With 6-2 win over hosts Norbury Park…
And so, on Sunday 17 September, 2017, for the third time in four campaigns, Norbury Park came up just short, this time against old friends and rivals Grafton, who inflicted the same pain as last year to successfully defend their Millennium Cup title.
While 6-2 looks a convincing margin, all three 3-setters going the visitors way rather skewed the overall picture.
In truth, all the matches were well contested as the scores testify.
The day got off to a smooth start [now there’s a first!!], with even most of the Norbury team arriving more or less on time – did anyone get a picture of that?
The Junior Boys got things going and entertained the crowds with some fabulous stuff – both definitely had favourite shots [the pet shot boys??] ….Ollie Cumming’s bludgeoning of inside-out forehands and Mark Lovejoy’s blood-curdling drive volleys vying for our applause.
A narrow win for Mark here, 6-4 6-4.
The concurrent Mens Doubles reunited old foes and, yet again, a desperately close encounter ensued.
Norbury’s Tom Brown & Terry McGranaghan played cat and mouse with their opponents in the first set, only for Alex Hamlin & Eddie Tomlinson to take charge in the 2nd stanza.
The visitors roared into a huge lead in the decider, but the home pair reeled off 4 games to level at 5-5 when, somehow, the momentum swung one last, decisive time, and Grafton took the point, 0-6 6-4 7-5.
The Ladies Doubles saw the Norbury pair give their opponents a massive head start but, from 4-love down, they began to show their true colours and a better contest followed.
Mary Prickett and Helen Mountain exchanged lobs like molotov cocktails as Lisa Patient or Julie Wilson intervened with some neat volleys, but it was the Grafton Pair’s matching outfits that just tipped the scales their way at the end, 6-2 7-5.
Out on the wastelands of Court 4, Norbury’s Thelma Ziervogel started her marathon of a day with a desperately close Ladies Vets battle with Kath Bower.
This match was played in a great spirit, with Kath squeezing home for Grafton in a nerve-tingling tiebreak, 7-5 4-6-4 [10-8].
No rest for the righteous Thelma, though, who was next up again in the Ladies Open Singles, this time against Liz Wickham – am I the only person who thinks of Pride & Prejudice when I hear that name?
Unfortunately, it was another heart-breaking tiebreak loss, 3-6 6-4 [10-7], but what a heroic effort – with four lady Millennium Cup regulars indisposed, it was very noble of Thelma to step up like this – and thanks to Julie for singling her out afterwards for praise, which was very much appreciated.
The Men’s Vets saw Grafton’s Trevor Dunton draw applause from spectators and his opponent alike with some creative and aggressive play.
He was, however, facing the mighty brick house that is Norbury’s Marek Stzrelichowski, who was in the form of his long and colourful life.
A precious point for the hosts ensued, 6-2 6-2.
All-right then – I think it best to draw a discreet veil over proceedings in the Girls Singles…. for now.
So, on to the Men’s Open Singles where Kelvin Gordon-Douglas sought revenge for his narrow defeat to Grafton’s Matt Mcinerney in the round-robin stage.
Both players looked to have improved since, and this was high quality tennis, arguably a notch above Millennium Cup levels, with real variety in the play here, drop shots and close-quarter volleying bringing some ‘oohs’ and ‘aahhs’ from the audience.
Matt, however, again prevailed, 6-4 7-5, to put Grafton 4-2 ahead at that stage.
With Liz having cooly clinched the Ladies Open Singles and thereby the whole tie, Murray Sutton & Emma Webb seemed to relax and perform better in the second set of the Mixed to seal their rubber, 7-5 6-1, despite Blaise Westmaas & Annemarie O’Hara having given the strong pairing a real scare in the first.
Big thanks to Jon Elwes and the Woodfield Grove contingent for bringing along the match balls, presenting the trophy and supporting both teams, when they could drag themselves away from the bar, that is!
Thanks also to Lana and Louise for their catering and goodwill; and also, of course, to Barbara for her perennial efforts.
May the Millennium Cup continue to thrive!
Report by Nigel Flay, Captain Norbury Park (hosts)
Norbury Park lost to Grafton, 6-2
[Norbury Park names first]
Women’s Singles: Thelma Ziervogel lost to Liz Wickham 3-6 6-4 [10-7]; Men’s Singles: Kelvin Gordon-Douglas lost to Matt Mcinerney, 6-4 7-5; Women’s Over 40 Singles: Thelma Ziervogel lost to Kath Bower, 7-5 4-6 [10-8]; Men’s Over 45 Singles: Marek Stzrelichowski beat Trevor Dunton, 6-2 6-2; Girls Under 16 Singles: No result; Boys Under 16 Singles: Mark Lovejoy d Ollie Cumming, 6-4 6-4; Women’s Doubles: Lisa Patient & Helen Mountain lost to Julie Wilson & Mary Prickett, 6-2 7-5; Men’s Doubles: Terry McGranaghan & Tom Brown lost to Alex Hamlin & Eddie Tomlinson, 0-6 6-4 7-5; Mixed Doubles: Blaise Westmaas & Annemarie O’Hara lost to Emma Webb & Murray Sutton 7-5 6-1.