National Inter Club Tournament sponsored by Herminius
The inter club tournament sponsored by Herminius had a different feel this year with the introduction of teams from Real Tennis clubs and associations without their own courts playing alongside theregular clubs. And two teams in particular took advantage of the new entrance criteria. The Dedanists entered a team of tennis stalwarts and the T&RA were represented by a scratch team of players assembled for the occasion.
With ten teams taking part they were split into two groups of five for singles and for doubles so there was plenty of first round tennis to be played. The Saturday Boxes saw Andy Dixon go unbeaten in the singles representing the Dedanists in the top half of the draw with Moreton Morrellâ€™s Bill Slora going out with only one win to his name narrowly missing out to Manchesterâ€™s John Mortimer on game difference. In the other half it was a much more closely fought battle with each player winning two games and losing two.MCCâ€™s David Phillips topped the group while Mark Maclure playing for the T&RA was the unlucky loser going out on game difference.
For the Doubles it was a partnership of Tony Branfield and Sam Gill that negotiated theboxes undefeated for the T&RA in the bottom half of the draw with the MCCâ€™s Hamilton and Leefe failing to register a win. In the top half Manchesterâ€™s Carl Hamill and John Oliviero took the box with three wins while Hardwickâ€™s Katie Leppard and Simon Constantine suffered from a tough handicap and were the team eliminated.
Manchester had seen mixed fortunes on the opening day winning only one game in four at Moreton Morrell before swapping to Leamington where they won three in four to leave themselves in 3rd place in the team table with 6 points behind the Dedanists and T&RA who were level on eight. Manchester would need to conquer the Moreton court to progress in the knock-out stages on Sunday.
In the quarter finals Andy Dixon continued his winning form for the Dedanists with Hardwickâ€™s Jon Speirs, David Phillips for the MCC and Leamingtonâ€™s George Johnson all progressing to the semi finals. In the doubles Branfield and Gill knocked out the Dedanistâ€™s Norman Hyde and John Yarnall. Leamingtonâ€™s Chris Sampson and Bob Compton and two Moreton teams Craig Swallow and Loyd Pettiford and defending champions Kieth Beechener and Jon Lambdon were the others to progress. With the Moreton jinx hitting both Manchester singles and doubles teams again at the quarter finals stage their fight for the title was over leaving the way clear for the Dedanists & T&RA to battle it out.
The semi finals saw David Philips continue his giant killing act adding the scalp of Jon Spiers to an ever growing list and Andy Dixon defeated George Johnson. The final proved a step to far for the MCCâ€™s Phillips who for once wasnâ€™t able to take advantage of the handicap difference against the steady play of Andy Dixon who remained unbeaten through a testing set of matches and wide handicap range.
In the Doubles the Moreton teams settled on the new pairing of Swallow and Pettiford for the final with a simple victory over the reigning doubles champions. In the other semi-final Branfield and Gill repeated their group stage victory over the Leamington pair of Sampson and Compton. The final went to the T&RA pair who benefited from a generous handicap advantage that proved too great for the Moreton team.
Victories four both the Dedanists and T&RA left them level on points in the team competition. Victory was decided on game difference and here the efforts of Norman Hyde and John Yarnall tipped the balance in favour of the Dedanists who took the title. Congratulations to The Dedanists and we look forward to seeing you defend your crown next year.
Thanks to Herminius for Sponsoring the event and to CEO Peter Wilson for presenting the trophies to the winners.
We hope that next yearâ€™s tournament will expand on the success of this yearâ€™s and that we can entertain a wider variety of teams. If you would like to play as a representative of a club, company, association or country please contact us at Moreton Morrell.