August League Roundup

The Men’s Summer League matches were completed with the 3rd team’s postponed match away against Sonning 2 on the last Saturday of August.  A mixture of youth and experience, Dan Rippon was playing his first adult match for the club and, with Joe Forrester, they won their second rubber 6-4 6-4 against the home first pair Brian Curtis/Chris Gibson after losing to Steve Edwards/Tim Banks by the same score.  The experienced pair of Richard McCully and Andy Stone cruised through both rubbers beating Curtis/Gibson 1 & 2 before winning 1 & 3 against Edwards/Banks.  The 3-1 win lifted the team into the top spot in Division 6B and certain promotion, which, after being withdrawn last summer due to lack of players, might have seemed unlikely at the start of the season;  however, with Wokingham 2 points behind and with a game in hand, having now won their remaining match against Sonning, our side finishes second.

The 2nd team are also promoted, having finished top of Division 4A, while the 1st team are unlucky not to be promoted from Division 3B, which has just one promotion spot, having finished 2nd behind a dominant Caversham Park 1.

So an excellent summer for Men’s Captain Russell Finch who also saw Men’s 1 finish 2nd in Division 3 in the Team Tennis competition with Men’s 2 winning Division 5A.

As reported previously, Ladies 2 cemented their position as Division 7B winners with a 3-1 win against Wokingham 5 at the beginning of the month.  For the full report, click here

In the Mixed League, our 1st team lost a tough match 1-3 away against Division 2 leaders Peppard 1 in the middle of the month.  Helen & Andrew Lee were just too strong for Tina Stern/Matt Paxton who lost 6-7  3-6 in their first rubber but the Crows’ pair fought well against second pair Wendy & James Franklin to clinch the rubber 4-6 6-4 1-0.   Both home pairs, however, were too strong, however, for Cath Sillitoe/Mark Lardner who lost their rubbers in straight sets.

Mixed 2 gained a valuable point in a losing 2-2 draw against Maidenhead 4 in Division 5B.  Both Crows’ pairs started well, Alison Nicholson/Mark Callaghan winning 6-4 6-3 against Susan Carter/Paul Ernst and Ravinder Norman/Steve Stow beating Su Reid/Bahno Marek 7-5 6-3.   But they couldn’t maintain their momentum in the second round and both pairs lost in straight sets with the final result decided on games; a loss by 37 games to 39.

Our Men’s O45 Veterans finished a tough campaign with another loss, this time 0-4 away to Maidenhead D.  Steve Stow/Vince Brooks and Phil Timm/Richard McCully lost by identical scores, 1-6 3-6, in the first round against Stephen Smyth/Simon Brittain and Mike Bottomley/Paul Ernest respectively, but both pairs came close to winning a set in the second round with Timm/McCully losing 0-6 6-7 and Stow/Brooks losing 5-7 3-6.  If we could field our younger over-45 players instead of relying on our 50+ and 60+ players for these matches, it could be a different story, however, relegation to Division 3 for the first time since the team was introduced back in the 90’s will probably be a relief for those that do turn out regularly for both the O55 and O45 teams.

It was better news for the Men’s O55 Veterans who switched their much postponed tie against David Lloyd Newbury to their opponents’ club due to our lack of floodlighting.  Phil Timm/Andy Stone lost their first round match 3-6 4-6 against Simon Middleton/Duncan Chisholm but Richard McCully/Vince Brooks restored the balance by beating Sandy Balfour/Bruce Letham 3 & 3.  It was a similar story in the second round with McCully/Brooks winning 6-1 7-6 while Timm/Stone did just enough to ensure the tie was won on games by recording the same score as in their first round match, 3-6 4-6.  The final result – a win by 39 games to 37 and 4th place in Division 1 which keeps them in the top tier for another season.