Grafton pips Norbury Park to score first win

Mixed doubles - (l to r) Murray Sutton & Mary Prickett and  Nigel Flay & Anne-Marie O’Hara played a tight three-setter.

Mixed doubles – (l to r) Murray Sutton & Mary Prickett and Nigel Flay & Anne-Marie O’Hara played a tight three-setter.

Grafton edge ahead

It was won by the narrowest of margins – Grafton pipping Norbury Park to the post by just one rubber in their first Millennium Cup tie of 2015 held on Sunday 19 April at home at Grafton LTC.

In a nearly perfectly balanced match-up, the Girls U16s, unfortunately, was conceded by Norbury Park bringing it all down, at the last, to the final mixed doubles in which Grafton managed to score the win, 7-6 6-7 6-3!

Grafton’s report on the match

Grafton hosted Norbury Park on Sunday 19 April and, retrospectively, the Girls match was the deciding factor even though it was not played, allowing Grafton to start the day one rubber up.

Monica Parrott battled a shoulder and Carole Watson in the vets, the first tight set going against her 6-7 before Carole took control and the second 6-2 to level the tie at one all.

Norbury’s Adil Rahman proved too strong for Ivan Barker taking the Boys U16s, 6-1 6-2, to put the visitors up 2-1.

Grafton’s Mike Bright levelled again by beating Tom Brown 6-2 6-2 in a rubber in which the score-line was no reflection on this close encounter.

Liz Wickham nudged Grafton ahead 3-2 with a solid display, her fiery forehand seeing off Laura O’Hara 6-4 6-1.

The Men’s Doubles was a tight affair, which Grafton’s Luke Neel and Mark Gunner won in two close sets, 6-4 6-4, putting the hosts up 4-2.

Meanwhile in the Men’s Vets, Norbury’s Marek was totally bamboozling Paul Flatters and bagged a 6-1 6-0 victory before anyone knew it to narrow the gap to 4-3.

The Ladies Doubles proved to be even closer: Rachel Codd and Nicky Babbage lost the first to Norbury’s captain Lisa Patient and Siobhan Thompson, levelled the second and looked set to win the tie but the Norbury pair dug in to take the third and the match 6-4 3-6 6-3.

So, at four rubbers apiece, it all came down to the Mixed: captain Murray Sutton and new partner Mary Prickett blew 4-1 leads in in the first two sets, which were shared on tie-breakers with Norbury’s Nigel Flay and Anne-Marie Bowden but managed to refocus to edge out the third in front of a sizeable crowd after two-plus hours, 7-6 6-7 6-3, and take the tie 5-4.

It couldn’t have been closer with good vibes all round!

Report by Murray Sutton, Grafton Millennium Cup Captain


Grafton d Norbury Park 5-4

(Host Grafton’s names first)

Women’s Singles: Liz Wickham d Laura O’Duffy 6-4 6-1; Men’s Singles: Mike Bright d Tom Brown 6-2 6-2; Women’s Over 45 Singles: Monica Parrott lost to Carole Watson 7-6 6-2; Men’s Over 40 Singles: Paul Flatters lost to Marek Strelichoewski 6-1 6-0; Girls Under 16 Singles: Walkover to Grafton; Boys Under 16 Singles: Ivan barker lost to Adil Rahman 6-1 6-2; Women’s Doubles: Rachel Codd & Nicky Babbage lost to Lisa Patient & Siobhan Thompson 6-3 4-6 6-4; Men’s Doubles: Luke Neel & Mark Gunner d Andy Preece & Sam Edom 6-4 6-4; Mixed Doubles: Murray Sutton & Mary Prickett d Nigel Flay & Anne-Marie O’Hara 7-6 6-7 6-3.