After a number of changes to both line ups, we finally had twenty players stepping on court this morning in the annual Seniors v Juniors clash which was making a welcome return after a two-year absence. Those competitors were greeted with chilly but dry conditions and were pleased to see the sun emerging.
As usual we had five matches with each contest the best of three sets with a championship tie break to ten been played if the scores were level at one set all.
Rupert Brown was back on Court Three, after a thrilling tie break win in his only previous competitive fixture two years ago, and he was joined by newcomer Andrew Barratt who has been showing up well at recent social sessions. The duo took on Conor Duddy and Harry Sewell, who was a late replacement. Andrew looks like he may well be challenging for the summer teams this summer and he and Rupert were quickly out of the blocks and forming a useful partnership. Conor was hitting well from deep and with Harry providing spirited support the Juniors were making the Seniors pull out all the stops. However, Andrew and Rupert had a touch too much class and with a consistent game plan and efficient court coverage they took the honours 6-0, 6-2 to put the Seniors 1-0 up.
With the Juniors on the scoreboard and making the latest score 1-1, all attention switched to Court One where Bradley Triffitt and Zak Watson were taking on Andy Roberts and Philip Longstaff. Andy had answered a late SOS call but the youngsters were left wishing he hadn’t as it soon became apparent the men’s first team star would be a very difficult opponent. Early on the youngsters started brightly as they led 3-2 but with Roberts hitting hard and Philip Longstaff proving a consistent partner the Seniors began to turn the screw and up the ante. Andy is a very solid server and with both Zak and Brad reluctant to approach the net, he also took control there with some clever deft touches and excellent smashes. With the momentum with the big guns they ran out cosy 6-3, 6-1 winners to give the Seniors a 2-1 overall lead.
However all was not lost as on Court Five a very interesting match was developing . Sonya Clarke and Melanie Brown are two promising types who are often found at social events and pairing for their competitive debut together were excited to face Maddy Patel and her brother Seb, who came in at the very last minute to save the day. This was a lovely match played with great laughter and fun as the quartet really enjoyed the occasion. The first set was in the melting pot throughout before the greater consistancy of the ladies saw them clinch the opener 6-4. However, the match was turned on its head as Maddy, who is highly regarded, began to influence proceedings as she moved through the gears in impressive fashion to play some excellent tennis which had her opponents reeling. An incredible 6-0 success meant a championship tie beak was needed and over on Court Two things were also extremely tight .
George Brown and Jack Medcalf were taking on wily veteran’s Lindsay Edgar and Nigel Sullivan and once more this looked hard to call. So it proved as although the Senior pair took the opener 6-2, the youngsters found their line and length in the second and unleashing some big winners took the set 6-4 to set up another championship tiebreaker.
With the final two matches on a knife edge the youngsters knew they could still take the crown but on Court Five Sonya and Melanie steadied the ship and showing remarkable composure took the tie break 10-6. It was also heartbreak for George and Jack who fell 10-7 to Lindsay and Nigel which gave the Seniors a 4-1 overall success which was extremely hard on the gallant youngsters.