Saturday afternoon of 17 September 2019 saw the curtain come down on yet another successful Business Houses tournament, when Martin Dwyer and Ruth Matthews played Mark Foley and Madeleine O'Dwyer in the 42nd and closing match. This year's tournament was later than usual, as we wanted to wait until the clubhouse was fully complete and signed off as safe to use.
The Business Houses tournament was the brainchild of our esteemed Honorary President, Paddy Lennon, and the tournament has been in existence since 1995. Paddy has done an incredible job every year of not only getting local businesses to sponsor the tournament, but also getting people to play, even those who said they didn't want to play or would be on holidays, and getting people to sub, some of whom said they had no interest in subbing. I think that pretty much everyone can remember receiving a phone call from Paddy over the years, just as you were about to put your feet up, to come down to the club and sub in the Business Houses. It has now reached the stage that you're almost disappointed if you don't get that call!
With Paddy taking a break from organising the event this year, the onerous task fell to myself and Sean Kavanagh. Going around, knocking on the doors of businesses in the village with Sean was an education in itself. Sean knows everybody, which is always a great start, but we had good banter with some of the business owners and I got to know so many people I wouldn't otherwise have known.
Personally, I would like to thank everybody who played for participating at such short notice. I know I spent much of the previous week texting and phoning people, so thank you for replying to those texts and answering those calls. I know getting the pairings right for the Business Houses is tricky, as it's not possible to know every player or what their standard is. However, from looking at the recorded scores, there were competitive games across the board.
I was up at the club every night last week, and it was so heartening to see the courts full every night. Once the draw was announced, everybody just got on with the business of organizing and playing their matches. I received no calls from anybody looking for a different partner, looking for a sub or looking for opponents who were uncontactable.
There was some incredible tennis played over the week and I know everybody with a score over 20 felt they were in with a good chance of winning the perpetual trophy. I watched all of Ondrej and Norah's matches, and they had a fantastic campaign. Any other year they probably would have won it, but alas they came up just short this time round as Adrian and Daphne prevailed with 26 points. So heartiest congratulations to them, and thanks again to everyone for making it a successful and enjoyable Business Houses.
Before I sign off I would like to thank a number of people, without whose help the Business Houses wouldn't have been possible; Sean for helping to knock on doors and introducing me to the business owners, Keith for helping to finalise the pairings and set up the website, and Annmarie for not only driving and promoting the event, but also playing with me.
Hope to see you all on court very soon.
Vincent (Fundraising Officer)