Scoring a 6-3 away win…
Norbury Park’s home tie against Telford Park on Sunday 10 May was most memorable for the length of the matches – the singles kicked off at 10:30am, but the mixed match didn’t finish until 4pm!
While the Norbury team had its chances, it was Telford that took the win, aided in part by the concession of the Girls Under 16s in which Norbury failed to field a player.
Tahir Ahmed (NP) and Peter Gaspar (T) had a close and well-fought men’s singles rubber, ending in a win for Telford in the match tie-break.
The ladies doubles and mixed doubles also went to third set tie-breaks, with Telford winning the ladies and Norbury winning an exciting mixed, where match points were had by both sides.
Norbury’s boy Adil Rahman beat Telford’s Joshua Taylor in two very close tie-break sets.
Marek Strelichoewski (NP) was beaten by a strong Keith Lavender (T) in the men’s vets.
The two ladies singles matches were enjoyable games with Telford ladies Melissa Canavan and Diana Chapman winning their rubbers.
The mens’ doubles was another long match, with the Norbury team of Tom Brown and Terry McGranaghan beating Sam Harrop and Steve Graham 7-5 7-5.
On behalf of the visitors, Juliet Griffiths thanked Lisa Patient for a lovely day at Norbury Park – It certainly got this year’s sun tan off to a good start!
Telford Park’s Report
The sun was shining brightly and the outlook was good for a great day of tennis. As we arrived to a warm welcome, we didn’t realise just how great or how closely fought those games would be. Or indeed, how long a day!
In the Ladies’ Singles, Diana Chapman (TP) fought a solid match against Carole Chapman (NP), winning through with consistent and determined play, Norbury losing to Telford 6-4 6-2.
Meanwhile, Peter Gaspar (TP) faced Tahir (NP) in the Men’s Singles. One of the first games to start was turning into a really close match, with neither side giving away points easily. Norbury went ahead to take the first set, but Telford fought back, winning the second set on a tie-break. This left it down to a Championship Tie-break which Telford managed to take, making the final score 4-6 7-6 [1-0] to Telford.
Rounding off the first round Melissa Canavan (TP) proved too strong for Laura O’Duffy (NP) in the Ladies’ Over 45s, winning the match with a decisive 6-2 6-2.
The Men’s Over 40 Singles was a different affair, with old adversaries Keith Lavender (TP) and Marek Strelichoewski (NP) playing long, hard rallies, accompanied by a colourful Polish folklore soundtrack! Keith’s dogged determination and precise play finally wore Marek down, with Telford winning 6-4 6-3.
With no Under-16 Girl from Norbury conceding a walkover, Telford were comfortably ahead with 5 rubbers under their belt. But the day and fight was far from over.
Next up were the Under-16 Boys. Josh Taylor (TP) faced Adil Rahman (NP) in a marathon match that was tough physically and emotionally. With long, hard-hitting rallies and great attacking and defensive play on both sides, this match was an emotional rollercoaster.
Adil’s temperament threatened to get the better of him, while Josh managed to keep his cool and stick to his game plan. Neither side was prepared to back down and every point was fought for. Finally, Adil managed to refocus to win both sets on tie-breaks, Norbury winning 7-6 7-6.
In the Ladies’ Doubles, Juliet Griffiths and Ellen Hoyle (T) played another closely fought match against Anne Marie O’Hara and Lisa Patient (NP).
Having lost the first set 2-6, they fought back to take the second set on a tie-break and then taking the third set on the Championship Tie-break. Final score 2-6 7-6 [1-0] to Telford.
Meanwhile, Sam Harrop & Steve Graham (TP) were fighting another long and really close game against Terry McGranaghan & Tom Brown (NP).
Lots of long, fast rallies and determined play saw each game go with serve. Norbury finally managed to find a chink in Telford’s armour and take the first set 7-5.
The second set was a repeat of the first with neither side showing any sign of letting go. A well-orchestrated break gave Norbury a chance to close out at 6-4, but Telford saved two match points to close the gap. A second chance was all Norbury needed and they finally took the second set 7-5.
That just left the Mixed Doubles to play and what a nail-biter it turned out to be, with the advantage swinging from one side to the other almost point by point. Sally Binny & James Binny (TP) played Helen Mountain & Chad Nguyen (NP) in a match that had us all watching from the sidelines, albeit with a relaxing post-match drink in hand.
This was another marathon match taking us late into the afternoon and we all enjoyed every minute of it.
Telford won the first set 6-2, but Norbury were not to be taken so easily. They took the second set 6-3, making it one apiece. All down to the third set with everyone’s hearts in their mouths. Every point was contested and pushed to the limit.
With the score reaching 6-6, it was down to a final tie-break. It as close, but Norbury finally won through to make the final score 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 to Norbury.
4pm and time for drinks all round and some delicious food to end a perfect day’s competition with over 6 hours of top class play.
Telford Park won the day 6-3, but Norbury Park showed they were not going to give up easily, even when they were down.
Thanks to our hosts for a great day, enjoyed by all and played in true Millennium Cup spirit.
Steve Graham – Telford Millennium Cup Captain
Telford Park defeated Norbury Park 6-3
(Norbury Park names first)
Women’s Singles: Carole Watson lost to Diana Chapman 6-4 6-2; Men’s Singles: Tahir Ahmed lost to Peter Gaspar 6-4 6-7 [1-0]; Women’s Over 45 Singles: Laura O’Duffy lost to Melissa Canavan 6-2 6-2; Men’s Over 40 Singles: Marek Strelichoewski lost to Keith Lavender 6-4 6-3; Girls Under 16 Singles: Walkover to Telford Park; Boys Under 16 Singles: Adil Rahman d Joshua Taylor 7-6 7-6; Women’s Doubles: Anne-Marie O’Hara & Lisa Patient lost to Juliet Griffiths & Ellen Hoyle 2-6 7-6 [1-0]; Men’s Doubles: Terry McGranaghan & Tom Brown d Sam Harrop & Steve Graham 7-5 7-5; Mixed Doubles: Helen Mountain & Chad Nguyen d Sally Binny & James Binny 2-6 6-3 [1-0]