TENNIS LIMERICK'S tennis prospect, Conor Niland, showed early benefits from his year at top English School Millfield, when bypassing the strong challenge of Dubliner Conor Taylor in the opening series of the Irish Indoor open championships at Riverview yesterday.
Niland got through with a straight sets 6-3 6-4 win.
Belfast's Stephen Waters and Robert Cherry won long three-setters at the expense of Paul Quinn and Stephen O'Connor.
Top seed Owen Casey and his closest rival Scot Barron are seeded to meet in the final, while Gina Niland and Claire Curran are the principals in the women's singles.
Barron's progress will be watched closely as his form, following a long lay-off through injury, is also related to Ireland's Davis Cup prospects.
He impressed in the European Nations team championship in Malta recently.
The new experimental rules whereby the point following deuce decides the game and the ``no let'' stipulation adds to the hype of these championships.
Gina Niland and Claire Curran are in for obvious challenges from such as Yvonne Doyle and Karen Nugent. The prospects of upsets are enhanced by record entries.