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T&RA Competition

*Club Handicap Singles Winners 2021/22 (Chetwood Trophy) 2023

Jun 17, 2023 - Jun 18, 2023 Hyde Bridport Jeremy Brodie

Published Jun 10, 2022

The Chetwood Trophy took place on the 16th-18th June at The Hyde.

Congratulations to Simon Armstrong for winning The Chetwood Trophy 2023!

Mark Clifford got off to a great start going 3-0 up against Simon Armstrong (Seacourt). But Simon would probably be the first to admit he isn’t the quickest off the mark, but once he gets going, he is difficult to stop, and boy did he get going winning the set 6-3. Chris Davison had terrific odds to overcome in his first match which Darren Isted insisted he succumb to… Darren won 6-4. Chris, recovering from a long run of injuries, struggled again in his next match as Mark Clifford beat him 6-3. Simon worked his way back to 40 all in his first game against Darren but lost it with a fault. He battled on valiantly, but eventually lost 6-4. With 2 people going through from the group, the only certainty going into the final game was that Chris wouldn’t be one of them, narrowly losing 6-5 to Simon. The final game of the morning saw Darren beat Mark 6-4 to secure not only his place, but also Simon’s in the semi-finals.

In the afternoon we had a three-man group which consisted of three, best of three, four game set, matches. In the First, George Scott got off to a flying start, by flying around the court and getting EVERYTHING back. Gordon Tanner, try as he might, couldn’t find a serve to stop him, and no matter how good his cut shots they all came back. George won 4-1 4-0. Gordon had almost as tough a time against James McDermott. Despite having a handicap of 80, James was perfectly capable of hitting shots that a 50 any of the players in the tournament would have been proud of. After seeing an early serve get thumped into the dedans and the next stroked to chase a yard, Gordon decided it probably wasn’t going to be his tournament. Nevertheless, he insisted on having fun and didn’t begrudge his opponent winning 4-2 4-2. The final game was to decide standings, with both players being slightly more relaxed knowing they were both through. It was still a tense affair though as George narrowly won 4-3 4-3.

The Semi-finalists returned the next day, well-rested and in good spirits. The first semi-final could have gone either way. Darren had to give a handicap for the first time over the weekend, and James insisted on playing shots far superior than one would expect from his handicap. However, James was surprisingly nervous and missed a number of shots that he ordinarily would have expected to make. He had also suffered a slight foot injury in his previous game. Darren was serving incredibly well and when he didn’t nick out, he was forcing repeated errors from James that we hadn’t seen previously. Darren won 10-6.

In the second semi-final, George was playing with great energy and the match looked like it was going to be very close. But early on Simon made a shrewd decision not to enter rallies unless he had to. He started to hit towards the dedans with incredible accuracy. George hit some amazing volleys, but Simon was relentless and Goeorge struggled to find a solution. It was a great display of tennis from both players, but Simon’s experience earned him the win, 10-4.

The final was tense. Simon had been studying Darren’s game since he lost to him in the group stage, and this paid dividends. Darren took the lead early on but Simon kept pegging him back. They got to 5 all, and suddenly everything clicked for Simon. He had found the perfect combination of relaxed concentration and Darren was trying a little too hard to find the winning shots. Despite going 40 all in every game, Simon went 9-5 in the lead. He finally reached 40-30 set point, and Darren found a couple of great shots out of nowhere. In fact he took two games in quick succession to go 7-9, but Simon managed to steady his nerves and after another hard fought game, won 10-7.

Congratulations to Simon Armstrong for winning The Chetwood Trophy. He really proved that handicap tennis is a thinking person’s game. I would like to thank the Tennis and Rackets Association, not only for sponsoring the tournament but for all the hard work and continued support that they provide. Most of all I would like to thank all of the participants for making the effort to visit us in deepest, darkest, Dorset. The Tennis was competitive and entertaining, but more importantly, the atmosphere was friendly and relaxed… it was the finest example of a Real Tennis occasion, and we are already looking forward to next year's Chetwood Trophy.

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