Clifton Cup 2018
Play began on Friday night and in the doubles it was largely uneventful affair on court but it was great to see our Chairman Sam Beale join Valla, who is currently studying at Bristol University and is improving with every game, having attending Peter Symonds College with Ben Cawston. It was also very pleasing to see Tim Armstrong back on court who after a difficult summer with illness has made an excellent recovery. We look forward to welcoming you back to the Boasters, Tim.
Friday also saw two of the Grays Invitational Singles matches take place, starting with Ben Cawston playing Tom Bomford. There were some excellent rallies but after a valiant effort Bommers was defeated 15/5 15/4. The last match of the evening was Tommy Shields v Mike Bailey and initially, after taking a 6-0 lead it looked as though Tommy could cause an upset against the ranking system. After a slower start, Mike kept asking the question of Tommy in the rallies and eventually broke him down to win 15/13 15/5.
Saturday morning started with a disgruntled Deane Pennick and James Telling getting themselves out of bed for an 8.00am match to play the no 2 seeds Bailey and Archie Fellowes. What followed included the only bagel of the weekend. The tournament committee will have a word with Fellowes on how to play the social game! Highlights of the first round on Saturday included the all-Clifton affair of Ben McGeoch and Freddie Kalfayan taking on Reggie Williams and Adam Kula-Przezwankski, the latter of which turned out to be one of the stand out performers of the weekend. â€œKula Shakerâ€ is currently serving in the British Army and we very much hope that he continues playing. Mr Bailey was jealous of his backhand technique, which should be taken as a serious compliment! Perhaps we have a man to revitalise the Sandhurst Cup?
The quarter finals of the main draw were all excellent standard matches, with all bar one going the distance in a best of three. Initially after a slow start by James Blackburn, the partnership with Tommy Shields got going and came back to win 5/15 15/6 17/15 against Bommers and James Marshall, the last game of which went through several match points, with neither sides able to produce the goods to finish the match! Reggie and Kula Shaker knocked out Mike Henman and Paddy Sutton 10/15 15/7 15/6 in what was another excellent match. The highlight of the quarter finals certainly was Evans and Jamieson-Black v Bailey and Fellowes. The first game went to a set but it was just edged by the no 2 seeds 17/14. Jock and Will came back in the second 9/15 with most of the crowd appreciating Jockâ€™s fierce backhand serve and Evans consistency in the rallies. The 3rd and final game eventually went to a set with the favourites clinching victory 17/15. Jock and Will have certainly thrown their hat in the ring for a seeding in the 2019 tournament.
The first of the two semi finals was set between last yearâ€™s winner Ben Cawston and his partner and OC Henry Liddington and James Blackburn and Tommy Shields. The author and tournament organiser can try to say with little bias that in the first game there was an outrageously good rally which Ben Cawston (world number 9) described as â€œthe best rally he has ever playedâ€. The crowd were on their feet cheering during the points and when it eventually ended all 4 players on court shared high-fives for what was one of the moments of the weekend. Despite a huge effort from Blackers and Shields the no 1 seeds prevailed winning 15/9, 15/7. The second semi final of Reggie and Kula v Bailey and Fellowes went the distance, with the Clifton boys eventually succumbing 17/14 9/15 17/15.
Saturday night saw an excellent dinner at the Glassboat Brasserie and Mr Pennick telling a joke about Â£1.80 which just edged on the side of acceptability, given that our Chairmanâ€™s wife and only female attendee, Eleanor was present. Luckily for all, when Louis Winstanley stood up it was just about clean enough to not be hauled off in a hurry.
Sunday morning brought sore heads and the home straight, beginning with a plate semi final between our school pair, with Nic Cooper standing in for an absent school boy. They took on two recent fellows Ed Beard and Archie Green a.k.a â€œThe Weasleysâ€, the latter of which who prevailed after a slow start. The second match was a surprisingly good standard, given that Mr Winstanley had returned home at 6am, the author having to force a bacon sandwich down his throat prior to stepping on court to face McGeoch and Kalfayan with his partner Arthur Wakeley. Louisâ€™ standard was vastly improved by his inebriated state, though health and safety do not recommend attempting this at home! McGeoch and Kaylfayan prevailed in the semi and later won the plate final against The Weasleys, going to a best of 3 in a thrilling match. The standard of play all weekend was excellent, this point reinforced by the outstanding match we had for our plate final.
The singles final between Mike Bailey and Ben Cawston was an excellent match. The famously sensible Mr Cawston had been out in La Rocca nightclub until 2am and looked a tad green in the gills, at one point it looked as though he may have needed to put his head in Reggieâ€™s bin from the office, but he dug deep and beat Bailey 15/9 15/10.
The main final would see the no 1 and no 2 seeds go head to head. As expected, the line up did not disappoint, in particular with Henry Liddington (predominantly a real tennis player) stepping up to the standard of the match, with Archie Fellowes matching this performance with some excellent backhand rallying. Bailey and Cawston demonstrated their world top 20 rankings, dueling with Cawston on left and Bailey on the right. The match went to a best of 3, and with the match poised in the third, Bailey and Fellowes got a run of serves to win 15/8 11/15 15/9.
Congratulations to our new holders of the trophy, Archie and Mike, who also take home a racket each kindly provided by Grays.
Thank you all for a great weekend, we look forward to seeing you next year!
Bailey & Fellowes bt Cawston & Liddington 15/8 11/15 15/9
Cawston & Liddington bt Blackburn & Shields 15/9 15/7
Bailey & Fellowes bt Williams & Kula Przezwanski 15/7 9/15 15/7
Cawston & Liddington bt Symonds & Probert 15/4 15/13
Blackburn & Shields bt Bomford & Marshall 5/15 15/6 17/15
Williams & Kula Przezwanski bt Henman & Sutton 10/15 15/7 15/6
Bailey & Fellowes bt Jamieson-Black & Evans 17/14 9/15 17/15
Cawston & Liddington bt Beale & Geddes 15/4 15/9
Symonds & Probert bt Clifton School Pair 15/7 15/3
Blackburn & Shields bt Armstrong & Turner 15/7 15/6
Bomford & Marshall bt E Beard & A Green 15/10 15/11
Williams & Kula Przezwanski bt Kalfayan & McGeoch 15/12 17/14
Henman & Sutton bt Meek & Meek 15/7 15/1
Bailey & Fellowes bt Telling & Pennick 15/1 15/0
Jamieson-Black & Evans bt Wakeley & Winstanley 15/4 15/10
Cawston bt Bailey 15/9 15/10
Cawston bt Bomford 15/5 15/4
Bailey bt Shields 15/13 15/5