Grafton narrowly pipped to the post by visitors

Telford Park narrowly win 5-4…

Welcome to Telford Park!

Welcome to Telford Park!

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.

FullSizeRender-3Having 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.

FullSizeRenderGrafton’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!).

FullSizeRender-2This gave Telford the tie 5-3 but the crowd wasn’t going anywhere as attention turned to the drama unfolding with the Ladies doubles.

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.