Grafton host win over Telford Park
The result puts them in contention for a place in the final with two more ties to play but, although played in perfect conditions, it was far from plain sailing
The Juniors were very much a family affair: Grafton’s Sotillos v Telford’s Reeds and both matches were mirror images; Henry and Molly Reed recovered from 2-6 first sets to make Michael and Sarah really fight for their 7-5 second sets despite Sarah’s alarming tactic of turning her back on her opponent when retreating to the baseline!
Meanwhile both vets matches saw lengthy first sets: Keith Lavender maintained his enviable Mil Cup record, wearing down Paul Flatters 6-3 6-4 and Julie Wilson outlasted Vicky Reed (yes mother of Henry and Molly!) 7-6 6-3 in two and a half hours, surely one of the longest MC encounters in which 20-shot rallies were the norm.
They stumbled off court to a standing ovation from the considerable crowd.
So 3-1 Grafton after round 1
The Ladies singles was interesting; Grafton newbie Louise Quick lived up to her name, nimbly edging the first 6-4 v Oznur Mehmet and as Louise raced to 5-2, thanks to not a few let-cords, it looked all over but Oznur had other ideas and gave Telford a glimmer of hope: her swinging serve kicked in to take her to 3-5.
Then Louise wobbled, distracted by a magpie swooping on a Grafton fox perhaps, and two doubles later it was 4-5, but he Grafton girl righted the ship with some magnificent retrieving (she IS quick!) to win the rubber 6-4 6-4.
The Men’s Doubles hinged on a tense first set tiebreak which Grafton’s Tim Bannerjee & James Peake won thanks to James’ net play, and then powered to a 7-6 6-2 win.
Maureen Kenny & Mary Micklewright made it 6-1 with a steady display to down Juliet Griffiths & Dilwen Roberts in a very good-natured match.
Then Telford put the brakes on the Grafton juggernaut: Peter Bradley showed great character digging in to get to grips with Alan Sheehan’s spin-centric style to win 4-6 7-5 [1/0].
The visitors clawed back another valuable point in the Mixed which could not have been closer; Grafton’s new pairing of Murray Sutton & Sarah Dickinson started well, going up 5-2, but were pegged back to 5-4 before closing out 6-4 against Mark Rothwell & Sally ‘ Brick Wall’ Binny (she hardly missed all match).
Murray & Sarah then lost focus to allow Mark & Sally to level 6-3 after which Grafton looked good going up 7-2 in the tiebreak only to be pipped 11-9 having squandered a match point when Murray, who should know better having wielded a racket for 64 years, broke the ‘if in doubt hit it’ rule!
Not a line call query to be had, but plenty of support, atmosphere and salad Nicoise – a great Mill cup day!
Report by Murray Sutton, Grafton Captain
Grafton S&TC d Telford Park LTC 6-3
[Grafton names first]
Women’s Singles: Louise Quick d Oznur Mehmet, 6-4 6-4; Men’s Singles: Alan Sheehan lost to Peter Bradley, 4-6 7-5 [1-0]; Women’s Over 40 Singles: Julie Wilson d Vicky Reed, 7-6 6-3; Men’s Over 45 Singles: Paul Flatters lost to Keith Lavender, 6-3 4-6; Girls Under 16 Singles: Sarah Sotillo d Molly Reed, 6-2 7-5; Boys Under 16 Singles: Michael Sotillo d Henry Reed, 6-2 7-5; Women’s Doubles: Maureen Kenny & Mary Micklewright d Juliet Griffiths & Dilwen Roberts, 6-3 6-2; Men’s Doubles: Tim Bannerjee & James Peake d Richard Povey & Richard Barber, 7-6 6-2; Mixed Doubles: Murray Sutton & Sarah Dickinson lost to Mark Rothwell & Sally Binny, 4-6 6-3 [1-0].