Josh Bayliss and Marc Bickers prepare for battle before the rains came!!
The afternoon started and finished in the sun although most finals suffered with rain during a mixed day of weather. Josh Bayliss and Marc Bickers was the dream final in the men’s singles and the two had made it through a tough qualifying to do battle. The pair have both had great influential campaigns especially on the team front and are two of the top men at the club improving season on season. Bayliss was out of the blocks early and took the opener 6-2. However Bickers found his form in the second and served at 6-5 looking to level up the match. Left hander Bayliss kept his nerve to force a tie beak after some tremendous baseline returns. Once again Bickers was in the ascendancy at 5-2 up in the tie break but Bayliss belied his young years to battle back once more and finally wrapped up the tie break 8-6 to secure a well deserved 6-2,7-6 win.
Anne Lillywhite and Lucy Wright enjoying the early sun.
Over on Court Two Lucy Wright was battling in the rain with Anne Lillywhite. Plenty of long rallies and great recovery shots but Wright gradually wore down her opponent to record a cosy 6-0,6-1 success.
There was no rest for Lucy and Anne as they were quickly back on court to partner up in the ladies doubles as they faced Rachel Butterworth and Louise Williams. This looked an intriguing match up and a decent sized crowd settled down to watch the action unfold. There was little to separate the couples during a tight opener and not surprisingly it went to tie break. Butterworth and Williams just managed to remain the more consistent to take the set. With the rain not stopping all credit to the players for battling the elements and still producing some entertaining tennis. With the game on a knife edge Williams and Butterworth were able to close out a 7-6,6-4 victory to take the title.
A wet looking Rachel Williams and Louise Williams who battled both their opponents and the elements to secure the ladies doubles title this afternoon.
Marc Bickers was another player doubling up as he joined partner Barry Johnson in the men’s doubles where they faced Walter Skubiak and Stuart Robinson. Skubiak was a late substitute for Josh Bayliss who was unable to play. Pockets of sun helped the players although the courts were slippy and proving a little difficult. It didn’t stop Bickers who was skating around and starting to dominate proceedings. He and Johnson took the opener 6-1 but veterans Skubiak and Robinson were not going down without a fight and led 5-1 in the second. Johnson and Bickers reeled off three quick games before Robbo and Walter held their nerve for a 6-4 win to take the contest to a decider. With Bickers looking tired after his excursions in the singles a slice of flapjack was to ultimately prove the difference. Re energised the magic man was back to his best and with Johnson gobbling up some nice winners at the net they built up a good lead to run out 6-1,4-6,6-2 winners.
Marc Bickers and Barry Johnson with their men’s doubles trophy.
Finally with the sun now shining brightly and the rain gone the mixed doubles was the last final on the show court. Walter Skubiak was back on court and teamed up with Sue Perkins as they faced Mike Triffitt and another returning player Rachel Butterworth. Again this looked a tough game to call and at 1-1 there was everything to play for. However Triffitt and Butterworth are a steady pair and having shown good team work to reach the final looked confident. They turned up the tempo and with clever tactics kept things simple to take the opener 6-1. However Perkins had slipped during the opener and was struggling to run and was unable to continue unfortunately. So Triffitt and Butterworth took the crown.
Rachel Butterworth made it two victories on finals day as along with mixed doubles partner Mike Triffitt they took the trophy.
Runners up Walter Skubiak and Sue Perkins with a bottle of wine as consolation!
Crowds braved the rain to watch their heroes in action. Kate and Marc Bickers better half Alice enjoyed the action and cheered Marc to victory in the men’s doubles whilst Nigel Williams and Charlie Wright shared an umbrella whilst watching wives Louise and Lucy battle for the ladies doubles crown!
Home made cakes and wine were much appreciated by those indoors!!
Well done to organisers Mike Triffitt and Helen Robinson for arranging the tournament this year and providing prizes and refreshments on the day.