Close encounter under cloudless sky
A near perfect MC day where talented but inexperienced players all rose to the occasion in some style, and all under a cloudless sky at Telford Park, who hosted and just edged out Norbury Park on Sunday 18 May.
Norbury were unable to field an under 16 girl but soon set about the deficit with a good win in the boy’s singles; a delightful match this, with virtually every game going to deuce.
Ultimately Chad Nguyen [NP] played the big points with more care to secure the win, but some of Quentin Bonnavion’s rapier back-hands drew applause from opponent and crowd alike.
Moreover, neither boy had ever played a competitive match before and should be proud of their play and sportsmanship.
Incidentally, contrary to rumours, Chad was not on his way to a local Post Office Robbery!
First win for Winch
Adjacently, an absorbing, oscillating men’s singles eventually saw huge-serving Robin Winch [TP] eventually see off the athletic and hard hitting Asim Farooq in a championship tie break, a recurring theme over the afternoon.
This was Robin’s first ever competitive match – not that you’d know it!!
Meanwhile, down in the dust-bowl of the Clay Courts, two MC stalwarts – both happily on the mend after nasty injuries – just about repelled very gutsy challenges.
Carole Watson [NP] held her nerve to thwart Sally Binny at the last and Keith Lavender gradually wrested the initiative away from the flinty Marek Strzelichowski, cutting loose in the championship tie break with some really positive tennis.
Some spectacular Polish swearing from Marek enlivened the afternoon no end.
Back to the hard courts and the ever vocal Siobhan Thompson [NP] bished and bashed her way to a clear victory in the ladies singles, although, again, so many games reached deuce that perhaps Pru Hodgkinson’s elegant efforts were not fully rewarded on the score-board.
The men’s doubles featured some fabulous, deep cross-court exchanges, but, oddly, all four combatants seemed to treat the net as if it were an electrified fence!!
Eventually a rare sortie there and two brilliant reaction volleys from Matt Gordon swung a close match Norbury’s way.
A word of praise for Duy Nguyen [NP] playing admirably in his first ever competitive match.
Norbury inch ahead
At this stage, the visitors had inched their way into a 4-3 lead, with the mixed and ladies’ doubles both in progress.
Both matches followed a similar, schizophrenic path with one team racing to an easy first set win, only to be pegged back in the second.
At around this time a true Millennium Cup grandee arrived – Murray Sutton – equipped as ever with reams of paper – all MC related of course 🙂
Yet again it was the Telford players who came through the two finales – Henny Saunders in particular impressing for Telford in the Ladies’, but hats off to Carole Watson, who had been on Court for close to 4 hours in all.
Annemarie Bowden’s [NP] interceptions also caught the eye in the early exchanges.
The mixed tie-breaker saw Norbury race into a lead only to see it whittled away by Mike Ingram’s calm consistency and a couple of inspired base-line thwacks from Ellen Hoyle.
Terry McGranaghan and Lisa Patient certainly had their moments too in an entertaining and very good natured contest.
Telford edged the win
A big thank you to Juliet [Griffiths] who helped match-make so expertly and laid on a lovely tea for us – so lovely in fact that, having just hit the match/tie Winning shot, she repaired to the clubhouse to find it all gone! Innit fair eh 🙁
Best regards to all and looking forward to our next match!
Nigel [Flay – Norbury Park]
Results(Telford Park names first)
Women’s Singles: Pru Hodgkinson lost to Siobhan Thompson 6-2 6-2; Men’s Singles: Robin Winch d Asim Farooq 7-5 2-6 [10-7]; Women’s Over 45 Singles: Sally Binny lost to Carole Watson 6-4 7-5; Men’s Over 40 Singles: Keith Lavender d Marek Strzelichowski 3-6 6-2 [10-4]; Girls Under 16 Singles: W/O to TP; Boys Under 16 Singles: Quentin Bonnavion lost to Chad Nguyen 6-1 6-1; Women’s Doubles: Juliet Griffiths & Henny Saunders d Carole Watson & Annemarie Bowden 0-6 6-4 [10-7]; Men’s Doubles: Peter Gaspar & Mark Rothwell lost to Matt Gordon & Duy Nguyen 6-4 6-4; Mixed Doubles: Ellen Hoyle & Mike Ingram d Lisa Patient & Terry McGranaghan 6-1 6-7 [10-6].