Both Junior rubbers were close, and the ladies singles was particularly extraordinary…
In the clear but chilly conditions, Danielle Wade got the hosts off the mark with a 6-1 6-1 win over ex-Grafton member Caroline Norrie in the Women’s Over 40 Singles, after which Dani generously remarked that Caroline was actually the better player, but her game didn’t quite come together on the day.
Alan Sheehan bagged his second Millennium Cup win in the Men’s Open Singles, bamboozling John Nicholls with his incredible variety of shots, 6-3 6-3.
In the Girls Under 16 Singles, Amelia Cornish outlasted Woodfield’s Emily Barr, 6-4 6-4, in a long high-quality rubber, featuring a roller-coaster first set with long rallies and rangy groundstrokes.
Grafton mainstay Michael Sotillo and Lucas Govan gave the crowd a good run for their money in the Boys Under 16 Singles.
Michael breezed through the first set, taking it to love but aggravated a shoulder injury in the process.
The trainer (Murray!) dashed on court with an ice pack to enable Michael to continue, but Lucas ruthlessly took advantage and we had a match.
There was nothing between them now, as the set built to a tiebreak that Michael saw out 7-3 to clinch it.
So it was 4-0 to Grafton but Woodfield’s hopes of getting on the board were dashed by Trevor Dunton who was too strong for their captain Jon Elwes, winning through 6-2 6-1 in the Men’s Over 45 Singles, despite Jon strongly winning the first two games.
In the Women’s Doubles, Sarah Dickinson & Monica Parrott, making a welcome return to action after a long injury layoff, played a steady game to pile on the agony with a 6-3 6-3 victory over Jo Kiernander & A
mber Blakeney, who made them work for the valuable Grafton point.
The Indian/Polish combo (maybe) of Tim Bannerjee & Rick Jakubowski made it 7-0 by not allowing Ben Rowley & Alex Kyle, one of the three Kyle clan in the Woodfield squad, into the Men’s Doubles rubber, but there was strong hitting from all four players during the 6-3 6-1 win.
A 10-minute game at 3-1 set the tone for the match, with strength-sapping rallies all the way in the second, that went to a breaker, in which Fed kept her nerve to take it 7-2 and the match into deciding set.
This was now into the realm of full-blown epic proportions and there was over three hours on the clock when Federica finally crossed the line and both players collapsed into each others’ arms.
What a match and what a Mill Cup intro for Federica!
The ladies singles actually finished after the Mixed Doubles, which Woodfield took to glean their sole point of the day.
While the Grafton pair led 5-4 in the second, Tom & Esme ran out worthy winners, 6-3 7-5.
The hosts helped Woodfield, who live to fight another day, drown their sorrows in the bar and this was another most enjoyable Millennium Cup Meeting.
Report by Murray Sutton, Grafton Millennium Cup Captain
Click HERE for the latest Points Standings
Grafton T&SC defeated Woodfield Grove TC, 8-1
[Grafton names first]
Women’s Singles: Federica Mele d Candice Kyle, 3-6 7-6(2) 6-3; Men’s Singles: Alan Sheehan d John Nicholls, 6-3 6-3; Women’s Over 40 Singles: Danielle Wade d Caroline Norrie, 6-1 6-1; Men’s Over 45 Singles: Trevor Dunton d Jon Elwes, 6-2 6-1; Girls Under 16 Singles: Amelia Cornish d Emily Barr, 6-4 6-4; Boys Under 16 Singles: Michael Sotillo d Lucas Govan, 6-0 7-6(3); Women’s Doubles: Sarah Dickinson & Monica Parrott d Jo Kiernander & Amber Blakeney, 6-3 6-3; Men’s Doubles: Tim Bannerjee & Rick Jakubowski d Ben Rowley & Alex Kyle, 6-3 6-1; Mixed Doubles: Murray Sutton & Emma Webb lost to Tom Cooper & Esme Kyle, 6-3 7-5.