Tennis: Lydia Kelly title win hailed by coach
Lydia Kelly enjoyed a fine win at the Brookfield tournament in Dublin, landing the under-16 girls title.
The 14-year-old Methodist College student showed her mettle to come through some tough matches before defeating Bangor's Amy Rothwell in the final 4-6 6-2 6-4.
Earlier in the week she had injured her knee but still managed to come through a three-hour quarter-final against Dublin's Siofra Watson, winning it 7-5 0-6 7-5 before winning her semi-final with another Dubliner, Heather Naughton 7-5 6-0.
Lydia's Windsor Tennis Club coach Przemek Stec said he was most pleased with the character shown by her throughout the whole week.
Coach Stec, who looks after top international junior Karola Bejenaru, said: "Lydia showed in parts what she is capable of throughout the week in Brookfield. I want to see her show more consistency because when she does then she will make matches a lot easier for herself.
"She still hasn't hit the level that I have seen in training but this is good progress and she is moving in the right direction. I think overall when you look at the whole week it was a very good performance from Lydia.
"She had a three-hour quarter-final and then had to head home very late before getting up early to travel for her semi-final and she had a sore knee as well.
"It's a good sign when you win even though you are not at your best."
Lydia, who this season has won the Ulster Spring and Winter Matchplays, was supported in Dublin by her mum Gertrud and grandfather Denis.
Mum Gertrud said: "Lydia works very hard at her game at Windsor with Przemek. He has a great belief in her, and how far Lydia can go, and that is very important."
Lydia is hoping that she can kick on from here and enjoy a good summer season of tournaments in Ulster and down south.
"I am very happy with the win. It was a tough week because I had two late matches and then early starts travelling to Dublin – I only had a quick 10-minute hit before the final because of the early start but I got the job done.
"Hopefully I can have a few more good tournaments this year."