UCC Tennis Intervarsities
This weekend, the annual Irish Intervarsities took place in Glasnevin, Dublin. Through the eyes of many, this is the “creme de la creme” of Irish collegiate tennis.
After UCC’s dominant nationals performance in November (boasting the men’s singles and doubles national titles and coming runners-up in the ladies event), we knew we had a great chance to impress.
Starting with the men’s main event. UCC faced off against DCU’s second team in the first round. The UCC men dispatched of the very respectable side in a one-sided encounter to set up everyone’s favourite rivalry in the semis: UCC vs Trinity.
The two teams, on paper, were 50-50. Both having Irish team representatives and national title winners. In the first match, the men’s captain, Daniel Moloney, played Trinity’s number 1, Michael Clarkson, a highly anticipated matchup. They locked horns last year in a very tight encounter so neither were expecting an easy match. Moloney, from the get-go seemed to have the edge, breaking in the first game. He remained focused and locked in to win the match in straight sets. Advantage UCC.
Next up was Sean O’Callaghan v Trinity captain, Dan O’Neil at number 2 singles. Unfortunately for UCC, it was a perfect storm: O’Neil played the match of his life and O’Callaghan was missing shots he’d bank on by mere inches. It was one match a piece after the two matches.
From then on, things started going Trinity’s way. They won two 3 set epics with Trystan Ryan-Bovey and Sam Curtin getting slightly edged out by Trinity’s Hollingsworth and Maguire. Despite UCC’s valiant fight, Trinity went on to win the tie in the singles, 5-1. A gut wrenchingly disappointing result to lose yet again to Trinity at the semi-final stage, but important lessons were certainly learned.
On the ladies side of things, our first team did a terrific job to seal the deal and take home the Consolation of the Cup Event. They had a very tough first round against a stacked Trinity team, with greenhorn Eimear O’Neil being their sole win at number 1 singles. The Naas local has fitted in brilliantly in UCC, winning all her matches and reaching the final of the college nationals, all in first year! We look forward to her making serious waves for the ladies team in the coming years.
The 2nd, 3rd and 4th teams played brilliant tennis over the weekend too! The 3rds showed great composure, skill and respect to overcome Queen’s 3rds to reach the semis of the bowl event, a huge step up from last year!
Once again, the UCC players represented their college with pride on and off the court, winning and losing with grace. We were the happy faces and the merchants of banter off court and warriors on court, really showing what UCC Sport is all about.