Rackets

Noel Bruce 2016

22 Sep 2016

Sponsored by the T&RA Rackets Patrons - Cheltenham recover from three games to love down to retain the Noel Bruce Cup against their Winchester rivals.


Main Draw

Alex Duncliffe-Vines and Richard Owen, with James Coyne

2016 saw a revised Cheltenham first pair of Richard Owen and Alex Duncliffe-Vines ease into the final after a six game tussle with Wellington in the semi-finals. Their determination overcame their valiant opponents, James Coyne and James Fuller, from 2 games all to win 4-2. The other semi-final saw the long established pair, Alex Titchener-Barrett and Charlie Danby, lose out to Winchester, Christian Portz and Mike Bailey, in another six game thriller which could have gone either way.

The final started well, with all four players already striking the ball well, although some early season inaccuracy created the occasional unforced error. It was Winchester who fought through to take the first game 15/11 and take an early lead. The second game was similarly closely balanced, although Winchester maintained the advantage reaching game ball, but the point was missed and ADV served to level and force a set to three. However, a superb Portz return won back the serve and Bailey served out the game without loss, to give Winchester a two game lead.

The third game was more of the same, with Winchester nudging ahead at the business end of the game to take what seemed to be a winning three game lead. At 12-10 in the fourth, the game did appear to be edging near to its conclusion and the Winchester support was ever more expectant. But now Owen and ADV dug deep into their reserves, winning back the serve and then serving out the game to close the deficit.

Into game five and all four player were honing their shot-making, but now it was Cheltenham in the ascendency, with Owen hitting straight winners deep into the corners to edge ahead. A close game again, but the momentum was turning, with the Cheltenham pair serving superbly to take the vital points. The holders turned the screw in the sixth, as Bailey struggled with heavy legs, although Portz covered an ever-increasing percentage of the court to try and keep the game alive. But now Cheltenham were selecting their shots well and the game was won at a canter, to level the match at 3-all.

The final game was sadly quite one-sided as Cheltenham despatched their worthy opponents, and not a real reflection on an extremely tight contest. James Coyne presented Cheltenham with the prestigious trophy, which will return to Gloucestershire for a second consecutive year. He thanked marker, Steve Tulley, and referee, Andrew Lyons, for their close control of the match and to Alastair Gourlay for coercing the usual suspects back onto court after the summer break. A final word of thanks to the Rackets Patrons, who generous support is keeping the non-sponsored tournaments running.

Results

Final

  • Cheltenham bt Winchester 11/15 14/17 12/15 15/12 15/10 15/5 15/0

Semi-finals

  • Winchester bt Harrow 11/15 15/9 15/9 8/15 15/9 17/16
  • Cheltenham bt Wellington 15/8 15/17 15/8 14/17 15/1 15/3

Quarter-finals

  • Harrow I (A.Titchener-Barrett & C.Danby) bt Malvern I (B. & T. Bomford) 15/12 15/11 15/8
  • Cheltenham I (R.Owen & A.Duncliffe-Vines) bt Cheltenham VI (J. & J.Jamieson-Black) 15/2 15/3 15/0
  • Wellington I bt Winchester II 12/15 12/15 17/16 15/6 15/9
  • Winchester I bt Haileybury I 8/15 15/10 12/15 15/8 15/7

First Round

  • Wellington I (J.Coyne & J.Fuller) bt Cheltenham II (G.Tyndall & A.Coldicott) 15/9 18/17 15/11
  • Winchester I (C.Portz & M.Bailey) bt Malvern II (A.Wakely & W.Vanston) 15/8 15/5 15/5
  • Winchester II (J.Bailey & P.Maxwell) bt Cheltenham IV (F.Clarke & C.Stout) 15/6 15/5 15/9
  • Haileybury I (T.Billings & W.Stanyard) bt Charterhouse II (A.Rozier-Pamplin & S.Cox) 15/3 16/14 15/10
 

See details from qualifying


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