With a month of the Winter League completed we’ve had two rounds of Men’s and Ladies’ matches and a round of Mixed.
In the first round of the Men’s Doubles at the beginning of the month Men’s 1 came up against a strong Wargrave 1 in Division 2 and lost their home tie 0-4. All matches were lost in straight sets, although Russell Finch and David Smith were unlucky not to get one rubber, losing 6-7 6-7 to Colin Johnson and Paolo Pederoda. James Brennan and Matt Paxton got to 4-6 in both of their rubbers, so it was far from a walkover, but it shows that there are some strong teams in this Division.
In Division 5W, Men’s 2 had a close match against Windsor 5 away from home, which they could have won 4-0. With a tricky surface to get used to, Chris Torkington and Jim Hawes narrowly lost 6-4 5-7 0-1 against Brian Paddon and Nigel Truphet while Richard McCully and David Stone suffered similarly at the hands of Stephen Long and Peter Brogan, going down 4-6 7-6 0-1. However, in the second round, the Crows pairs fought back well with McCully and Stone beating Paddon and Truphet in straight sets and Torkington and Hawes clinching the deciding tiebreak against Long and Brogan to win the match on sets and games.
Men’s 3 in Division 6E were at home against Maidenhead 6 and they finished with a point from a losing draw. Vince Brooks and Andy Stone did well to win both of their rubbers, the first on a deciding tiebreak, but Hamish McCarthy and Joe Forrester, in their first match together, struggled and were well beaten.
In the second round of the Men’s Doubles, we had one of our strongest squads out and Men’s 1 found it easy against Maidenhead 3 in Division 2. Jon Blatchford and John Phillips beat Roscoe Warren and Tim Lattimer 1 and 1 while James Brennan and Andy Sayer were winning by the same score against Alejandro Torbaruela and Bruce Greenwood. In the second round Blatchford and Phillips didn’t drop a game although Brennan and Sayer did slip up a bit, winning 6-1 6-2.
In Division 5W, Men’s 2 also had a 4-0 win, away against Wargrave 4, Chris Torkington and David Smith won both of their matches 6-0 6-3 while Matt Paxton and David Stone beat Alexander Mileman and John Buekers 6-1 6-1 but were pushed a bit harder in the second set, beating Arthur Stankijwkz and Sam Johnson 6-4 5-7 1-0.
Men’s 3, however, came up against a strong team away Slough in Division 6E. Jim Hawes and Hamish McCarthy lost their first rubber 1-6 2-6 against Andy Wilson and Mohammed Basith Awan but Vince Brooks and Steve Stow levelled the match against Robert Meah and Ryan Vittles, winning 6-2 6-4. They also had no answer against the very strong Awan and his partner but Hawes and McCarthy, in a topsy turvy match, couldn’t quite get over the finish line, losing 6-2 0-6 0-1.
In the first round of the Ladies’ Doubles, Ladies’ 1 faced Caversham 3 in Division 3. Ravinder Norman and Tina Stern put in a steady performance to win both rubbers in straight sets, 6-3 6-4 against Cecile Mallett and Shashi Gadgil and 6-2 6-4 against Susan Gold and Tracey Hart. Pauline Snell and Alison Nicholson were unlucky to miss out in their rubber against Gold and Hart, losing 6-7 6-7 but they were well beaten 6-1 6-0 by the Caversham first pair to make the result a loss by 2 games. Ladies’ 2’s first match was postponed at Shiplake’s request.
In the second round last weekend, Ladies’ 1 again gained a point from a losing draw, this time away against Wargrave 2. Tina Stern and Emma Knowles faced tough opponents in Fiona Traill and Janice Dobbin, but won 6-3 6-3 and they had similar success in the second round, winning 6-4 6-3 against Clare Belton and Elizabeth Hindley. However, they were too good for Ravinder Norman and Maddie Dunckley who lost 2-6 0-6 against Belton and Hindley and 2-6 1-6 against Traill and Dobbin.
Ladies’ 2 were unlucky not to get a point from their match in Division 7 at Bradfield. Alison Nicholson and Pauline Snell went close in the first set against Joanne Jones and Helen Townsend, losing 5-7 but lost the second 1-6. In the second round they won the first set 7-5 against Claire Moor and Nicola Horton but lost the second 3-6 and then lost the deciding tie-break. Sarah Mayhew and Linda Diessner gained useful experience but were not really in contention, losing both rubbers in straight sets to make the result 4-0 to Bradfield.
In the first round of the Mixed Doubles, Mixed 1 faced a strong Windsor 2 side who were too strong for Matt Paxton / Emma Knowles and Richard McCully / Tina Stern, winning all rubbers in straight sets.
Mixed 2 fared no better in Division 4 away against a very strong Basildon 1. Hamish McCarthy and Ravinder Norman had no answers against Jerry Sinden and Gerry Westermann, losing 1-6 0-6 and Mark Callaghan and Alison Nicholson did no better in the second round, losing 0 and 1. Both pairs did better aganst Michael Baker and Tracey Hodson, however, Callaghan and Nicholson losing 3-6 1-6 while McCarthy and Norman lost by a creditable 4-6 4-6.
Mixed 3, however, did win a point from their losing draw against Bracknell 3 in Division 5E. Jenny Sheppard and Simon Usher won both of their rubbers, winning against Maria Allen and Mark O’Donnell in a deciding tie-break and 6-1 6-4 against Noreen Bedford and Tony Montana. However, both visiting pairs were too good for Sarah Mayhew and Andy Lewis, who battled gamely but were unable to get close to the set needed to gain a second point.