Firstly, congratulations to our first Ladies’ team who have won Division 5B with a match to play. The picture above, taken before their Ladies’ Doubles final last Sunday, shows the four who played in most of the matches, Ravinder Norman, Jenny Sheppard, Emma Knowles and Tina Stern, although valuable support was provided by Maddy Dunckley, Alison Nicholson and Lorraine Fowler who played in a match each.
Men’s 1 consolidated their 3rd position in Division 3B by going to Bracknell and winning 4-0 for the loss of just 8 games and gaining a winning draw against Maidenhead 4. At Bracknell, our first pair, John Phillips & Jon Blatchford, won 6-0 6-0 against Danny Miller & Tim Kingcott and James Brennan & David Smith won 6-1 6-2 against Kevin Cusheman & Simon Putner. In the second round, Brennan & Smith relaxed a bit in the first set against Miller & Kingcott which they won 6-4 before putting the pedal down and winning the second 6-0. Phillips & Blatchford completed the rout with a 6-0 6-1 win over Cusheman & Putner. In their most recent match, the team hosted Maidenhead 4 and, with a shortage of regular team players available, new member Joe Forrester was drafted into the team. Jon Blatchford & Andrew Sayer were too strong for both visiting pairs, seeing off Richard Hedley & Manraj Lasher 6-3 6-1 in the first round and Peter Tarvin & Stephen Smyth 6-2 6-1 in the second. John Phillips & Joe Forrester took the first set 6-3 against Tarvin & Smyth but just missed out 5-7 in the second and lost the deciding tie-break. In the second round they lost the first set 5-7 against Hedley & Lashar but won the second 6-4 only to miss out for the second time in the deciding breaker. So 2 points keeps the team in 3rd place a point behind Twyford and Wargrave. Men’s 2 entertained Windsor 4 on 16th June at St.Sebastians in Division 4A and the 3-1 win was a good result against the currently second placed team. With Royal Berks the runaway leaders in the division, the Crows team’s 4th position is just a point shy of the second promotion spot. Chris Torkington & Matt Paxton started well with a 6-1 6-3 win over Chopra Bikram & Kaushal Ajey while David Stone & Jim Hawes were having a real battle against Peter Buck & Theodore Tetteh, eventually winning 6-4 2-6 7-5. Torkington & Paxton secured the win with a close 6-4 7-6 victory over Buck & Tetteh before Stone & Hawes retired at a set all to make it a 3-1 win for the Crows.
With their match against Twyford 2 in Division 5B postponed at Twyford’s request, Ladies’ 1’s next match was away at Shiplake. In hot weather and alongside a nosiy school summer fete with music and tannoy announcements, concentrating was difficult and our four did well to come away with a 3-1 win which keeps them top of the division. Both matches in round 1 were close with Tina Stern & Ravinder Norman winning 3-6 6-2 7-6 against Brenda Nearchou & 16-year-old Zoe Richards and Lorraine Fowler & Alison Nicholson winning 2-6 6-3 7-6 against Katrina Verran & Katie Binning, two great comebacks after losing the first set. Stern & Norman’s 6-2 6-0 win over Verran & Binning secured the 3-1 match win so it didn’t matter that Fowler & Nicholson lost 2 and 1 in the 4th rubber. The latest 4-0 win against Windsor 4 confirms their position as division champions with a match still to play. Two weeks earlier Ladies’ 2 played Wellington 2 in Division 6A and, although they lost 1-3, there were some strong performances by the Crowthorne’ players. Jenny Partridge & Maddy Dunckley won 6-0 4-6 7-5 against Chris Hayter & Wendy Dacey in the first round while the oppositions much stronger 2nd pair, Christina Bycroft & Helen Marengo were beating Penny Hemingway & Wendy Miles 6-1 6-0. Hemingway & Miles, however, took the first set 6-3 against Hayter & Dacey in the second round before succumbing 3-6 0-6, while Partridge & Dunckley were losing 0-6 0-6 to the Wellington 2nd pair.
