Good weekend for Crows’ teams

It was a triumph for Ladies’ Captain Lorraine Fowler to get two competitive teams on court on Saturday following the loss of two players at the start of this season.  Our 1st team, Jenny Sheppard & Ravinder Norman with Lorraine Fowler & Caroline Atkinson faced a strong Caversham 2 in Division 3B and had an enjoyable match despite losing 0-4.  Fowler & Atkinson served for the 3rd set against the Caversham 2nd pair but eventually lost it 5-7.   In Division 5B, Ladies 2 were away to Sonning 1 and they came away with a well-earned point.  Both pairs lost in 2 close sets against the home 1st pair but two wins against their 2nds clinched the point.  Alison Nicholson & Pauline Snell had to go to a 3rd set tie-break to win their rubber but Jenny Partridge & Annie Atkins came through strongly 6-1 6-1 to make sure of the point.  So a loss by a set and just 42-44 on games.

Meanwhile, Harry Cook and Rory Williams did the club proud with a 3-0 thrashing of RSF in Division 2B of the 18 & Under Aegon Team Tennis Berkshire competition. Particularly satisfying was the fact that RSF fielded two ex-Crowthorne members and both of our players despatched their opponents in straight sets. Williams defeated Harry Lardner 6-1 6-3 and Cook defeated Sam Reilly 6-3 6-4.  Our two then paired up to beat Lardner and Reilly 6-1 6-1 in the doubles to complete the victory.

On Sunday morning, our Men’s Aegon Team were at home to BCS 2 for their second match of the season.  Expectations were high following their 8-4 win away at Newbury a fortnight ago.  Matt Paxton, Russell Finch and David Smith all had to go to a deciding tie-break against their singles opponents, Andrew Southgate, Gary Oates and John McDonald respectively, and all three won it.  Andy Sayer came through 7-5 6-2 against Abdul Minhas to complete the clean sweep in the singles.  Paxton/Finch and Smith/Sayer both won in straight sets in their doubles to make it a 12-0 win for Crowthorne but the winning of those three deciding tie-breaks and Sayer’s 7-5 first set, were what broke the resolve of the visiting team.

The weekend was rounded off perfectly with a win by 2 games in our Men’s Over-45 Veterans match against RSF in Division 2 on Monday night.  Andy Stone & Richard McCully missed out in their first set tie-break against Chris Carter & Paul Rylatt and then lost the second set 2-6.  Meanwhile, Vince Brooks & Rob Hughes recovered from the loss of their first set 2-6 against Shane Leather & Pete Blythe to take the second set 6-4 but lost the deciding tie-break.  So, with the score 0-2 at the halfway stage, the outlook seemed bleak.  However, the superior skill and fitness of our valiant four obviously paid dividends in the second half of the match.  This is where those hard hours of training pay off and Stone & McCully showed this to be the case with their 6-3 6-1 win against Leather & Blythe.  Brooks & Hughes were not so quick out of the blocks, losing the first set 4-6 against Carter & Rylatt but coming back magnificently to take the second set 6-3 and clinch the deciding tie-break, completing a great comeback to win the match by 39 games to 37.