Norbury Park edge win over hosts Telford Park

Visitors edge three-setters to win 7-2:

clubhousechrisUnder sunny skies but in the cool shade of Telford Park’s beautifully set out lower court terracing, spectators and fellow players were treated to some great entertainment on Sunday 22 May – and all for the price of a pint of London Pride as Norbury Park managed to edge out a win!

The match-making was generally very sound, although the visitors (most un-typically) taking all four 3-set rubbers gave the overall score a deceptive lop-sided look.

Firstly, let us focus on what the Millennium Cup is really all about: Telford’s Flo Binney and Norbury’s Clare Williams respectively making their MC debuts against more experienced players but acquitting themselves admirably and cheerfully despite, on the face of it, discouraging final scores.

Nattily attired Flo displayed great athleticism and a good eye for the ball in the Junior Girls event, whilst Clare in the Ladies Open Singles, retrieving heroically, made her opponent work hard for most of her points.

Loads of potential there ladies – keep it going!

Let’s not forget the actual winners though; Monica Wiszowata [NP] and Florrie Black [TP] both impressed with some, very enviable, fluent and powerful serving in particular.

The Ladies Vets (as tennis, uniquely, often does) produced a rather cruel scoreline. A good quality match, this, with 10-15 shot rallies pretty much the norm. Norbury’s Carole Watson would surely have worn down many a foe with some very solid  side to side hitting, but Telford’s Miranda Kirwan simply glided around the clay as if on skates and almost always had the last word.

Two terrific Men’s Singles matches kicked off proceedings concurrently, with all four combatants receiving generous applause from both sets of followers for some fabulous shot-making and nice sportsmanship along the way.

Norbury’s Kelvin Douglas seemed to take to the clay and ran down some improbable short balls, eventually edging out Telford’s courteous Mark Rothwell in the Open event while Richard Povey [TP], despite some extravagant winners, couldn’t quite hold off Norbury’s improving Blaise Westmaas in the Vets contest.

Another close encounter in the Boys event saw Norbury’s Mark Lovejoy eventually prevail over Telford’s Finn Ruben-Christensen 10-8 in a long, gladiatorial third set.

Finn exhibited great variety, teasing chops and chips followed up with a sudden conventional top-spin power blow whilst Mark (a little too overwrought at times it must be said) unleashed some cross court thunderbolts any adult player would have been proud of.

The Ladies Doubles looked a very good clash on paper, but didn’t quite catch fire, although the first set looked very even.

Norbury’s Lisa Patient and Annemarie Bowden proving an effective, if slightly statuesque, pairing who eased away rather in the second set against Telford’s fantastic Captain and Hostess Juliet Griffiths and Rebecca Ruff.

The Men’s Doubles oscillated like a politician’s polygraph, Telford’s Tom Fellows and Nicholas Raymond eventually succumbing in the third set to Norbury’s Tom Brown and Khamsay Phommavongsa in a titanic struggle.

The Mixed Doubles, defying any rational analysis, was the archetypal Millennium Cup affair – neither team seeming to really want the victory; game points, set points, even match points casually discarded like losing betting slips.

Norbury Park’s valiant Annemarie O’Hara and exhausted Nigel Flay somehow crossed the line after nigh on three hours ahead of Telford’s infuriatingly steady Alison Reeves and immaculate serving Sam Harrop.

Thanks as ever to Juliet for the customary, fabulous Telford hospitality.

Report by Nigel Flay, Norbury Park Captain


Norbury Park defeated Telford Park 7-2

(Telford Park names first)

Women’s Singles: Florrie Black beat Clare Williams 6-1 6-1; Men’s Singles: Mark Rothwell lost to Kelvin Douglas  6-4 6-3; Women’s Over 40 Singles: Miranda Kirwan d Carole Watson 6-1 6-0; Men’s Over 45 Singles: Richard Povey lost to Blaise Westmaas  3-6 6-2 6-3; Girls Under 16 Singles: Flo Binney lost to Monica Wiszowata 6-1 6-0; Boys Under 16 Singles: Finn Ruben-Christensen lost to Mark Lovejoy  4-6 6-4 10-8 [long set]; Women’s Doubles: Juliet Griffiths & Rebecca Ruff lost to Lisa Patient & Annemarie Bowden 6-3 6-1; Men’s Doubles: Tom Fellows & Nicholas Raymond lost to Tom Brown & Khamsay Phommavasong 7-5 2-6 6-3; Mixed Doubles: Alison Reeves & Sam Harrop lost to Annemarie O’Hara & Nigel Flay 6-4 3-6 7-5.