Men’s Team Tennis 1 are continuing to find it tough in Divsion 2, losing 2-10 against Maidenhead 3 at the beginning of the month and 0-12 to BCS 1 a week later. At Maidenhead, David Smith lost 5-7 2-6 against their no.1 Steve Woolland but James Brennan evened the score with a fine 6-2 6-1 win over Robert Castignetti. Jon Blatchford was unlucky to lose to Boris Ribicic after coming back from a set deficit only to lose the deciding tiebreak, the score 2-6 6-4 0-1. Andy Sayer lost 1-6 2-6 against Sanjo Mathew. The doubles rubbers were close, though, with Smith & Brennan losing 3-6 6-7 to Ribicic & Castignetti while Sayer & Blatchford lost 6-7 4-6 to Mathew & Paul Brill, who replaced Woolland in the doubles. Against BCS our side were missing some of their top players but nevertheless battled hard against a strong side. Russell Finch did well to take Mike Elwood to a deciding tie-break and in the doubles with Matt Paxton it was another deciding breaker against Elwood and Gavin Burrows. Men’s Team Tennis 2 are second in Division 5A after a 7-6 win over Bracknell 5, a walkover against BCS 3, who have dropped out, and a 10-2 win away against GDT Slough. At Bracknell, Russell Finch saw off Navid Eila 6-1 6-3 but Vince Brooks lost 1-6 6-0 0-1 in an up-and-down match against Danny Miller. Mark Callaghan beat Barry Lacey 6-1 6-2 and, with Steve Stow losing 2-6 1-6 against Rowan Sinclair, it was 2-2 on rubbers with the Crows leading by a set after the singles. In the doubles, Finch & Brooks had a straightforward 6-1 6-3 win over Eila & Miller to give the visitors a winning lead so the 2-6 4-6 loss by Stow & Callaghan against Lacey & Sinclair was of no consequence. Against GDT, Chris Torkington at No.1 won 6-3 3-6 1-0 against Falco Niekoop while Peter Lindholm at No.2 was beating Bernado Contrero Jimenez 4-6 6-1 1-0. Steve Stow lost 1-6 3-6 against Frank Bulley at No.3 but Hamish McCarthy, playing his first match for Crowthorne, won 6-4 6-4 against Balbhadra Giri. In the doubles, McCarthy & Torkington won 6-1 6-2 against Niecoop & Bulley while Stow & Lindholm had the satisfaction of winning another close rubber 7-5 5-7 1-0 against Jimenez & Giri.
With Mapledurham and Slough dropping out of the league, it was a somewhat unsatisfactory season for our 14U Boys who had previously beaten Slough 3-0. With that result not counting the team finished pointless although their final match against Woodland was a close one. James Kempson won 1-6 6-4 1-0 against Rosham Patel but Alex Trill lost 4-6 2-6 to Edward Tracey. The pair then lost 2-6 4-6 in the doubles.
In the Veterans Leagues, Ladies O40 lost 0-4 against Cholsey but had their first win of the season, 3-1 away against Maidenhead C. This was a relief for the team, having previously lost to Maidenhead’s A and B teams. Ravinder Norman & Tina Stern took the first rubber 6-0 6-1 against Susan Carter & Jan Price and Jenny Partridge & Lorraine Fowler backed this up with a 6-4 6-3 win over Rosemary Morton & Carolyn Pocock. Stern & Norman went on to win 6-4 6-4 against Morton & Pocock before Partridge & Fowler narrowly missed out 7-5 6-7 0-1 (4-7) against Carter & Price. With a match to play against Portcullis, a win should keep the team safe in Division 2. Our Men’s O55 team had a tricky visit to Maidenhead to play their A team in Division 1 and were unlucky not to get a point from it. Adrian Draffin & David Stone narrowly lost 6-7 5-7 to Mike Bottomly & David Reid and they won 6-4 5-7 1-0 (7-3) against Craig Thompson & Graham Jones. We’ll draw a veil over the performance of our plucky second pair, Steve Stow & Andy Stone, who were never really in contention! There was a was better news with a 2-2 win against Westmorland Park, although the team is still second from bottom in Division 1. Men’s O45s won 3-1 against Wokingham B and 4-0 against Caversham B placing them 5th in the table so, despite recent losses against Maidenhead C and Wokingham A, should avoid relegation.