2011 Competition

Telford Park win the Millennium Cup for the fifth time in ten years

Mathieu Lacourx Alice Hamilton Barbara Wancke and Keith Lavender

Mathieu Lacourx Alice Hamilton Barbara Wancke and Keith Lavender

Telford Park Lawn Tennis Club won the Millennium Cup for the fifth time in the competition’s ten-year history when its team defeated Wigmore Lawn Tennis Club on Saturday 17 September by six points to three.

On a difficult day in terms of playing conditions, the conclusion of the 2011 inter-club contest went down to the wire and was decided just as the rain arrived at Wigmore, the host of this year’s final.

The Millennium Cup is a pretty unique event in that it was conceived to provide a friendly, competitive environment between members of the five local clubs of Streatham, south London.

The idea is to encourage new members into match play under friendly conditions and more experienced players who already compete in the Surrey league are discouraged from playing under a Standard of Play criteria devised by the Organising Committee on which representatives from each club serve.

“It has proven to be a popular and successful format involving all ages,” said Barbara Wancke, the Millennium Cup Tournament Director and Chair of the Organising Committee.

“This year’s edition proved to be closely contested in the league stage and the final could have gone either way when the teams were tied at 3 all.”

The first point of the day went Wigmore’s way when Pierre Galez impressively overcame Guy Tillson in the tricky wind, 6-2 6-1, in the Boys Under 16 Singles.

Playing alongside was the Men’s Open Singles between Telford’s Mathieu Lacourx and Wigmore’s Claudio Soares, which was destined to go the full distance, as were the two pairs in Women’s Doubles.

Both matches lasted a good two hours and were closely fought.

Wigmore’s Cary Alder and Caroline Strachan eventually outran Telford’s Sara Clarke and Brigid Clarke, 4-6 6-3 8-6, in a match that was played in a wonderful spirit, putting the hosts up 2 points in the tie.

The men were locked in a fine battle that saw Soares take the first set on a tiebreak, only to be levelled by Lacourx who forced the decider in which the Frenchman romped home to victory, 6-7 6-3 6-0.

“Last time I played him I won in three sets in over three hours so when I saw him today, I thought: Oh no!” confessed Lacourx, whose win put Telford Park on the board.. “Today it was shorter because his back hurt him”

“I’ve been off for 8 weeks and just came back last week,” said a disappointed Soares. “I was okay for a while but then I felt my back and it just got worse as the match went on. I couldn’t really play at the last.”

Meanwhile the Women’s Open Singles contestants had been on court for a while, and both found the conditions difficult. It took Telford’s Melissa Canavan a set and a half to get used to the artificial clay court and her consistent opponent, Wigmore’s Marelene Russell, whose ability to scoop the ball back into court was quite remarkable.

Canavan began to find her range and came back from a first set deficit to win the next two and garner Telford a valuable second point, 4-6 6-4 6-2.

“I’ve never played on this type of clay before and she got everything back,” Canavan said. “But I’m glad to have been able to pull it out in the end!”

With the points balanced at 2-all, the Girls Singles got under way, closely followed by the Men’s Doubles.

Nathasha Cox’s left-handed forehand proved the decisive weapon in the girls’ contest, and she was the steadier against Sharleen Hussey, winning 6-1 6-4 to put Telford ahead 3-2.

Some of the finalistsWigmore immediately struck back with a convincing win in the Men’s Doubles from Damien Hing and Gavin Pereira¬† over Tim Clarke and Jamie Scott, 6-3 6-2, levelling the tie at 3-all.

“They were a good pair,” said Pereira. “I thought they would beat us at the start but in the end we were just a little more consistent.”

Telford’s Sarah Mawby took the first set easily in the Women’s 40 and Over Singles but had a fight on her hands in the second from Celia Edwards. She survived the scare and came through 6-1 6-4 to put Telford ahead 4-3.

With all to play for, the two remaining matches took to court as the weather deteriorated and the conditions for play became even trickier.

Wigmore’s mixed pair of Alexandra McAdam Clark and Neil Dowden put in a fine effort but were pegged back by Alice Hamilton and Mathieu Lacourx, 6-2 6-3, who clinched the tie in Telford Park’s favour.

In the Men’s Over 45 Singles, Telford’s Keith Lavender recovered from 1-5 down to take the first set against Adrian Crawford and went up 3-0 when the heavy rain set in and the match was abandoned.

“This was one of the closest finals we have had in the Millennium Cup,” concluded Barbara Wancke. “Congratulations to Telford Park and well done to everyone who competed.”

Murray Sutton, Chairman of Grafton LTC responded on behalf of all the clubs participating in the competition – Grafton, Norbury Park, Telford Park, Wigmore and Woodfield Grove: “I’d like to thank Barbara for running the Millennium Cup for the last 10 years and to acknowledge all the work she has put into making this such a success.

“I know she intends to step down this year and I’d like to reassure her, and everyone who enjoys playing, that we [on the committee] will make sure that the competition continues into the future so we have a go at winning this magnificent trophy!”

The coveted Millennium Cup trophy, which was donated by the three inaugural clubs – Telford Park, Wigmore and Woodfield Grove, is a beautiful crystal vase centrepiece measuring 215cm in height and 145mm in diameter set on a wooden base with a silver sleeve.

It has now been won five times by Telford Park, while Wigmore, Grafton and Norbury Park have each won it twice.

LEAGUE RESULTS

2011 LEAGUE TABLE

Grafton LTC

Norbury Park LTC

Telford Park LTC

Wigmore LTC

Woodfield Grove TC

TOTAL POINTS

Grafton LTC

8

3

4

4

19

Norbury Park LTC

1

3

2

6

12

Telford Park LTC

6

6

6

8

26

Wigmore LTC

5

7

3

6

21

Woodfield Grove TC

5

3

1

3

12

 

The 2011 Officers and Organising Committee is:

  • Nigel Flay, Norbury Park Lawn Tennis Club
  • Kenny Govan, Woodfield Grove Tennis Club
  • Sharon Goulds, Wigmore Lawn Tennis Club
  • Juliet Grifiths, Telford Park Lawn Tennis Club
  • Peter Risdon, Referee
  • Murray Sutton, Grafton Lawn Tennis Club
  • Barbara Wancke, Tournament Director and Chairman

The following alternate members may also attend meetings and vote when their respective voting members are not present: –

  • Derek Hanby, Telford Park Lawn Tennis Club
  • Claire Lean, Woodfield Grove Tennis Club
  • Sue Lovejoy, Norbury Park Lawn Tennis Club
  • Alexandra McAdam Clark, Wigmore Lawn Tennis Club
  • Morvern Scott, Grafton Lawn Tennis Club

Contact details can be found in the rulebook on page 19.

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