Telford Park narrowly win 5-4…
Grafton hosted Telford Park at home on Sunday 15 May, and narrowly lost their Millennium Cup tie as the visitors pipped them to the post, 5-4
Captains Murray Sutton and Juliet Griffiths worked hard to match-up opponents and it paid off as this proved to be a rollercoaster tie played in perfect conditions with the outcome in doubt until the very latter stages.
Having said that, the Ladies singles were swift affairs: Liz Wickham (G) allowed Lisa Finch a single game in the open and Miranda Kirwan (T) ‘baguetted’ Kath Bower, dropping just one in each set in the vets.
Telford’s boy George Prest was a few inches taller and stronger than Ollie Cumming, who put up a plucky display going down 6-2 6-0 but deuces abounded.
Grafton’s girl Naela Mohamed levelled it with a 6-4 6-1 win over Isla Campbell playing her first-ever competitive singles. This was a good match to watch as Naela got into her stride after a long opening set.
It was left to Mike Young (G) and Pete Bradley (T) to battle out the Men’s singles, which Grafton won 6-3 6-4 after 2-plus hours, the match hinging on an epic 20-minute game at 2-4 on Mike’s serve in the second that effectively decided the outcome.
Telford’s Richard Povey then took the tie to 3-3, dispatching fellow vet Paul Flatters 6-4 6-0, getting his eye in after a ding-dong first set.
So it was down to the men’s doubles: Tom Fellows and Nicolas Raynaud nudged Telford ahead with a tight, entertaining 6-4 7-5 win over Grafton regulars Eddie Tomlinson and Alex Hamlin.
In the Mixed, Telford’s James and Sally Binny’s telepathic relationship and steady play proved the difference in their 6-2 6-2 win over Will Ellison and Nicky Babbage (soon to be married so they can be optimistic looking ahead!).
Grafton duo Monica Parrott and Rachel Codd (sponsored by David Attenborough) let a 5-2 lead slip in the first but regained focus to edge a tight breaker.
In the second the dependable Juliet Griffiths and stylish newbie Gemma Brown dug in and came very close to levelling the match – long rallies and a memorable immaculate lob from Monica may well have been the difference. It was a seesaw set that went to another tiebreak in which Grafton staved off set points but took 10-8 to earn an invaluable point, but the day was Telford’s.
Over coffee, lunch and drinks there was much discussion as to the merits of Murray’s ‘Heath Robinson’ (those of a certain age can explain!) scoreboards and the fancy new ones. The jury’s out….
Report by Murray Sutton, Grafton Captain
Telford Park d Grafton 5-4
(Grafton names first)
Women’s Singles: Liz Wickham d Lisa Finch 6-1 6-0; Men’s Singles: Mike Young d Pete Bradley 6-3 6-4; Women’s Over 40 Singles: Kath Bower lost to Miranda Kirwan 6-1 6-1; Men’s Over 45 Singles: Paul Flatters lost to Richard Povey 6-4 6-0; Girls Under 16 Singles: Naela Mohamed d Isla Campbell 6-4 6-1; Boys Under 16 Singles: Ollie Cumming lost to George Prest 6-2 6-0; Mens Doubles: Eddie Tomlinson & Alex Hamlin lost to Tom Fellows & Nicolas Raynaud 6-4 7-5; Women’s Doubles: Rachel Codd & Monica Parrott d Juliet Griffiths & Gemma Brown 7-6 7-6; Mixed Doubles: Will Ellison & Nicky Babbage lost to James & Sally Binny 6-2 6-2.