Goff and Mary McCrann. John and Claire really showed their experience against their more youthful opposition and went on to win comfortably.
Well done to all involved in the organization and running of another very successful tournament and a special thanks again to all our sponsors on the day!
On a day when the rain held off Mark Searing helped Ronnie Heffernan join the exclusive few who have put their name on the Kevin Tiernan Trophy for a second time. Ronnies accuracy and consistency was unstoppable and Mark and herself covered all points and chasing down every ball no matter how impossible throughout their matches .
The annual Kevin Tiernan Memorial tennis tournament was held on Sunday 12th of Sept. A very good turnout of 24 players turned up on a cloudy but mild day. The format was 4 groups of 3 teams with the top team in each group qualifying for the semi-finals. The unlucky semi finalists were, Richie Ryan with Ger Maughan and Kieran Maguire with Jemma Kiernan. The final for 2010 saw Ronnie Heffernan and Mark Seering pitted against Tom Gallagher and young Jack Kelly. In an exciting and close fought match played in a very sporting manner in front of a large appreciative audience, Ronnie and Mark proved just a little bit too strong in winning 7-4.
In an unusual twist club President Liam Tiernan got his nephew and grandson of the late Kevin Tiernan, Jack Kelly, one of the runners up to present the cup to the winners. Club Chairwoman Mary McCrann in her speech thanked Francis and Catherine Hackett of Hacketts foodstore for their very generous sponsorship. She also thanked the chief organiser Padraig Doyle for another excellent job in picking the teams and ensuring everything on the day went very smoothly. All the players were thanked for their involvement, especially the new players that have joined this year. Last but by no means least were the Tiernan family for their continued support of this fantastic family day out which is the highlight of the clubs year.
Four other prizes were also presented. Most improved male went to Jack Kelly. Most improved female to Jemma Kiernan. Best male newcomer was Kieran Maguire and finally best female newcomer was Ger Maughan.
2009 : Ann-Marie Hanlon & Richie Ryan
The Annual Kevin Tiernan Memorial Mixed Doubles Championship took place on Sunday 16th August. With a total of 26 players taking part, this proved to be an excellent competition in dry but windy conditions. The format was 4 groups with the top team going straight into the semi final rounds. The results of these semis were wins for Peg Conway & Leonard Hanlon (5 – 3) over Andrea Whelehan & Pat Goughan. Ann Marie Hanlon with her partner Ritchie Ryan bet Ronnie Heffernan & Dermot O’Loughlin by the same margin. The final proved to be a step too far after playing so well all day for Peg & Leonard, being edged out by the deserving winners of Ritchie Ryan in his first Kevin Tiernan c/ships & the now three times winner Ann Marie Hanlon.
Liam Tiernan presented the cup on behalf of the Tiernan Family. In his speech, Chairman Tom Gallagher complimented everybody who took part in a fantastic day’s tennis. He also paid tribute to a few people, in particular the chief organiser Padraig Doyle, on the efficient & smooth running of the tournament & also the Club Captain Catherine Hackett on all her work. Thanks also to Mary McCrann for her homemade baking & finally Dermot Rowan for spending all those house behind the BBQ! John Goff
The members of Rathangan Tennis Club came out in force for the 10th annual mixed doubles club championship for the Kevin Tiernan Trophy and despite very inclement weather enjoyed the main event in the clubs calendar.
Twelve mixed pairings competed for the Kevin Tiernan Memorial Trophy, sets of beautiful Galway Crystal glasses presented by Kevin’s daughter, Claire and numerous other prizes. The fact that it was the tenth anniversary of the competition heightened the spirit of the contest and the unique format ensured it went down to the wire once again.
This year it was a combination of experience and youth that held sway with Sean Martin and Gemma Kiernan taking home the spoils. They needed all their skills, speed and endurance, to overcome the very balanced team of Ambrose Dempsey and Claire Breen in a tightly contested final.
Sean Martin and Gemma Kiernan 2008 Winners of the Kevin Tiernan Trophy
Both partners on the winning team were completing unique doubles. It was Sean’s second time to take the Tiernan Trophy having previously won it with Aine Doyle, while Gemma, a very talented junior, had combined with new member, Terri O’Donovan to take the Ladies Summer Doubles Competition just the previous night.
In 2007 some sixteen teams competed for the Kevin Tiernan Trophy on the second Sunday in August. After seven hours of competition, Andy Shiel and Kate Fullam took the trophy from Liam Tiernan and Claire Breen.
In the final it may have been Andy and Kate’s youth and greater reach which gave them the edge. Andy was an awesome presence at the net playing some athletic brilliant, accurate and decisive driving shots while Kate played a lovely balanced measured yet forcefully searching long game. In contrast the opposing team swapped roles continuously. Both Liam and Claire performed admirably at the net and on the baseline.
It was the second year running that Liam and Claire were runners up for the trophy which is in memory of Liam’s father, a stalwart founding member of the club. The pair had earlier beaten the eventual winners 4 games to 3 to take top spot in their section of the qualifying rounds, maybe the 44 games took their toll.
Andy’s win continued a great family tradition, as both his father and mother, Martin and Francis, have had their names already engraved on the coveted trophy on a number of occasions. Andy Shiel and Kate Fullam being presented with the Kevin Tiernan trophy by Liam Tiernan (centre)
The tournament was once again extremely close with only one single point deciding between teams qualifying for the knock outs in each section and while the quarter finals were taken decisively both semi finals went to a tie break. Kenny Roberts and Catherine Hackett eventually yielding to Andy and Kate while Liam and Claire just shaded Noel Hennessey and Jean Rowan.
The day had a very festive feel and a real party atmosphere was created by Dermot, Rachel and Claire O’Loughlin who erected a tented village to house the bar b que. Sean Martin was very accomplished in his new role of chef kept the spectators and players fed and watered throughout the day.
Runners up Liam Tiernan & Claire Breen flanking the victorius combination of Rachel Byrne & Leonard Hanlon. Leonard Hanlon and Rachel Byrne just shaded Liam Tiernan and Claire Breen at the end of a hard fought but great day. The result went to a tie break in the 13th and final game of the match. Rachel and Leonard made it something of a family double as Rachel’s husband Dermot O’Loughlin lifted the trophy with Leonard’s sister Ann Marie in 2004. Leonard, who only joined the club a few months previously also won the Mens’ Summers Singles from veteran Martin Shiel, who now heads the club rankings. Rachel had earlier won the plate section of the summer mixed doubles accompanied by Padraig Doyle.
Fourteen mixed doubles competed on the second last Sunday in July. The weather was magnificent for the day long event, with just enough cloud for some great tennis yet enough sun for a perfect Bar B Que. A brilliant innovation by the club’s chairman, Dermot O Loughlin. All in all a superb family event.