In the first round of the Winter League, Men’s 1 lost at home to a strong Windsor 2 side in Division 2. In the first round John Phillips/James Brennan lost 3-6 2-6 against the visiting no. 1’s David Woon/Avinash Murthy while Russell Finch/Matt Paxton lost 1-6 6-7 to Fransisco Machado/Marius Biedka. In the second round Phillips/Brennan fought hard to win in a deciding tie-break 6-2 3-6 1-0 over Machado/Biedka but Woon/Murthy were too strong for Finch/Paxton and won 6-1 6-2.
Men’s 2 had a trip to Caversham to play their 3rd team in Division 4 and they came away with a 3-1 win. Jim Hawes/Chris Torkington found it relatively straighforward, losing just 6 games in their two rubbers, winning the first 6-2 6-2 against Reza Amini/Alexander Denovan and the second 6-2 6-0 against Michael Barker/Samuel Leafe. It was far from straightforward for David Stone/Richard McCully, however, who played 3 tie-breaks in winning 7-6 6-7 1-0 against Barker Leafe before losing in another 3-setter 6-3 5-7 0-1 to Amini/Denovan.
Men’s 3 had a tough trip to play Sandhurst in Division 6E and lost 0-4. Steve Stow/Andrew Morrison were unlucky to get nothing out of two hard fought rubbers, losing 3-6 6-1 0-1 to Peter Newcomb/Roger Lamb and 5-7 4-6 to Glenn Holland/Brian James. Andy Johns/Joe Forrester, however, were somewhat outclassed, winning just 5 games in their two rubbers.
Both Ladies’ matches were rained off the following weekend so the only match left was the 14U Boys A match away against Peppard. The result was a 2-4 loss but Jonathan Snyman won his first match for our club winning 2-6 6-3 1-0 against Max Woodthorpe Browne. Oliver Walker lost his singles 3-6 3-6 against Sam Archibald but the pair nearly very won their doubles, going down 6-7 4-6 to narrowly miss out on a victory for the Crows.
The next weekend it was the first round of the Mixed with Mixed 1 entertaining Basildon at home in Division 3. Emma Knowles/John Phillips won a close match 6-3 6-4 against Gerry Westerman/Jeremy Sinden and Lorraine Fowler/Matt Paxton started well against Lydia Berls/Michael Baker, narrowly losing the first set 5-7. But the home pair ran away 6-0 with the second set so it was 1 all at the halfway point. It was a similar story in the second round with Knowles/Phillips winning 6-3 6-1 against Berks/Baker but Fowler/Paxton falling away after winning the first set to lose 6-4 0-6 0-1 to Westerman/Sinden. Nevertheless, the set won by Fowler/Paxton made the difference as the score was 35-35 on games but 5-4 to Crowthorne on sets.
Mixed 2 had a trip to Caversham Park to play their 2nds in Division 4 and lost 1-3, although on another day they could have won it or at least grabbed a point. Maggie Ingham/Peter Lindholm lost their first rubber in a deciding tie-break after winning the first set in a breaker, losing 7-6 2-6 0-1 to Judy King/Paul Flood. Meanwhile Alison Nicholson/Mark Callaghan were losing another close rubber 5-7 5-7 to Celine Loader/Rakesh Bhandari. King/Flood were too strong for Nicholson/Callaghan in the second round but Ingham/Lindholm regained some pride for the Crows by beating Loader/Bhandari 2-6 7-5 1-0.
Mixed 3 had to travel to Bracknell to play their 3rds in Division 5E and were surprised to find themselves up against Zeljiko Juric, a former Bracknell club champion who clearly found life easy at this level despite having had a hip operation, losing just 4 games with his partner Jane Mulligan against our team of Jenny Partridge/Andrew Morrison and Ravinder Norman/David Jubb. The performance of the day was by Norman/Jubb who won 6-3 6-4 against Noreen Bedford/Rowan Sinclair who went on to beat Partidge/Morrison 6-1 6-2.
The postponed Ladies’ 2 match against Caversham 5 was played on the last Saturday of the month and was a 2-2 win for the Crows by 34 games to 32. Jenny Sheppard/Ravinder Norman won both of their rubbers by the same score, 6-2 6-2, and Penny Hemingway/Sharon Millet very nearly lost both of theirs 2-6 2-6. However it was the extra 2 games that they won in their 4-6 2-6 loss against the home first pair that made the difference and meant 2 points for Crowthorne.
The postponed Ladies’ 1 match against Marlow will be played on November 16th.
The 2nd round of the Men’s League was on the Sunday of the same weekend and Men’s 1 had a trip to Caversham to play their 2nds in Division 2. They were pleased to come away with 2 points from a 2-2 draw which they won by a set. Jon Blatchford/Michael Harris had a tough start against Andrew Bonney and the highly rated Terry Mayers, losing 4-6 2-6, but Al Galloway/James Brennan tipped the balance Crowthorne’s way with a 6-2 6-2 defeat of Duncan Ross/Alec Briggs. In the second round Blatchford/Harris won a close match 7-5 6-4 against Ross/Briggs but Galloway/Brennan had a disastrous start against Bonney/Mayers, losing the first set 0-6. However, they fought back well to take the second set 7-5 and, although they lost the deciding tie-break, the set won made the difference and it was 2 points for a winning draw.
Men’s 2 had a home tie against Sonning 1 in Division 4 and they found themselves up against two former Crowthorne players, Chris Dexter, our Men’s Champion in 2002, and Rupert Sanderson, 3 times Men’s Doubles Champion with James Brennan from 2004 to 2007. Jim Hawes/Chris Torkington had a slow start, losing 1-6 2-6 to Sanderson/Dexter while Matt Paxton/David Stone fared little better losing 3-6 2-6 to Stephen Edwards/Chris Gibson. Things improved for the Crows in the second round with Hawes/Torkington winning 7-5 6-2 against Edwards/Gibson and Paxton/Stone nearly salvaged a point, winning the first set 7-6 against Sanderson/Dexter before losing the second 4-6 and the deciding tie-break to make the result a 3-1 win for Sonning.
Men’s 3 had an away match against Westmorland Park 1 in Division 6E and they came away with a point from a 2-2 draw. Andrew Morrison/Joe Forrester made little impact on a strong home 1st pair, Cezar Nichita/Johnny Rynhoud, losing 3-6 1-6 but Richard McCully/Dan Rippon had a good 7-5 6-3 win against a pair that included another ex-Crowthorne player, Andy Becher, playing with Ian Angeloni. In the second round McCully/Rippon also fared badly against Nichita/Rynhoud, losing 0-6 3-6, but Morrison/Forrester fought back well after the disappointment of losing a first set tie-break to take the second set and the deciding tie-break, winning the rubber 6-7 6-3 1-0.