Woodfield Grove Tennis Club took full honours at the Millennium Cup Masters on Saturday, 1 August, hosted by Telford Park Lawn a Tennis Club in celebration of fifteen years of the local team competition that has involved hundreds of members from the clubs of Streatham.
“We wanted to have a one-off event for Millennium Cup participants, past and present,” said Barbara Wancke, founder of the competition. “The Organising Committee decided on a one-day tournament using the new Fast4 format and although it all started out a bit chaotically, it soon got highly competitive!”
Four of the five clubs took part, with Wigmore absent due to being unable to field a team, which was disappointing.
“Finding a date that suits everyone in an already crowded calendar proved to be a bit of a stumbling block and, ironically, the winners, Woodfield Grove, also found it hard to field a full team.
“We were very sorry that Wigmore weren’t there.”
Three rounds of ties were played, with Grafton LTC, Norbury Park, LTC, Telford Park and Woodfield Grove playing each other during the course of the day in timed ties over singles, doubles and mixed.
“It was tricky, making sure you got all the matches played in the timeframe,” said Nigel Flay, Norbury Park’s captain. “But the short format is fun because it engages everyone quickly!”
Fast4 was launched in Australia in January and allows players to play a quick match by winning four games to win a set with a short tiebreak at three games all.
For the MC Masters, each match comprised of one set and all games won (and lost) counting towards each club’s cumulative score line.
“The aim is to win as many games as possible,” said Steve Graham, Telford Park’s Captain. “And lose as few as possible!”
Woodfield Grove established its lead after the first tie lasting 90 minutes, defeating Telford Park 15-9.
The opening men’s singles sent to a short tiebreak in favour of Telford’s Robin Winch who defeated Woodfield’s Aiden Doyle 4-3, after which the eventual winners kicked in to lose just five more games in the next four matches.
The other opening tie pitched Grafton against Norbury Park and their result went down to the wire in the last rubber, the mixed doubles, which Norbury’s Nigel Flay and Lisa Patient edged out against Grafton’s Jon Dalling and Fiona Patterson in the short tiebreak, 4-3.
It proved to be crucial in securing Norbury Park the lead over Grafton 14-12.
A break for a fabulous barbecue lunch was provided by Telford a Park, which was enjoyed by all sitting outside in the glorious weather.
“We put back the time for the second ties because everyone was enjoying the lunch,” said Barbara, who refereed the event. “We also reduced the Tie Period to 75 minutes to make it a bit more of a challenge!”
Norbury took on hosts Telford after lunch, winning four of the five rubbers and only dropping the ladies singles when Juliet Griffiths (TP) defeated Carole Watson (NP) 4-2, winning 15-11.
“It doesn’t look good if the hosts win all the time, does it?” quipped Juliet Griffiths, Telford’s co-captain.
The Captains were now getting the hang of the advantages of substituting players mid match to alter the course of critical rubbers and at one stage a ladies singles contest was actually completed by two men.
“It was fun to see how a male player took on one of the ladies,” said Murray Sutton, Grafton’s Captain.
“But then the other team put in their own bloke so it turned into a men’s singles under the guise of a ladies!”
Woodfield Grove’s second round opponents were Grafton and although they were pushed in both the doubles and got pipped by the clock, they still recorded a convincing win 18-10.
Aiden found his range on the synthetic clay and 14-year old Anna Thompson, who proved to be the backbone of the team, came through their singles with the loss of only two games between them.
Grafton’s Rosie Merriman teamed up with Fiona and pushed Anna and Maggie Hodges hard but lost out in the short tiebreak, while Peter Risdon and Aiden proved too strong for Will Ellison and Paul (G) 4-2.
Murray and Julie Davidson proved strong challengers against Woodfield’s David Snook and Maggie but ran out of time, 3-2.
Maggie was struggling with a bad back but since Woodfield only fielded the minimum two ladies, soldiered on bravely, pairing up with Anna to win the doubles in another short tiebreak.
“We thought about substituting Maggie but she was determined to play her part,” said David, Woodfield Grove’s Captain.
“She and Anna did really well!”
The final round of ties was played after a short break with Woodfield Grove leading the pack, just two points ahead of Norbury Park. There was all to play for…
Norbury challenged them hard but Woodfield ultimately proved too strong, winning through 17-12 when time ran out on them.
Terry McGranaghan and Andrew King (NP) snatched the men’s doubles from Aiden and David, despite the substitution of Peter mid stream, in the tiebreak.
Grafton’s run at any honours was thwarted by Telford Park, who won their first tie of the day, 14-12, to place third in the points standings.
