Over 70 Amateur Singles and Doubles Championships 2019
Singles:John Ward beat John East 8/7
Doubles:John East & Dick Tanfield beat John Ward & Simon Da Halpert 8/4
Hâ€™Cap Doubles: Tim Harper & John Burnett beat David Bevan-Thomas & Andrew Falk 8/5
Over the weekend of 5th â€“ 7th April Wellington once again hosted the Over 70â€™s (age) Amateur Singles & Doubles Championships. It was a record entry with 14 singles players and 11 doubles pairs, with entries coming from far and wide, special mentions to Dick Tanfield who made the trip over again from Philadelphia again to defend his titles, and Richard Fletcher who made his first trip to the tournament from Jesmond Dene.
The first day, Friday, concluded with the first upset of the seedings, Bill Colegrave kept up his good form from his match earlier and beat the no.4 seed Robin Barlow 8/6 to take a singles semi-final spot.
On Saturday the singles event resumed.Willie Wilks qualified for a quarter-final place with an 8/4 win over Hatfieldâ€™s Tim Harper. Richard White & John Burnett then took to the court and had a titanic battle with John Burnett taking the win in the final game 8/7 to earn a match with top seed John Ward. Dick Tanfield then kicked off his title defence with a win against Harry Saint to move into the Semi-final against the winner of John East & Willie Wilks. John won this match with an 8/2 victory.
To round off the competition to the semi final stage John Ward used all his experience to defeat John Burnett 8/1 and moved on to play Bill Colegrave.
The final round robin match was the most exciting, with David Brazier and Robin Barlow up against Bernard Anscomb and Harry Saint. Bernard & Harry proved to be the surprise package in this group! They upset the seedings and defeated David & Robin 6/5 on the final point! They continued their good form in the next match, but the pairing of Bill Colegrave & Willie Wilks was just too strong and they just lost 4/6. But with a 6/3 win against David Weston & Johnny Cook, Bernard & Harry secured 2nd spot in the group and were the best placed runner up so qualified for Sundayâ€™s semi-final. Bill & Willie went on to win all their matches so also qualified for the semis.
In the singles event the first semi-final it was a repeat of last yearâ€™s final where John East was planning on reversing the result against his doubles partner Dick Tanfield and he did! John raced out the blocks and Dick (who played so well last year) did not get going losing 8/1. John Ward and Bill Colegrave then did battle for the right to play John East. Bill rallied well but John Wardâ€™s consistency of hitting short chases proved too much and he won the match 8/3.
We then played the singles final between the 2 top seeds John Ward and John East. It was a fantastic match with both players playing at the top of their game, they traded games back and forth and there was never more than a game between them. John East was the first to 7 games and led 7/6 but the match followed its pattern and John Ward tied the match at 7 all, another close final game but we didnâ€™t quite make it to 40 all. John Ward reclaimed the title for the 8th time with another one of his classic cut shots in the corner.
To give the Johns a rest before their doubles semi-finals, the handicap doubles plate semis were next. John Burnett and Tim Harper proved too strong for David Weston and Johnny Cook winning 8/2, and they were to meet David Bevan-Thomas and Andrew Falk in the final after they defeated Robin Barlow and David Brazier 8/4.
The main doubles event was then the focus of attention, in the first semi John Ward and Simon De Halpert took on Bernard Anscomb and Harry Saint who were hoping to continue their giant killing streak, but it wasnâ€™t to be this time! John Ward and Simon De Halpert won the match 8/2. To set up a repeat of last yearâ€™s final John East and Dick Tanfield had to get past Bill Colegrave and Willie Wilks. Bill & Willie battled hard, but the holders went through 8/3.
In the handicap plate final, the handicaps of both pairs were very close and so was the match! Tim Harper and John Burnett just edged out David Bevan-Thomas and Andrew Falk 8/5.
So the final match of the weekend was the doubles final and a repeat of last years final between John East and Dick Tanfield and John Ward and Simon De Halpert. It was another great match with brilliant Tennis from both pairs, but John Ward & Simon De Halpert [who was carrying an injury] were not able to reverse last years result, and John East got revenge for the singles final as John & Dick won the title with a 8/5 victory!
Many thanks to Adam and Dan for their management of the tournament, and for their excellent marking