6th September: Finals Day
The blustery weather made conditions very difficult over nearly 7 hours of play but a high standard of competition prevailed throughout.
Two Little Clacton players contested the Men's Singles title. Martin Picker won the first set before Robert Boyd came back to take the second, but Martin prevailed in the decider to win 6-1 2-6 6-4. The same pair teamed up in the Men's Doubles which turned out to be another three-setter: the Little Clacton pair came through to beat the father-and-son team of Bob and Adam Salmon, of Colchester LTC, 6-2 5-7 6-4.
The Boys' Singles was won by Colchester LTC's Tom Howes, who beat Oliver Harris of Maldon 6-2 6-2 in the latter's first ever match on grass. Both boys show great promise for the future.
In the Ladies' Singles, Frances Shaw of Phoenix had a straightforward win over Sherry Hodgson of West End 6-1 6-1. However, she was not so lucky in the Ladies' Doubles: teamed with Melanie Woods, also of Phoenix, last year's winners took the first set before Sue Wargent and Linda Taylor of West Mersea came back to win the second. The decider went to the West Mersea pair, the final result being 3-6 7-5 7-5.
The Mixed Doubles was the only title to be retained from last year. Little Clacton's Gerry Borley and his daughter Debbie Mitchell took the first set on a tie-breaker before Phil Bingham, of Wivenhoe, and Sara Panizza, of Phoenix, came back to take the second 6-2. The decider was very exciting with the Little Clacton pair eventually taking it 9-7.
The final Little Clacton pairing of Gerry Borley and Robert Boyd produced a second title of the day for both of them when they overcame last year's winners, Bob Salmon and Andrew Simpson of Colchester LTC, 7-5 6-2 to win the Veteran Men's Doubles. Meanwhile, Phil Bingham and Sara Panizza had another 3-setter in the Veteran Mixed category. Despite losing the first set, they overcame Chris Burridge and Sherry Hodgson of West End to win the Don Rampling Cup 5-7 6-3 6-3.
In the Veteran Ladies' Doubles, Ann Dunnell triumphed for the seventh time in the category. On this occasion she partnered Eileen Richardson and they overcame their Phoenix clubmates Yvonne Rann and Ruth Wyllie 6-3 7-5.
John Sambrook, Friendly League Chairman, presented the trophies to the winners and runners-up and to representatives of the League winners. Prested Hall won the Men's Division and Colchester LTC won both the Ladies' and Mixed Divisions.
The Chairman thanked Colchester LTC for the use of their courts and Gerry Owens, the Tournament Organiser. He also thanked Gerry, Christine Clark, Chris Jones, Bob Salmon and Adam Salmon who, with himself, acted as umpires.
Boys singles finalists
Oliver Harris (Maldon) and
Tom Howes (Colchester LTC) (winner)
Mens singles finalists
Robert Boyd and Martin Picker (winner)
(both Little Clacton)
Ladies singles finalists
Sherry Hodgson (West End)
and Frances Shaw (Phoenix) (winner)
Mens doubles finalists
Adam & Bob Salmon (Colchester LTC);
Martin Picker & Robert Boyd (Little Clacton) (winners)
Ladies doubles finalists
Frances Shaw & Melanie Woods (Phoenix);
Sue Wargent & Linda Taylor (West Mersea) (winners)
Mixed doubles finalists
Phil Bingham (Wivenhoe) & Sara Panizza (Phoenix);
Debbie Mitchell & Gerry Borley (Little Clacton) (winners)
Veteran mens doubles finalists
Bob Salmon & Andrew Simpson (Colchester LTC);
Gerry Borley & Robert Boyd (Little Clacton) (winners)
Veteran ladies doubles finalists
Ann Dunnell & Eileen Richardson (Phoenix) (winners);
Yvonne Rann & Ruth Wylie (Phoenix)
Veteran mixed doubles finalists
Contenders for the Don Rampling Cup
Chris Burridge & Sherry Hodgson (West End);
Sara Panizza (Phoenix) & Phil Bingham (Wivenhoe) (winners)
This year, the number of games per set in the Colchester & District Friendly Tennis League has been reduced to 11. In the Men's Division, Colchester LTC look likely to retain the title with wins over West Mersea 41-25 and Phoenix 40-26. They also had a walkover against Maldon. Prested Hall had a narrow win over Phoenix 34-32 and Maldon beat West Mersea 35-31.
Colchester LTC Ladies team are also doing well. They beat Phoenix 37-29 at Spring Lane before the tables were turned and they lost at home to Phoenix 30-36. However, they went on to beat Phoenix Rising (the improvers arm of Phoenix) 54-12 at Spring Lane and 42-24 at home to complete their matches. In the meantime, Phoenix beat Phoenix Rising 48-18; should they beat them again, the title would depend on game difference.
Only two results have been reported in the Mixed Division. Phoenix beat Prested Hall 71-28 but Colchester LTC beat Phoenix 67-32.
The AGM was held on Monday 31st March 2008. The following clubs have affiliated to the Friendly League for the 2008 season and have entered the following teams:
|Colchester LTC:  ||Ladies Team (2-pair), Mens Team (2-pair), Mixed Team|
|Little Clacton:  ||Mens Team (3-pair)|
|Maldon:  ||Mens Team (2-pair)|
|Phoenix:  ||Ladies Team (2-pair), Mens Team (3-pair), Mixed Team|
|Phoenix Rising:  ||Ladies Team (2-pair)|
|Prested Hall  ||Mens Team (3-pair), Mixed Team|
|West Mersea:  ||Mens Team (3-pair)|
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