Finals Day — Saturday 15th September
This year’s event was hosted by Lexden Hill Tennis Club on their grass courts in Eudo Road. The hot summer continued to create ideal condition for a grass court finals day. Players from 9 local clubs had taken part in the knock-out tournament over the summer with 8 clubs represented on Finals day.
The day started with three matches. The Mens Singles was an all Mersea Island affair producing a hard fought match with much baseline play, James McLauchlan winning 6-2, 6-3 against Tim Graham. The first indications in the Veteran Ladies Doubles was that this would be a long drawn-out match with the first game going to 7 deuces before the Wivenhoe pair dropped their serve. However they went on to win the next six games and win the set 6-1. The second set swung both ways before Val Coy and Chris Jones (Wivenhoe) won the second set and match, 6-1, 6-4 against Sherry Hodgson (Spring Lane) and Kim Lane (David Lloyd). The final match to finish in the first group was the Ladies Singles. This proved to be a close match in many of the games, with Julie Smith (Lexden Rackets) winning 6-4, 6-2 against Beth McLauchlan (West Mersea). This was followed by the Mens Doubles, where good serving helped Michael King and Neil Weston (Dedham) overcome Andy Hodgson and Paul Thomas (Spring Lane) 6-2, 6-3. The Ladies Doubles produced one of the closest matches of the day. Chris and Ginny broke serve to lead 5-3 and then served out the first set. However Hayley and Kim rallied to take the second set, setting up a championship tiebreak decider, with the first to 10 points. Having been all tied at 6-6, Chris Jones and Ginny Scott (Wivenhoe) went on to win the match against Hayley Everett and Kim Lane (David Lloyd) 6-3, 2-6, 10-7. The final match of the lunchtime session saw an emphatic 6-0, 6-0 win for John Carpenter and Kevin Eastaugh (Officers Club) against David Austin and Peter Clarke (Kirby) in the Veteran Mens Doubles. This left two matches for the afternoon session. The first of these was the Veteran Mixed Doubles. Caroline and Neil Weston (Dedham) led in the early part of the first set, but at 5-5 Val Coy and Terry Hoddy (Wivenhoe) upped their game to take the set. In the second set they kept their level up and won the match 7-5, 6-3. The final match of the day saw brother and sister pairing of Beth and James McLauchlan (West Mersea), who had both played in their respective singles finals earlier in the day, take on Sherry and Andy Hodgson (Spring Lane) in the Mixed Doubles. Following a close first set, Beth and James won the match 6-4, 6-0.
The presentations took place in the clubhouse, where the Chair of the League John Sambrook was surprised to be presented with a birthday cake to celebrate his 80th birthday. John then thanked Lexden Hill for hosting the event, all those who had taken part in the day's matches and those who helped run the day — with special thanks to Sherry Hodgson for the significant amount of work that she puts into making the competition run smoothly over the summer and the splendid finals day. In addition to the trophies for the individual tournaments, John presented trophies for the three league competitions. In the Mixed league, three teams ended equal on points, with Little Clacton winning on game difference. The Ladies league was won by Spring Lane, the Mens by the Officers Club.
John with his birthday cake
Ladies Singles finalists
Beth McLauchlan (West Mersea);
Julie Smith (Lexden Rackets)(winner)
Mens singles finalists
James McLauchlan (West Mersea) (winner);
Tim Graham (West Mersea)
Mens doubles finalists
Andy Hodgson & Paul Thomas (Spring Lane);
Mike King & Neil Weston (Dedham)(winners)
Ladies doubles finalists
Ginny Scott & Chris Jones (Wivenhoe) (winners);
Kim Lane & Hayley Everett (David LLoyd)
Mixed doubles finalists
James & Beth McLauchlan (West Mersea) (winners);
Sherry & Andy Hodgson (Spring Lane)
Veteran mens doubles finalists
John Carpenter & Kevin Eastaugh (Officers' Club) (winners);
Peter Clarke & David Austin (Kirby)
Veteran ladies doubles finalists
Val Coy & Chris Jones (Wivenhoe) (winners);
Sherry Hodgson (Spring Lane) & Kim Lane (David Lloyd)
Veteran mixed doubles finalists
Contenders for the Don Rampling Cup
Neil & Caroline Weston (Dedham);
Val Coy & Terry Hoddy (Wivenhoe) (winners)
The AGM was held on Wednesday 4th April 2018. The following clubs have affiliated to the Friendly League for the 2018 season and have entered the following teams:
|Colchester Officers' Club:  ||Ladies Team (3-pair), Mens Team (2-pair), Mixed Team|
|Dedham:  ||For individual tournaments only|
|Lexden Rackets and Fitness Club:  ||Ladies Team (2-pair), Mixed Team|
|Little Clacton: ||Mixed Team|
|Spring Lane Tennis Club:  ||Ladies (2-pair), Mens Team (2-pair), Mixed Team|
|Wivenhoe:  ||Mens team (2-pair)|
The Annual General Meeting (and fixtures meeting) will be held on Wednesday 4th April 2018 at the Colchester Officers Club, St John's Green, Colchester, Essex CO2 7EZ starting at 7.30pm. 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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