Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

County Carlow
Tennis Club

County Carlow Lawn Tennis Tournament 1884

County Carlow
Lawn Tennis Tournament 1884
To be held
On Monday, 1st September, and the following days,
Confined to players who reside habitually within the limits of Carlow Union, with the exception of Events 4 and 5.
1st Event – Gentlemen’s Singles.
2nd Event – Ladies’ Singles.
3rd Event – Gentlemen and Ladies’ Doubles.
4th Event – Ladies’ Handicap Singles.
5th Event – Gentlemen’s Handicap Singles.
Entrance fee, 2s each for each event.
Advantage games to be played in final rounds only.
Names of intending players, with entrance fee, to be sent to Jocelyn H. Thomas, Belmont, Carlow, by Friday, 29th August, at latest.
The grounds on which the Tournament will be played will be notified in Carlow Seetinel of 30th August. Play to commence each dy at 2 o’clock sharp.
The Committee reserve to themselves the power of giving one or two prizes in Events 1, 2, 4, 5.
The winning pair in Event 3 will each receive a prize.
R.G. Annesley.
Horace Rochforth, Treasurer.
Jocelyn H. Thomas, Sec.

Carlow County Tennis Tournament 1884

An inaugural tennis tournament took place at Lenham and Belmont over a four day period in September 1884. Horace Rochfort a well known promoter of sport in County Carlow, was the instigator of the tournament. He was assisted by R. Grove Annesley and Captain Jocelyn Thomas. There were so many entries that the first and second days play took place at the Lecky tennis grounds at Lenham and the remaining days were held at Belmont, the property of Captain Thomas.

There weather was pleasant and a large number of spectators from the elite of Carlow and adjoining counties attended. The Carlow Sentinel of September 6th 1884 describes the progress of the play. "Play commenced on Monday at Lenham with ladies' and gentlemen's doubles, the final round of which was won by Mr. R. Grove Annesley and J.E. Jameson, the former showing great judgment in placing the ball, and Mr. Jameson being very successful with his severe overhand service.

The match between Miss E. Watson and Miss Pack-Beresford, in the ladies' singles, won by the former, was the most interesting event of the first day. Miss E. Watson showed great skill in her reaching and returning difficult balls, while Miss Pack Beresford's back-hand strokes were much admired. In the gentlemen's singles, Mr. J. Lecky beat Mr. R.L. Pike after a very hard fight; this result was reversed the following day, Mr. Pike "turning the tables" on his adversary in the gentlemen's handicap.

The match between R. Lecky and A. Annesley proved a close and interesting one, both playing very pretty strokes. Most of the matches in the handicaps were evenly contested, especially in the first round of the ladies' singles, where in every case the three sets were played out. In the gentlemen's handicaps (singles) Messrs Arthur Pack Beresford and Arthur Annesley, although successful in winning these matches against Messrs H. Fitzmaurice and W.H. Persse, actually won fewer games than their opponents".

Despite the obvious success of this tournament, Carlow was still without a Tennis Club in January 1885. A correspondent to the Carlow Sentinel urged that the club should be established without delay. Pembroke was recommended as a suitable site and the owner was thought of as not standing in the way of the project.

Source: Carlow County Library & Facebook


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