With several late dropouts, it was never going to be easy for our three teams on Sunday 23rd as Men’s Captain Russell Finch had to shuffle his squad with several players out of their comfort zone.
The 1st team was away against Bisham Abbey 1 in Division 3 and it took a while for our four to settle down against a very strong home side, both pairs losing their first round rubber for the loss of 4 games apiece. However, it was a different story in the second round as Russell Finch & Jim Hawes took the second set 6-3 against Marc Cook & Adam Kemp only to lose the deciding tie-break. New member John Phillips playing with Matt Paxton had a good start against Robert Daly & Nick Cox but just miised out in the first set 5-7 before dropping the second 3-6. So a 0-4 result to follow the 4-0 win against Maidenhead 4 with a home match against division leaders Caversham 3 coming up next.
In Division 4, the 2nds hosted Bisham’s 2nd team and started off well. Richard McCully & Andy Stone lost a tight first set 6-7 against James Bradshaw & Norman Bhargava and then the second 3-6. Mike Smith & Anthony Hayes lost by an identical score against David Saint & Mark Neal so the outlook was bleak at the halfway stage. Although McCully & Stone gave some hope to the home side with a 6-2 6-2 win over Saint & Neal, Smith & Hayes were unable to penetrate the obdurate defence of Bradshaw & Bhargava, losing 3-6 2-6. Next up it’s Bracknell 3 away which is probably a must win fixture for the team to stay in the division.
By contrast, the 4-0 win by our 3rds against Twyford 3 in Division 6W looks a relative stroll until you analyse the results, both of our pairs beating the visitors’ number one pair in a deciding tie-break. Rob Hughes & Peter Lindholm beat Andy Vyronos & Malwinder Sidhu 3-6 6-1 1-0, recovering well after a shaky start, while Steve Stow & Mark Callaghan cruised through 6-2 6-3 against father and son pair Andrew & Julian Brandon. The pattern was repeated in the second round with Stow & Callaghan coming back from losing the first set against Vyronos & Sidhu to win 2-6 6-2 1-0 and Hughes & Lindholm enjoying the relative ease of a 6-2 6-2 win against the Brandons. The next match is away against BCS 3, currently a point behind the Crows.