In Round 3 of the Berkshire Winter Men’s Doubles Men’s 1 arrived at Bracknell to play their 2nd team in Division 2 to find that home captain Andy Fryatt had put out three 1st team players, so keen was he to beat their local rivals. James Brennan & John Phillips had a great start against local stars Zeljko Juric & Ian Purser, winning the first set 6-2, but the home pair raised their game in the second set, winning it 6-0 and taking the deciding tie-break. David Smith & Chris Torkington found Andy Fryatt & Stuart Wetherall to strong, going down 1-6 3-6, but in the second round, Brennan & Phillips got some revenge by beating Fryatt & Wetherall 7-6 6-2. Smith & Torkington had a much closer match against Juric & Purser but still lost 4-6 3-6, however, it was a good effort from the Crowthorne side against players, three of whom have played most of their tennis in Division 1 this year. Up in Division 1, a weakened Bracknell 1 faced 2nd placed team Windsor 1 and, although they finished with a commendable losing draw, had they played their strongest side, they might well have beaten a Windsor team they had expected to lose to.
In Division 5W, Men’s 2 faced Shinfield 1 at home and were unlucky not to come away with 3 points. Matt Paxton & Russell Finch lost their first set to Sean Haggerty & Thanh Liem Than 3-6 but took the next 6-1 only to lose the deciding tie-break. Meanwhile, David Stone & Hamish McCarthy were beating Stuart Beck & Peter Bechtold 6-4 6-1 to put the Crows marginally ahead in the match. It was a similar story in the second round, this time with Paxton & Finch winning in straight sets and Stone & McCarthy losing a deciding tie-break against Haggerty & Than. So two points gained but a chance for all three, however it keeps the team in second place behind Twyford for reasons best known to the organiser – they are on the same number of points as the Crows but worse in all other respects!
Men’s 3 had their Division 6E match postponed. at the request of Caversham Park who were unable to raise a team, and the following weekend, both Ladies’ matches were postponed, the 1sts due to rain and the 2nds earlier at the request of Ascot.
In the 2nd round of the Mixed Doubles, Mixed 1 were away at RSF in Division 3 and they registered their first points of the season with a 3-1 win. Emma Knowles & John Phillips had no problem beating Sandy Wyles & Chris Wise 6-1 6-0 and in the second round they repeated the feat beating Karen Holt & Phil Newborough, also 6-1 6-0. Tina Stern & Matt Paxton found it a bit tougher against Holt & Newborough, losing 3-6 2-6, but they redeemed themselves in the second round clinching the deciding tie-break against Wyles & Wise to secure the 3 points.
In Division 4, Mixed 2 were at home to Caversham 3 and, in a match with two deciding tie-breaks, they finished 3-1 winners. Cath Sillitoe & Peter Lindholm won the first set 6-2 against Surita de Mulder & Alec Briggs and clinched a close second 7-5 to put the Crows ahead.Meanwhile Alison Nicholson & Mark Callaghan were losing in a deciding tie-break against Yaso Rajkumar & Andy Von Glehn. The second round was almost a repeat of the first with Sillitoe & Lindholm winning in straight sets against Rjkumar & Von Glehn and Nicholson & Callaghan involved in another deciding tie-break. However, this one, against de Mulder & Briggs, they won to take all 3 points.
In Division 5E, Mixed 3 had a difficult trip to Ascot to face their 1st team who somehow find themselves in this division. Jenny Sheppard & Steve Stow faced Debra Schmidt & Hameed Hafeez and lost 0-6 1-6, however, it may give them some comfort to know that this is a better score than that achieved by Rupert Sanderson and his partner playing for Sonning against the same pair – Rupert used to be a member at Crowthorne and regularly partnered James Brennan in our 1st Men’s team and won the Men’s Doubles Championship with him. Sheppard & Stow did better in the second round, losing 1-6 1-6 to Helen Sommerville & Darren Thomas. Sarah Mayhew & Andy Lewis had a similar experience aganst Sommerville & Thomas, losing 2-6 0-6, but they really had no chance against Schmidt & Hameez, losing 0-6 0-6, the same but no worse than many other pairs will fair this season against them!
The 3rd round of the Mixed Doubles was on the first weekend of December.
Mixed 1 travelled away to play a strong Peppard 1 side who were leading Division 3 having lost just 1 rubber. Emma Knowles & Jon Blatchford were well beaten 6-3 6-3 by Andrew & Helen Lee and, although they nearly won the first set, Tina Stern & Matt Paxton lost 5-7 2-6 to Ellie Fry & Dominic Cusk. Stern & Paxton came back well after losing their first set 0-6 to the Lees but still lost the second 5-7 while Knowles & Blatchford regained some pride for the Crows by taking their second rubber 7-5 6-3, only the second rubber lost by Peppard this winter.
Mixed 2 were at home to Twyford 2 in Division 4 and their stunning 4-0 victory keeps them at the top of the division. Alison Nicholson & Mark Callaghan made short work of Sioban Wilkinson & Phil Garthside, winning 6-2 6-1. However, performance of the day was from Jenny Sheppard & Peter Lindholm who thrashed Anna Cowdry & Simon Eyles 6-0 6-0. With Nicholson & Callaghan winning their round 2 match 6-3 6-1 and Sheppard & Lindholm winning their’s 6-2 6-2, it was a resounding 3 points for the loss of just 11 games.
Mixed 3 had a trip to Berkshire County Sports in Division 5E to play a potentially tricky tie aginst their second team. The home side had strengthened their side with Abdul Minhas, who had previously been playing in their 1st team, and he probably made the difference as the Crows lost a close match 1-3. Jenny Partridge & Richard McCully lost their first round match against Minhas & Jane Hunt 3-6 4-6 while Sarah Mayhew & Simon Usher were losing a deciding tie-break against Sue Crabtree & John Mcdonald after taking the first set 6-3 and losing the second by the same score. Partridge & McCully then won a close rubber 7-5 6-2 against Crabtree & Mcdonald but Mayhew & Usher were beaten 6-2 6-4 by Hunt & Minhas to make the score 3-1 to the home side, although the Crows did come close to taking a point.