A team reach the Challenge Cup final

Lurgan Tennis Club, coach Alex Iliev with the A and B Teams of Jason Henry, Jamie Henry, Ben Smith Marc Acum, Thomas Muldoon, Andrew Coalter and Matthew Smyth.  INLM2516-432
Lurgan Tennis Club, coach Alex Iliev with the A and B Teams of Jason Henry, Jamie Henry, Ben Smith Marc Acum, Thomas Muldoon, Andrew Coalter and Matthew Smyth. INLM2516-432

Lurgan Tennis Club A team are through to the final of the Under 18 Challenge Cup.

They beat Lurgan B team in an inter-club clash in the Park on Friday night.

To have two teams from Lurgan in the semis was a unique and great achievement.

The Challenge Cup is the main team competition in Ulster tennis . It is a culmination of the league Division 2 - Division 6 runners up and winners who play off for the winners title .

To reach the last four, the B team played Newry/Warrenpoint and the A team played Ballinafeigh and both won their respective first round matches . The B team win was particularly spectacular as Newry would have been the favourites but with a tremendous team effort in the first round of singles they went into the second round of matches two games ahead.

The boys showed great strength of character in the singles with Jason Henry holding the very strong Newry No 2 to a win by only one game , and that along with the other singles games won ( Jamie Henry winning 10/1 ) allowed Lurgan to go into the doubles two games ahead.

The No 1 doubles pair were particularly strong from Newry and Lurgan lost that match 8/3 but second doubles pairing of Jamie Henry and Nevin Donnelly negated that loss by winning their doubles 8/3. Going into the last game it was all play for. Jamie and Nevin kept their nerve and won 7/2 . It was a fabulous team effort from everyone but particular mention goes to Ben Smyth who played despite a heavy GCSE exam schedule the week of the matches .

In the semi-final the B team put up a great fight and the A team had to put out a solid performance to win and therefore qualifying for the challenge trophy final .

Jackie Muldoon Junior Convenor was delighted to get two teams into the last four .

“It is a great reflection on the club coaching programme headed up by Alex Iliev and the commitment of the parents and dedication of the children that allows us to have these tremendous results from a provincial club,” said Jackie.

The A team will play Hawarden Belfast in the final .

B team: Ben Smyth (captain), Jason Henry, Jamie Henry and Nevin Donnelly.

A team:Thomas Muldoon (captain ), Marc Acum, Andrew Coalter and Matthew Smyth.