6-3 to joint lead Points Standings –
This year’s Millennium Cup saw Woodfield Grove get off to a flying start with a fine win scored over Telford Park (TP), 6-3.
WGTC hosted the event on Sunday 9 April and as there was not a cloud in the sky, allowing the hosts to give the BBQ its first outing of the New Year.
Blaise Marin-Curtoud was Head Chef and provided a continuous flow of burgers and sausages for players and spectators alike, all accompanied with homemade salads and finished off with freshly baked brownies (thank you Jo!) and lemon tart.
The first three matches all started on time, with the Men’s singles on Court 1 actually starting early at 10.25am, such was the Captain’s insistence all team members be prompt, and a solid match ensued to get the day off to a cracking start.
Woodfield’s Ben Davies got off to a slightly shaky start but soon focussed to take the first set 6-2 against Mark Rothwell, who put in an admirable defence in the second, finally losing it 6-4.
If there was an award in the Millennium Cup for the most fearless player it would undoubtedly go to Mark who was not intimidated by the close proximity of WGTC’s fences, attempting to return every ball even if it meant a full on collision with the court gate (ouch!).
Meanwhile on Courts 2 and 3, the Boy’s and Women’s 40+ singles matches were taking place.
It is often said that scorelines do not reflect actual matches – 6-1, 6-0 and 6-1, 6-1 respectively – and in both these cases, it was absolutely true.
In both encounters, there were long rallies and many deuces and the ever increasing crowd of spectators, both on the ground and on the balcony, enjoyed watching Ben and Mark plus Dash Dirickz (WG), Adrian Taylor (TP), Andrea Thompson (WG) and Pru Hodgkinson very much.
As the players came off the court, they were greeted by Blaise and the offer of food which, in the majority of cases, was welcomed with open arms – Dash and Adrian’s burgers appeared to be inhaled within seconds…
Moving on to Round 2, WGTC was up 2-1 in rubbers and the next three promised to be as entertaining, with the Girl’s 16 & Under kicking off first, followed by the Men’s 45+ and the Women’s Open Singles.
Woodfield’s Viviana Bustamante and Telford’s Matilda Reed had a fantastic match with some rallies that seemed as if they would never end, and the battle was so close, it was a shame that somebody had to lose.
Viviana ended up the victor on this occasion, 6-1 6-3, and the sportsmanship that was shown by both players was exemplary culminating in Viviana and Matilda settling down afterwards to eat their food together.
Meanwhile Woodfield’s Dougie Kerr had been taking his Millennium Cup duties extremely seriously ensuring that there was no whisky in his house over the past couple of weeks.
Dressed in full tennis whites and armed with three bananas, Dougie and TP’s Steven Hoy descended on Court 2 where Steve was exposed to Dougie’s unbelievable ability to slice his way out of most situations.
It was a compelling game which Dougie won, 6-3 6-1, and resulted in WGTC going 4-1 up.
On Court 1 the Women’s singles was between our own Vice-Captain of the Millennium Cup Jo Kiernander, who is just recovering from three months out with a broken wrist and Telford’s Patricia Warwick, who was on cracking form.
There was an awful moment when Jo fell but, fortunately, managed to avoid landing on her wrist, and then did admirably well to recover, although it was clear that her confidence had taken a knocking, and Patricia took full advantage, clocking up a decisive 6-2 6-0 victory.
Moving into Round 3, the overall scoreline was 4-2 in WGTC’s favour.
The first match to start was the Mixed doubles, with Telford Park’s Mark Francke, a former member of Woodfield Grove, and Emma Tilson arrived very focussed to take on Adam Callaghan and Esme Kyle.
Emma was under a time pressure in that she was heading out for Sunday lunch, which she had not originally realised when she had agreed to play, and this focus certainly appeared to help them win, 6-4 6-3, while the crowd was treated to some excellent rallies and some incredibly strong serving from both Mark and Adam.
So with the overall scoreline at 4-3 in WGTC’s favour, the Men’s Doubles – already underway – was to be a pivotal contest and what a game it proved to be.
TP’s Captain for the day, Steve Graham, and Richard Porem fought hard in what was a gripping match against Lev Husnu and David Snook.
There was great sportsmanship displayed by both sides and never any question about the calls made, and if there was any doubt at all, the point was re-played without hesitation.
The final score was 6-2 7-5 in the hosts’ favour after a great contest.
Women’s Doubles marathon
Victory secured, the Women’s Doubles was well underway in the hottest part of the day and proved to be a marathon match lasting just under three hours.
Many of the players and the crowd stayed to cheer on Carole Britton and Hilary Allen against Telford’s Clea Assersohn and Julia Bellis in the final match of the day, which was playing out on Centre Court.
Clea and Julia’s determination was equally matched by Carole and Hilary as water consumption increased and the rallies got longer, and the BBQ hotter.
Telford took the first set 7-6, with a gruelling second set fight back from Carole and Hilary, finally winning it 7-5.
This put the match at 1 set all at 3.30pm and a tight match tiebreak decided proceedings, with WGTC eventually winning it 10-5 and all the players receiving a standing ovation as they left the court.
It had been a truly spectacular match to end a very successful day for WGTC’s Millennium Cup Squad.
Woodfield Grove is currently enjoying the view from the top of the leaderboard, which we are sharing with Grafton, 6-3 winners over Norbury Park.
Our next match is against Grafton on Saturday 6th of May and preparations are already well under way. We can’t wait!
Report by Jon Elwes, Millennium Cup Captain, Woodfield Grove
Woodfield Grove d Telford Park 6-3
(WGTC names first)
Women’s Singles: Jo Kiernander lost to Patricia Warwick 6-2 6-0; Men’s Singles: Ben Davies d Mark Rothwell 6-2 6-4; Women’s Over 40 Singles: Andrea Thompson lost to Pru Hodgkinson 6-1 6-1; Men’s Over 45 Singles: Dougie Kerr d Steven Hoy 6-3 6-1; Girls Under 16 Singles: Viviana Bustamante d Matilda Reed 6-1 6-3; Boys Under 16 Singles: Dash Dyrickz d Adrian Taylor 6-1 6-0; Women’s Doubles: Hilary Allen & Carole Britton d Clea Assersohn & Julia Bellis 6-7 7-5 [10-5]; Men’s Doubles: Lev Husnu & David Snook d Steve Graham & Richard Porem 6-2 7-5; Mixed Doubles: Adam Callaghan & Esme Kyle lost to Mark Francke & Emma Tilson 6-4 6-2