The Colchester and District Friendly League Tournament finals are the culmination of knock-out matches played throughout the summer. This year they were held on grass at Colchester Lawn's courts in Eudo Road, Colchester on Saturday 6th September. There were nine final matches with three singles, three doubles and three veterans categories being contested. Once again the participants reflected the nature of the Friendly League, with players often congratulating opponents when a good shot was played. There was also a good turn-out from friends and family, providing support for the players on a rather overcast day. The day started with the singles finals.
Ladies' singles: Ali Hysom (Spring Lane) overcame the difficult damp conditions underfoot early on, to beat Linda Taylor (West Mersea) and retain her title in straight sets 6-2, 6-1. However, the score did not reflect the closeness of the game, with many deuces and some very good serving from both players.
Men's singles: an excitingly competitive match saw Daniel Harty (Dedham), playing in his fourth consecutive final, unable to overcome Ryan Mead (Phoenix) who won 6-3, 6-3. Both sets revolved around an exchange of breaks of serve midway through, with Ryan coming out on top and going on to win the set.
Boy's singles: this produced the longest match of the singles competition. Alex Devereaux (Officers Club) came back from 3-0 down to take the first set 6-4 before Charlie Clarke (Dedham) won the second set 6-4 to take the match into a third set Championship tie break, which he took 10-5 to win a very close match and improve on his runners-up medal last year.
Veteran men's doubles: Gerry Borley and John Russell (Little Clacton) executed a robust performance, 6-2, 6-3, to see off the challenge from Bob Salmon and Steve Oldacre (Colchester Lawn) and hold onto the title for the third consecutive year.
Veteran ladies' doubles: this resulted in a very close game, June Radford and Judy Kent (Little Clacton) taking the first set on a tie break 7-6 before Linda Taylor and Gerry Owens (West Mersea/Colchester Lawn) gained the initiative, winning the second set 6-3 to force a third set tie break which they won 10-9 to win the match.
Veteran mixed doubles: this saw Gerry Borley, partnering June Radford (Little Clacton), win a second match of the day, beating Neil and Caroline Weston (Dedham) 6-4, 6-4, in a hard-fought contest, providing good entertainment to the crowd who had started to put up umbrellas with the threat of rain.
Ladies' doubles: Ali Hysom, partnering Mimi Okazaki, (Spring Lane) won her second title of the day, beating Jo Goswell and Jackie Jarvis (Lexden Rackets) in another very close-fought match, 6-4, 5-7, 10-5.
Men's doubles: this was an all Spring Lane Tennis Club affair, with the pairing of Hamish Turpin and Rob Oakley producing an effective game plan to overcome Chris Burridge and Andy Hodgson 6-3, 6-3.
Mixed doubles: with the sun finally showing up, the day ended with the mixed pairing of Harry Turpin and Chris Burridge (Spring Lane) coming from one set behind to retain their title against Louise Thomas-Unger and Gerry Borley (Little Clacton) 3-6, 6-1, 10-6, producing another exciting match for the spectators.
The day ended with presentations of the cups to the winners of the nine categories. Shields were also presented to the winners of this season's Colchester and District Friendly League competitions, which this year was Little Clacton for the Ladies' Doubles league, Wivenhoe for the Men's Doubles league and Kirby for the Mixed Doubles league. Finally, a big 'thank you' was expressed by all there to Gerry Owens who has organised the tournament for the last 20 years and is now standing down as Tournament Secretary.
Boys singles finalists
Alex Devereaux (Officers' Club) and
Charlie Clarke (Dedham) (winner)
Mens singles finalists
Dan Harty (Dedham) and
Ryan Mead (Phoenix) (winner)
Ladies singles finalists
Linda Taylor (West Mersea) and
Ali Hysom (Spring Lane) (winner)
Mens doubles finalists
Hamish Turpin & Rob Oakley (Spring Lane) (winners);
Chris Burridge & Andy Hodgson (Spring Lane)
Ladies doubles finalists
Jo Goswell & Jackie Jarvis (Lexden Rackets);
Mimi Okazaki & Ali Hysom (Spring Lane) (winners)
Mixed doubles finalists
Chris Burridge & Harry Turpin (Spring Lane) (winners);
Louise Thomas-Unger & Gerry Borley (Little Clacton)
Veteran mens doubles finalists
Bob Salmon & Steve Oldacre (Colchester Lawn);
John Russell & Gerry Borley (Little Clacton) (winners)
Veteran ladies doubles finalists
Gerry Owens & Linda Taylor (Colchester Lawn/West Mersea) (winners);
June Radford & Judy Kent (Little Clacton)
Veteran mixed doubles finalists
Contenders for the Don Rampling Cup
Neil & Caroline Weston (Dedham);
June Radford & Gerry Borley (Little Clacton) (winners)
The AGM was held on Wednesday 2nd April 2014. The following clubs have affiliated to the Friendly League for the 2014 season and have entered the following teams:
|Colchester LTC:  ||Ladies Team (2-pair), Mixed Team|
|Col. Officers Club:  ||For individual tournaments only|
|Dedham:  ||For individual tournaments only|
|Kirby:  ||Mens Team (2-pair), Mixed Team|
|Lexden Rackets:  ||Mens Team (3-pair), Mixed Team|
|Little Clacton:  ||LBA|
|Spring Lane:  ||Mens Team (3-pair)|
|West Mersea:  ||Mens Team (3-pair), Mixed Team|
|Wivenhoe:  ||Mens Team (2-pair), Mixed Team|
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