Grafton edge past Wigmore into final?

Fighting back to score the win…

Grafton recovered from 1-4 down against hosts Wigmore on Sunday, 12 May, with everything left hanging on the Men’s Doubles, which went to a second set tiebreak in what proved to be an excellent encounter in the Millennium Cup.

The closeness of the tie elevated hosts Wigmore into second place in the Points Standings, with 16 points and just 4 points behind leaders Grafton, who continue to sit at the top of the table.

The stage was set nicely on a glorious May Sunday, with Grafton looking to book a place in the Final and Wigmore still standing an outside chance and needing a big win.

While Grafton may have achieved their objective, Wigmore had a good sniff at 4-1. 

Wigmore came out firing – In the Men’s 45 John McLain channelled his Bruce Willis and proved too strong for Trevor Dunton, no mean player himself, 6-0 6-0.

At 0-4 in the second set there was an endless game in which Trevor seemed to have got his mojo working but the miracle was elusive and the Grafton man will live to fight another day.

Julian Stubbs & Karen Davey made it 2-0 with a 6-2 4-6 [10-7] win over Tim Bannerjee & vice captain Nicky Ellison, hardly casting a shadow, in a match notable for the endless cheery chat at changeovers in true Millennium Cup spirit!

It was left to Amelia Cornish to peg the hosts back with a gutsy win over Elsie Fairn in the Girls, which proved to be MOTD.

Almost identically attired in salmon tops, they used each other as punchbags trading games to 4-4 when Elsie faltered slightly to let it go, 4-6 but then rallied to level 6-2, prompting Murray to umpire a tense match tiebreak, which went to 6-6 with a close call which had to be replayed before Amelia just got over the line to secure a vital point for the visitors.

Then Wigmore surged ahead to 4-1, as Mark Kiziltan maintained his impressive Mill Cup form with a 6-1 6-0 win over debutant Adhiraj ‘Raj’ Pal and, in the Boys, Billy O’Dwyer didn’t allow his sparring partner Michael Sotillo a game.

The latter was a strange one as they have had close matches previously. Was Michael carrying a shoulder? He’d never admit it.

Now it was time for the Grafton ladies to come to the rescue, with Kath Bower playing a steady game to defeat Billy’s mum Sarah 6-1 6-3 and vet Julie Wilson rock-solid against Lynette Boot, losing only three games. 

The Ladies Doubles was an entertaining match with long rallies and more than one freak shot.

Grafton’s Mary Prickett & Monica Parrott got over early nerves to take it 6-3 6-2 despite raucous encouragement from Linda Patto’s husband John, to level the tie at 4-4.

This left the Men’s Doubles on court, which was a high-octane encounter between Rick Jakubowski & Will Ellison (G) and the hard-hitting Sulphuro Burell & Fabio Dias (W).

Grafton took the first, thanks to some sharp net play from Will and Rick’s rangy ground strokes, and were coasting at 4-1 having learned how to tame Sulphuro’s booming serve, when the set turned.

Suddenly it was 4-all and there was a long nervy game at 4-5 on Sulphoro’s serve, which saw two match points bravely saved with aces to level.

Rick then got the yips on his serve, delivering two doubles to give Fabio the chance to serve out the set but Grafton broke to take it into a breaker, which the Grafton pair took 7-5 despite letting two match points slip. 

So Grafton’s belief is they have edged into the Final while Wigmore can look back on a satisfactory campaign. 

Report by Murray Sutton, Grafton Millennium Cup Captain


Wigmore LTC lost to Grafton T&SC 4-5

[Wigmore names first]

Women’s Singles: Sarah O’Dwyer lost to Kath Bower, 6-3 6-1; Men’s Singles: Matta Kizktan d Adhiraj Pal, 6-1 6-0; Women’s Over 40 Singles: Lynette Boot lost to Julie Wilson, 6-2 6-1; Men’s Over 45 Singles: John McClean d Trevor Dunton, 6-0 6-0; Girls Under 16 Singles: Elsie Fairn lost to Amelia Cornish, 4-6 6-2 [10-7]; Boys Under 16 Singles: Billy O’Dwyer lost to Michael Sotillo, 6-0 6-0; Women’s Doubles: Sharon Gould & Linda Patto lost to Mary Prickett & Monica Parrott, 6-3 6-2; Men’s Doubles: Sulphuro Burrel & Fabio Dias lost to Will Ellison & Rick Jakubowski, 6-2 7-6(5); Mixed Doubles: Karen Davey & Julien Stubbs d Nicky Ellison & Tim Bannerjee, 6-2 4-6 [10-5].