Finals Day — Saturday 10th September
The 2016 Colchester & District Friendly Tennis League Finals were held at the Lexden Hill Tennis club on Saturday 10th September 2016. This was the culmination of over 50 people from clubs across the area competing throughout the summer in singles and doubles knock-out competitions, all over the best of three sets. The games were played in the true spirit of the Friendly League, with umpires keeping score but players making all the calls on individual points. Photographs of the finalists are shown below.
In the Ladies' Singles, Ali Hysom (Spring Lane) played Alice O'Regan (Colchester Officers' Club). Having lost the first set 6-1, Ali turned round the game, winning the second set and the championship tie break to retain the title for the second time, 1-6, 6-3, 10-4.
In the Men's Singles, Rob Oakley (Spring Lane) played Dan Harty (Dedham). With the first game going to 5 deuces, it promised to be a close game, and that was certainly the case in the first set. However Rob took the initiative in the second set to win the match 6-4, 6-0.
The Veterans' Mixed Doubles was won by Angela and Kevin Eastaugh (Officers' Club) after Kay and John Mansfield (Little Clacton) had to concede the match part-way through the second set.
In the Ladies' Doubles, having had to concede in her previous match, Kay Mansfield partnered Louise Thomas-Unger (Little Clacton) to beat Alice O'Regan and Clare Kemp (Colchester Officers' Club) 6-3, 6-2.
In the Mens Doubles, Hame Turpin and Rob Oakley (Spring Lane) played Dan Harty and Matt Smith (Dedham). The Spring Lane pair ran away with the first set before their opponents put up a spirited fightback, but Hame and Rob kept their nerve to retain the title for the second time 6-0, 6-4.
The Mixed Doubles was an all Spring Lane Tennis Club affair, with Kim Lane and Chris Burridge playing Zoe Knight and Dan Burridge. With Kim and Chris winning the first set 6-1, the game changed significantly when Zoe and Dan took the second 5-7. However Kim and Chris regrouped to win the championship tie break 10-4 to take the title.
The day's tennis was completed with the Veteran Ladies' Doubles. This was played as a round-robin tournament, with three pairs each playing one set against each other. It was won by Gerry Owens and Kathy Salmon (Lexden Hill) who retained the title, with runners-up Sherry Hodgson and Kim Lane (Spring Lane). The third pair were Debbie Sainty and Caroline Weston (Dedham).
The day concluded with John Sambrook, who chairs the Friendly Tennis League Committee, thanking Lexden Hill Tennis Club for hosting the event this year, the volunteers who assisted on the day and especially Sherry Hodgson for organising the competition so well again this year. In this summer's league tournaments, the mixed doubles league was won by Lexden Rackets and Fitness club with Wivenhoe being runners-up. The mens doubles league was won by Spring Lane with Kirby being runners-up.
Due to exceptional circumstances, the Veterans Mens Doubles final was played on Saturday 17th September between Andy Hodgson and Chris Burridge (Spring Lane) and Russell Sainty and Halford Hewitt (Dedham) on the newly re-surfaced courts at Spring Lane. In spite of the damp start, there were some excellent rallies, belied by the final score of 6-1, 6-3 to Hodgson and Burridge.
Mens singles finalists
Rob Oakley (Spring Lane) (winner) and
Dan Harty (Dedham)
Ladies singles finalists
Ali Hysom (Spring Lane) (winner) and
Alice O'Regan (Officers' Club)
Mens doubles finalists
Matt Smith & Dan Harty (Dedham);
Rob Oakley & Hamish Turpin (Spring Lane) (winners)
Ladies doubles finalists
Clare Kemp & Alice O'Regan (Officers' Club);
Louise Thomas-Unger & Kay Mansfield (Little Clacton) (winners)
Mixed doubles finalists
Zoe Knight & Dan Burridge (Spring Lane);
Chris Burridge & Kim Lane (Spring Lane) (winners)
Veteran mens doubles finalists
Halford Hewitt & Russell Sainty (Dedham);
Andy Hodgson & Chris Burridge (Spring Lane) (winners)
Veteran ladies doubles finalists (round robin)
Caroline Weston & Debbie Sainty (Dedham);
Kathy Salmon & Gerry Owens (Lexden Hill) (winners);
Sherry Hodgson & Kim Lane (Spring Lane)
Veteran mixed doubles finalists
Contenders for the Don Rampling Cup
Kevin & Angela Eastaugh (Officers' Club) (winners);
Kay & John Mansfield (Little Clacton)
Application form for 2016 now available.
The AGM was held on Tuesday 5th April 2016. The following clubs have affiliated to the Friendly League for the 2016 season and have entered the following teams:
|Colchester Officers' Club:  ||For individual tournaments only|
|Dedham:  ||For individual tournaments only|
|Kirby:  ||Mens Team (2-pair), Mixed Team|
|Lexden Hill:  ||Ladies Team (2-pair)|
|Lexden Rackets and Fitness Club:  ||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:  ||Mixed Team|
24th February 2016
The Annual General Meeting (and fixtures meeting) will be held on Tuesday 5th April 2016 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.
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