To top the leader board and reach the final –
Norbury Park hosted Woodfield Grove on Sunday 11 June as each club completed its 2017 Millennium Cup campaign and, as the results below illustrate, there was precious little between the two teams for the most part; with maybe the Norbury players’ greater MC experience just tipping the scales in their favour.
The day, however, started somewhat inauspiciously, it must be said.
Captain Jo Kiernander wandered down to cheerfully greet me, but then dropped the bombshell of all bombshells – “Can I make a cup of tea?”…
Instant paralysis on my part – so many elements to find and blend together – why can’t she just have a tin of Fosters?
Sensing my stress, Jo tactfully withdrew from the Clubhouse whilst I set about this mission improbable.
I guess for most people 5 or 6 minutes is ample time to make a cup of tea… but by this stage I had only sourced the kettle and a chipped saucer.
Eventually though, and triumphantly, I emerged from the bar with the coveted beverage… only to spoil this belated hospitality by walking off with Jo’s sunglasses!
So, it was quite a relief, then, when play got started.
Two early wins for the hosts as Marek Strzrelichowski and Mark Lovejoy sealed the Mens Vets and Boys events respectively.
Young Harry Collins certainly has a natural eye for the ball and Blaise Marin-Curtoud too hit some sweet winners, but that vital extra match experience was to prove decisive in both rubbers.
In contrast the Ladies Doubles was quite a marathon up on Court 4 – Not since Greenham Common have a group of ladies been locked together for so long.
Norbury’s Helen Mountain and Lisa Patient just edged past Naomi Anderson’s dynamic net play and Amber Blakeney’s baseline heroics.
Amber in fact impressed us all just as much with her fabulous Score Board [how refreshing to see apostrophes used properly and not randomly flung around like confetti]. Oh yes, and no more scruffy scraps of beer-stained A4 for us Captains in future!
The Men’s Doubles outlasted even their feminine counterparts; going right down to the wire in a full third set tiebreaker.
Terrific entertainment here with Joe Thompson [WG] pogoing around court as if at a Clash gig circa 1977 and Tom Brown [NP] hitting one forehand miles out of court [into next door Nuffield’s that is 😊].
Adam Callaghan’s dry comments and Terry McGranaghan’s agility also added to the occasion as the visitors prevailed to notch up Woodfield’s first point of the day.
The Men’s Open Singles saw Norbury’s Kelvin Gordon come through a right old battle with Lev Husnu who, after lengthy treatment for a calf injury, recovered to acquit himself very well – hat’s off to Kelvin though for his concentration.
The Ladies Vets [really?] was a good watch but Norbury’s Charmaine Boyd usually had the last word over Woodfield’s Ali Epton.
The Girls 16 & Under Singles featured two school friends slugging it out in increasingly difficult windy conditions – Monica Wiszowata squeaking through against the good-natured Viviana Bustamante for Norbury.
Meanwhile, Woodfield’s Naomi Anderson, who was on court more or less non-stop since 9.30, took on improving Colleen Dodds and just about found the reserves of energy to clinch matters in a second set tie-break.
The Mixed was, as ever, an utterly barmy affair with schizophrenic momentum swings in the first two sets.
A couple of spectacular forehands from Ben Davies seemed to have turned the match tiebreak in his and Jo’s favour, but then a steady few points from Carole Watson & Blaise Westmaas got Norbury over the line.
Thanks to our guests for staying on for much of the day to support the players – much appreciated.
Nigel Flay, Captain, Norbury Park
Despite Woodfield Grove’s efforts to reduce the opposition’s accumulation, Norbury Park’s seven points placed them at the top of the leader board, just one ahead of Grafton and the two will contest the final in September.
Woodfield’s team put everything into the tie but came up against some tough opposition, leaving the Points Standings after completion of the league as follows:
- Norbury Park – 22 points
- Grafton – 21
- Telford Park – 17
- Woodfield Grove – 15
- Wigmore – 14
On balance, Woodfield Grove’s campaign proved to be a better one than of late.
The 2017 Final, therefore, will be a repeat of last year’s battle between Norbury Park and Grafton.
Norbury Park defeated Woodfield Grove 7-2
[Norbury Park names first]
Women’s Singles: Colleen Dodds lost to Naomi Anderson 6-1 7–6; Men’s Singles: Kelvin Douglas-Gordon d Lev Husnu 7-6 6-4; Women’s Over 40 Singles: Charmaine Boyd d Ali Epton 6-1 6-0; Men’s Over 45 Singles: Marek Stzrelichowski d Blaise Marin-Curtoud 6-2 6-0; Girls Under 16 Singles: Monica Wiszowata d Viviana Bustamante 7-5 7-5; Boys Under 16 Singles: Mark Lovejoy d Harry Collins 6-1 6-2; Women’s Doubles: Helen Mountain & Lisa Patient d Amber Blakeney & Naomi Anderson 7-6 7-6; Men’s Doubles: Tom Brown & Terry McGranaghan lost to Joe Thompson & Adam Callaghan 4-6 6-3 7-6; Mixed Doubles: Carole Watson & Blaise Westmaas d Jo Kiernander & Ben Davies 6-0 2-6 [10-7].