Tie comes down to the wire…
Grafton’s Federica Mele got off to a good start in the Women’s Open against Kelly Rhodes, using her all round game well, and despite Kelly fighting back with some strong serving and forehands, she held on to win the first set 7-5, and went on to win the second set 6-1 giving Grafton the lead.
The Women’s Over 40 Singles was closer than the score might suggest, but Kath Bower was both strong and consistent as she beat Kate Sheehan 6-1 6-2 to put Grafton 2-0 up.
Keith Lavender and Paul Flatters had a very tight match in the Men’s Over 45 Singles.
Keith came back in the second and won it 6-3 before getting over the line in the match tiebreak to put Telford were on the board.
Telford’s Zak Lavender played Simon Paes in the Boys Under 16 Singles, taking an early advantage and the first set without loss.
Simon found his game in the second set, and the two had some very long rallies, one of at least 40 shots as the Grafton boy levelled by winning the second set 7-5.
Zak, staying cool under pressure like his Dad, won the match tiebreak and drew the two sides level.
The next four matches started from around 11-30, with the Girls Under 16 singles appearing to be one way traffic.
Grafton’s Amelia Cornish showed excellent ground strokes and strong serving, winning the first set 6-0 against Lavinia Rebora, who was giving away quite a lot in terms of age, strength and experience.
Lavinia was unfazed and she fought back in the second set, hitting some sweet passing shots before losing 6-3.
Grafton were back in the lead.
The Men’s Open singles was an all French affair, Telford’s Stephane Legrande taking the early advantage to win the first set 6-0, but Vincent Huck never looked like he was going to be overwhelmed and he fought back in the second.
Stephane eventually won it 6-4. This was real quality competitive tennis.
Telford drew level again as both the Men’s and Women’s doubles were underway – Grafton winning the women’s quite decisively and Telford the men’s.
Mary Prickett & May Micklewright rather decisively took out Juliet Griffiths & Ellen Boyle, 6-1 6-1, while Paolo Rebora & Mark Rothwell dropped an additional game to Tim Bannerjee & Andy Webster, 6-1 6-2
Of limited interest to almost everyone but themselves, Andy and Mark were playing against each other for the first time since school days about forty years ago!
The final rubber was the mixed doubles in which the Telford pair of Hanna Barclay & Paul Beesley won the first set 6-0 but lost the second and the match tiebreak, so Julie Wilson & Alan Sheenan won the fixture for Grafton 5-4.
The Millennium Cup final will be a rematch on Sunday 30 June, and this time round Grafton’s captain Murray Sutton will be on the court rather than stalking the competitors with his clip board!
Report by Mark Rothwell for Telford Park
Telford Park LTC lost to Grafton T&SC 4-5
[Telford Park names first]
Women’s Singles: Kelly Rhodes lost to Frederica Mele, 7-5 6-1; Men’s Singles: Stephane Legrande d Vincent Huck, 6-0 6-4; Women’s Over 40 Singles: Kate Sheehan lost to Kath Bower, 6-1 6-2; Men’s Over 45 Singles: Keith Lavender d Paul Flatters, 5-7 6-3 [1-0]; Girls Under 16 Singles: Lavinia Rabora lost to Amelia Cornish, 6-0 6-3; Boys Under 16 Singles: Zak Lavender d Simon Paes, 6-0 5-7 [1-0]; Women’s Doubles: Juliet Griffiths & Ellen Hoylelost to Mary Prickett & Mary Micklewright, 6-0 6-1; Men’s Doubles: Paolo Robera & Mark Rothwell d Tim Bannerjee & Andy Webster, 6-1 6-2; Mixed Doubles: Paul Beesley & Hanna Barclay lost to Alan Sheenan & Julie Wilson, 0-6 6-2 [10-3].