In contention for final place…
On another perfect Millennium Cup day Grafton kept themselves in the frame for the final with the tightest of wins over Wigmore on Saturday 9 June.
Wigmore made the early running taking the first round 3-1: Pratha Mehandran allowed Alan Sheehan a single game and John Maclean proved ‘die-hard’ tough as he gave Grafton’s Paul Flatters little opportunity taking the vets 6-2 6-2.
Amelia Cornish clawed a vital rubber back for Grafton with a gritty 6-4 6-2 win over Elsie Fairn digging in from 1-4 down in the first.
This left the boys battling out what proved to be one of the matches of the day: Michael Sotillo (G) v Billy O’Dwyer (W).
The match hinged on a monumental game with Billy serving at 5-4, with 6 deuces, long rallies, an immaculate lob from Michael to earn a game point that he couldn’t convert , tumbling onto his back on set point, leaving Billy the easiest of volleys as his opponent groped for his racket.
Billy missed (!) but eventually took the set 6-4.
Ice packs were then required for both boys and Billy’s volleying was the difference in the second to help him to 6-3. Great match!
The Grafton ladies then powered in to turn the match on its head: Kath Bower raced to a 6-1 6-0 win over Lucy Gray, while Linda Patto kept Grafton’s stalwart vet Maureen Kenny on court longer but succumbed 1-6 4-6 .
In the ladies doubles, Sophie Oliver & Danielle Wade (G) beat Alex MacAdam & Jenny Burton by the same margin, with the second set in the balance at 4-3 to Wigmore but Sophie & Dani promptly reeled off three in a row, thanks to some line-painting and fine volleying from the Grafton pair for the win.
Wigmore’s pair Julian Stubbs & Thomas MacMullan, graduating from the juniors, took it to the wire with a gutsy 6-3 6-0 win over Tim Bannerjee & Rick Jakubowski. Tight first set.
So it came down to a nail-biting mixed on the Show Court and the crowd wasn’t going anywhere.
Wigmore’s Nick Eastwood & Doris Ko edged the first 6-3, thanks not least to Nick’s power serving.
Emma Webb’s serve kicked in and wily vet Murray Sutton’s drops and lobs were falling right to race them to 4-0, only to be pegged back before nervily levelling at 6-4.
Murray & Emma kept it between the lines and were always ahead in the breaker, nailing it with a couple of angled cross-courts from Murray who has lost count of his Millennium Cup appearances!
A great days tennis, which sets up a showdown with Norbury to decide Telford’s opponents in the Final.
Report by Murray Sutton, Captain Grafton LTC
Grafton SR&T Club d Wigmore LTC, 5-4
[Grafton names first]
Women’s Singles: Kath Bower d Lucy Gray, 6-1 6-0; Men’s Singles: Alan Sheehan lost to Pratha Mehandran, 6-1 6-0; Women’s Over 40 Singles: Maureen Kenny d Linda Patto, 6-1 6-4; Men’s Over 45 Singles: Paul Flatters lost to John McClean, 6-2 6-2; Girls Under 16 Singles: Amelia Cornish d Elsie Fairn, 6-4 6-2; Boys Under 16 Singles: Michael Sotillo lost to Billy C Dwyer, 6-4 6-3; Women’s Doubles: Sophie Oliver & Danielle Wade d Jenny Burton & Alex McAdam, 6-1 6-4; Men’s Doubles: Tim Bannerjee & Rick Jakubowski lost to Thomas MacMullan & Julian Stubbs, 6-3 6-0; Mixed Doubles: Murray Sutton & Emma Webb d Nick Eastwood & Doris Ko, 3-6 6-4 [10-4].