Senior Veteran Interprovincial 2014 Poem

Please find attached a Senior Veteran Interporvincial 2014 Poem by Stuart McQuitty:


In September sunshine we set off for Greystones
To represent Ulster in the Vets Interpros. 
We numbered two dozen, of varying ages,
From the "baby" McVeigh to some venerable sages.
Our leader was Letty, our spirits were high,
The weather stayed constant under a clear blue sky.
We began with Munster, old rivals, fierce foes,
Singles to start is the norm, so up stepped eight pros.

Tracey was tremendous and scored our first match win,
And was quickly followed by our Scots magician.
The rest battled gamely, doing all they could do
But despite their best efforts, we were losing 6-2.

Stuart, Liam and Tim came close, but were "bate"

Both Rachel and Elaine suffered the same fate.
Oonagh fought gamely, even had a match-point,
She couldn't quite convert, but did not disappoint.

The fight-back began though, as the doubles teams gelled,
With fist-pumps and hand claps, and encouragement yelled.
Young Willie and Brian started off in first gear,
But soon they were cruising, showing no signs of fear.
Choosing pairings is tough, but selectors picked well,
Many new faces combined, and their opponents just fell.
Who to partner Big D, to help see them through?
A volley genius of course - a 'Mena man named Sue.

Some lost in close contests, coming so very near, 
Like Gordy and Johnboi, but winning didn't appear.
Heather and Amanda were only just edged out, 
While Susan and Jill couldn't turn our fortunes about.

But the guile of Steve Leeman with the effort of Moore,
Proved a wonderful combo full of zest and allure.
The match was a contest that went right to the end,
Big serving and support saw our hopes on the mend.

The youngest girls too, stayed resolute and won, 
Lynn and Ashley relieved, and the comeback was on.
We were fighting and tough, but we needed more wins, 
Using belief and grit, and all manner of spins.

To defeat two Irish vets is a very big ask,
But Cathy and Wendy were certainly up to this task. 
Wendy looked shocked at producing tennis from heaven,
Their win meant we lost by just nine points to seven.

The day was a blessing, but not for everyone...
As red faces were frequent, due to burns from the sun.
An Enniskillen man, playing well from the get go,
Had a face that resembled a giant tomato.

To the bar we returned to relax and unwind
We all took it easy, to our bodies we were kind.
Team spirits were high, banter levels resounding, 
A new day awaited, opportunities abounding.

The Connacht conundrum was the next challenge faced,
A big win expected, to put ourselves in first place.
The singles began well as the wins mounted up
As our points total rose, dare we dream of the Cup?

Tracey, Oonagh and Mark; Stuart, Ashley and D,
All looked so comfortable, tasting sweet victory.
That gave us thirteen points, and many more were accrued, 
As the doubles games showed, we were far from subdued.

Brian, Willie and Tim; Liam, Godfrey and Steve,
Put the points in the bag, with some tricks up their sleeve.
Jill, Susan and Wendy, Cathy, Elaine and Lynn,
All played so very well causing Letty to grin.

Johnny Mags and Gordy made sure to be included, 
Were thoughts of overall victory really deluded?
The leader board showed twenty; Leinster a six point lead,
They were our last contest, 'twas a miracle we'd need.

By now we were weary, Leinster looking like winners,
One last chance to impress, before we ate our dinners.
Battle lines drawn, we wanted to capture some glory,
And provide a fitting end to this fairytale story.
Some could finish unbeaten (which is no mean feat)
Plus Irish caps up for grabs and top players to beat.
Only one person did so, Mark Milligan his name,
So now he's inducted to Ulster's Hall of Fame.

Noteman's done this before, but this year was reborn,
And showed no signs of age, despite a body well-worn.
Rolling back twenty years, he looked great for three wins,
But playing doubles with Stuart, that went into the bin.

Others played superbly; came close to an upset,
Taking matches to tie-breaks, and pushing hard in each set.
Too many to name here, but surely worth noting,
John and Mark's brilliant win, and Stuart's showboating.

It wasn't to be ours, but the effort was total,
Summed up by this poem, short and anecdotal.
We came as a team and no matter our results,
We stayed together as one, despite some double-faults.

Showered, made-up and changed, the women all dazzled,

Wearing dresses and diamonds, (but who was vajazzled?)
Mark's "stick" was whipped out, causing hysterical laughter,
The Hawarden girls' eyes bulged, and wanted to borrow it after.

The speeches were all made, and we did ourselves proud,
And no doubt about it, we're the team that's most loud.
The banter continued long into the night,
Deep squats, piano music, and cigars by moonlight.

All that is left is to thank dear Letty Lucas,
For fighting our corner and maintaining our focus.
We wore hoodies with pride, enjoyed time in the sun,
Treated defeat and victory the same; had lots of fun.
And now it's all over, to our clubs we return, 
A year to get better, maybe new skills to learn.
So to strong friendships made, over champagne and beer, 
Let's all toast ULSTER, and win this thing next year.

Stuart McQuitty 8/9/14


pdf2014 VETS INTERPROS - Stuart McQuittys Poem.pdf


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