As everyone repaired to the clubhouse for a sumptuous tea and the presentation, the final standings were confirmed by the referee:
- First Place – Woodfield Grove [50-31]
- Second – Norbury Park [41-38]
- Third – Telford Park [37-41]
- Fourth – Grafton [33-46]
Presentation and Aprés-Play
The winners received a certificate and a bottle of Prosecco each for their efforts and everyone else on a team, a certificate of participation.
“Congratulations to everyone!” said Barbara as she made the presentations.
“This was somewhat of a pilot, using the new short tennis format [Fast4] and you all did very well.
“We saw some really competitive tennis, especially towards the end as you all became used to the format.
“The consensus seems to be that this has been a successful and enjoyable event, a good way to celebrate fifteen years of Millennium Cup competition and, maybe, we’ll do it again soon.
”I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank our hosts, Telford Park, and particularly Juliet and Steve and their team, for welcoming us so warmly and for providing such wonderful hospitality throughout the day.”
Juliet Griffiths, Chair of the Millennium Cup Organising Committee added: “We have all really enjoyed today.
“When Barbara proposed this to the committee, we all got very confused and thought it would never fly but it has and it has been great fun!
“The committee will take a good look at how to tweak it for the future and we hope we can do this again soon.”
Murray Sutton spoke on behalf of all the participants: “I’d like to thank Barbara for all the arrangements and for running the show so smoothly, particularly providing all the materials to explain what we should be doing!”
All in all, a good day and a good way to celebrate the Millennium Cup’s 15th Anniversary year.
To view all the available images, click HERE.
Woodfield Grove Tennis Club
David Snook (Captain), Peter Risdon (co-Captain), Aiden Doyle, Maggie Hodges and Anna Thompson
Norbury Park Lawn Tennis Club
Nigel Flay (Captain), Lisa Patient (co-Captain), Andrew King, Terry McGranaghan, Annemarie O’Hara, Laura Duffy and Carole Watson
Telford Park Lawn Tennis Club
Steve Graham (Captain), Juliet Griffiths (co-Captain), Paul Beesley, Peter Gaspar, Robin Winch, Hilary Lyle and Alison Munroe
Grafton Lawn Tennis Club
Murray Sutton (Captain), Julie Davidson (co-Captain), Will Ellison, Paul Flatters, Paul Heenan, Jon Dalling, Nicky Babbage, Fiona Patterson, Rosie Merriman
|POINTS STANDINGS (GAMES WON/LOST)||GRAFTON LTC
|NORBURY PARK LTC|
|TELFORD PARK LTC|
|WOODFIELD GROVE TC
|11am - 12.30pm||V Norbury Park||v Grafton (H)||v Woodfield Grove (H)||v Telford Park|
|Men’s Singles||4 - 1||1 - 4||4 - 3||3 - 4|
|Ladies Singles||4 - 1||1 - 4||0 - 4||4 - 0|
|Men’s Doubles||0 - 4||4 - 0||4 - 0||0 - 4|
|Ladies Doubles||1 - 4||4 - 1||0 - 4||4 - 0|
|Mixed Doubles||3 - 4||4 - 3||1 - 4||4 - 1|
|TOTAL AFTER TIE 1||12 - 14||14 - 12||9 - 15||15 - 9|
|1pm - 2.30pm||v Woodfield Grove||v Telford Park (H)||v Norbury Park||v Grafton (H)|
|Men’s Singles||1 - 4||1 - 4||4 - 1||4 - 1|
|Ladies Singles||1 - 4||2 - 4||4 - 2||4 - 1|
|Men’s Doubles||2 - 4||4 - 1||1 - 4||4 - 2|
|Ladies Doubles||3 - 4||4 - 1||1 - 4||4 - 3|
|Mixed Doubles||3 - 2||4 - 2||2 - 4||2 - 3|
|TOTAL AFTER TIE 2||22 - 32||29 - 21||23 - 30||33 - 19|
|3pm - 4.30pm||v Telford Park (H)||v Woodfield Grove||v Grafton||v Norbury Park (H)|
|Men’s Singles||0 - 4||1 - 4||4 - 0||4 - 1|
|Ladies Singles||0 - 3||2 - 4||3 - 0||4 - 2|
|Men’s Doubles||4 - 2||4 - 3||2 - 4||3 - 4|
|Ladies Doubles||4 - 1||2 - 4||1 - 4||4 - 2|
|Mixed Doubles||3 - 4||3 - 2||4 - 3||2 - 3|
|TOTAL AFTER TIE 3||33 - 46||41 - 38||37 - 41||50 - 31|
|TOTAL POINTS STANDINGS =||Fourth: 33 / 46||Second: 41 / 38||Third : 37 / 41||Winners : 50 / 31|