17 April 2016:
Grafton win 5-4…
The 2016 Millennium Cup kicked off with the perfect match under sparkling skies at Norbury Park, who hosted Grafton in their opening tie of the competition.
It was a tie that would go to the wire to close out.
The first round of matches saw Grafton’s Alex Hamlin beating Tahrir Ahmed, 6-3 6-2, and Ivan Barker frustrating Norbury Park’s Mark Lovejoy 6-4 6-2 in the Boys with steady play, some long rallies and a long tense deuce at 5-4.
It put Grafton ahead by 2, with Norbury yet to score.
Meanwhile the Ladies singles saw Norbury’s Laura O’Duffy against Rosie Merriman and the Ladies Over 45s, Charmaine Boyd versus Julie Wilson, develop into two long three-setters, the hosts edging both to level the tie at 2-2.
The men’s doubles was over before Grafton’s Murray Sutton could find the right camera angle: a new Norbury pairing of Anthony Abell and David Dodds overpowering an untried team of Jonathan Dallng and Mike Bight for the loss of only two games with some effective net play.
With Grafton 3 and Norbury 2, the visitors bounced ahead to 4-3 with wins by Rachel Codd and Monica Parrott over Colleen Harrison and Anne-Marie O’Hara 6-2 6-4 in a well-matched, genial Women’s Doubles and Paul Flatters, who gritted out a deuce-littered win over Terry McGranaghan, 6-3 6-2, in the Men’s Over 40s.
Twelve year old Monica Wiszowata celebrated her Girls debut for Norbury with a convincing 6-1 6-2 win over Katie Diamond in her final appearance to level 4-all.
All attention then focused on the deciding mixed doubles with all to play for.
Norbury Park’s Nigel Flay and Lisa Patient squeezed the first set 7-5 against newbie pair Will Brayshaw and Felicity Sampson, and looked in to be in command at 4-1, then 5-3 and 30-love. High drama then ensued as the Grafton pair clawed it back to a tiebreak, which they took 7-4.
The match looked gone as Nigel and Lisa raced to a 4-0 lead, thanks to some great retrieving from Lisa, but it turned on a long deuce game at 4-1, and from 3/5 Will and Felicity reeled off four games to nail a famous victory in a nerve-jangling finale.
Embraces all round and many thanks to Norbury for the hospitality.
Combined report by Murray Sutton (Grafton) and Lisa Patient (Norbury Park)
Grafton defeated Norbury Park 5-4
(Norbury Park names first)
Women’s Singles: Charmaine Boyd d Julie Wilson 0-6 6-1 7-5; Men’s singles: Tahir Ahmed lost to Alex Hamlin 6-3 6-2; Women’s Over 45 Singles: Laura O’Duffy d Rosie Merriman 6-2 4-6 6-4; Men’s Over 40s: Terry McGranaghan lost to Paul Flatters 6-3 6-3; Girls Under 16 Singles: Monica Wiszowata d Katie Diamond 6-1 6-2; Boys Under 16 Singles: Mark Lovejoy lost to Ivan Barker 6-4 6-2; Women’s Doubles: Colleen Harrison & Anne-Marie O’Hara lost to Rachel Codd and Monica Parrott 6-2 6-4; Men’s Doubles: David Dodds & Anthony Abell d Jonathan Dolling and Mike Bright 6-0 6-2; Mixed Doubles: Nigel Flay & Lisa Patient lost to Will Brayshaw & Felicity Sampson 5-7 7-6 7-5.