The Colchester and District Friendly Tennis League finals were held at Dedham Tennis Club on Saturday 12th September 2015. This was the culmination of over 60 people from 10 tennis clubs competing throughout the summer in singles, Ladies, Men's and Mixed Doubles knock-out competitions. Watched by many family and friends, the games were played in the true spirit of the friendly league with umpires keeping score but players making all the calls on the individual points. No Hawkeye required here!
The ladies singles was a close contest, not reflected in the score where Ali Hysom eventually retained her title 6-3, 6-3 against Alice O'Regan. The mens singles was a father and son affair from Lexden Rackets & Fitness club, producing the longest match of the day at nearly 2 hrs 40 minutes, with son James Howarth eventually defeating father David Howarth in the third set tie break 7-5, 4-6, 10-5.
The score belied the closeness of the ladies doubles game which had many long rallies and much hard hitting resulting in Bunny Besley and Zoe Knight beating Sherry Hodgson and Mary Moir 6-4, 6-0. The mens doubles was an all Spring Lane Tennis Club affair, producing a hotly contested match resulting in Hame Turpin and Rob Oakley retaining their title against Chris Burridge and Andy Hodgson 6-4, 6-3. The mixed doubles produced some great court coverage which entertained the crowd, Ali Hysom and Ryan Mead beating Harry Turpin and Chris Burridge 6-2, 6-4.
It was good to have both boys and girls singles finals this year. In the boys final Matthew Capon from West Mersea Tennis Club had the difficult task of competing with the winner of the mens singles, who was also eligible for the boys event. Matthew made a valiant effort but lost to James Howarth 6-0, 6-1.
The girls event was a round robin with three girls playing each other and the winner being the one winning the most games over the matches. This was contested by Alice Cove and Mary Bishop from Spring Lane Tennis Club and Olivia Moreira from the Colchester Officers Club. It was nip and tuck in the first rubber, between Olivia and Alice, with both playing some excellent tennis. At 5-5 the set was decided by a tiebreak which Alice took 7-3 from Olivia. In the final rubber between Alice and Mary, despite some hard hitting from Mary, Alice Cove took the set and the title.
In the Veterans categories, Gerry Owens and Kathy Salmon won a nail-biting first set before going on to win the ladies doubles title, beating Judy Kent and June Ratford from Little Clacton Tennis Club, 7-6, 6-1. In the men's doubles final, it was third time lucky for Bob Salmon and Steve Oldacre, beating Andrew Simpson and Colin Young 6-2, 6-3 following many long points and extended deuce games. The day was completed with the vets mixed doubles, an all Colchester Lawn Tennis Club affair producing a highly competitive game and going to a third set tie break. It resulted in Kathy Salmon and Bob Salmon beating Janet Davies and Colin Young 7-5, 2-6, 10-8.
The day was rounded off by John Sambrook, who chairs the Friendly League Committee, thanking Dedham Tennis Club for providing the facilities and the volunteers who ran the event. In addition to presenting the trophies to the tournament winners, he presented the Shields for the League tournaments for 2015, with Little Clacton winning the Ladies League and Kirby winning the Men's and Mixed Leagues this year.
Girls singles finalists
Olivia Moreira (Officer's Club),
Mary Bishop (Spring Lane) and
Alice Cove (Spring Lane) (winner)
Boys singles finalists
Matthew Capon (West Mersea) and
James Howarth (Lexden Rackets) (winner)
Mens singles finalists
David Howarth (Lexden Rackets) and
James Howarth (Lexden Rackets) (winner)
Ladies singles finalists
Ali Hysom (Spring Lane) (winner) and
Alice O'Regan (Spring Lane)
Mens doubles finalists
Hamish Turpin & Rob Oakley (Spring Lane) (winners);
Andy Hodgson & Chris Burridge (Spring Lane)
Ladies doubles finalists
Mary Moir & Sherry Hodgson (Spring Lane);
Zoe Knight & Bunny Besley (Spring Lane) (winners)
Mixed doubles finalists
Chris Burridge & Harry Turpin (Spring Lane);
Ali Hysom & Ryan Mead (Spring Lane) (winners)
Veteran mens doubles finalists
Colin Young & Andrew Simpson (Colchester Lawn);
Steve Oldacre & Bob Salmon (Lexden Rackets/Colchester Lawn) (winners)
Veteran ladies doubles finalists
Kathy Salmon & Gerry Owens (Colchester Lawn) (winners);
Judy Kent & June Radford (Little Clacton)
Veteran mixed doubles finalists
Contenders for the Don Rampling Cup
Colin Young & Janet Davies (Colchester Lawn);
Kathy & Bob Salmon (Colchester Lawn) (winners)
The individual tournaments draw has been made.
Application form for 2015 now available.
The AGM was held on Wednesday 1st April 2015. The following clubs have affiliated to the Friendly League for the 2015 season and have entered the following teams:
|Colchester LTC:  ||Ladies Team (2-pair)|
|Dedham:  ||For individual tournaments only|
|Kirby:  ||Ladies Team (2-pair), Mens Team (2-pair), Mixed Team|
|Lexden Rackets and Fitness Club:  ||Mens Team (3-pair), Mixed Team|
|Little Clacton:  ||Ladies (2-pair)|
|Spring Lane Tennis Club:  ||Ladies (2-pair), Mens Team (2-pair), Mixed Team|
|West Mersea:  ||Mens Team (3-pair), Mixed Team|
|Wivenhoe:  ||Ladies Team (2-pair), Mens Team (2-pair), Mixed Team|
The Annual General Meeting (and fixtures meeting) will be held on Wednesday 1st April 2015 at the Colchester Officers Club, St John's Green, Colchester, Essex CO2 7EZ starting at 7.30pm. The Officers Club has kindly provided the meeting room for free and the bar will be open if you wish to purchase refreshments.
If your club is planning on entering teams into the Colchester and District Friendly League this year, or players into the individual tournament, this is a great opportunity to find out about the other teams involved and arrange your fixtures for the year. Generally each club sends one representative but all team captains or representatives are welcome.
|It was with much sadness that we learnt of the death of Barbara Little. Barbara won the first ever Ladies Doubles tournament, under her maiden name Barbara Rolfe. She was a great supporter of the Friendly League and was serving on the Committee, as she had done for many years, at the time of her death. We send our deepest sympathy to her husband Vic and to all her family and friends. She will be greatly missed by the Friendly League.|
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