Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Charles Acheson-Gray Cup 2013


On Saturday 16th March David Watson and I partnered up in a pro-am doubles tournament held at the Queen's Club in London for the Charles Acheson-Gray Cup.

Each paring has to represent an active Real Tennis club.  and the 6 other parings were;
Tom Freeman/ Angus Williams - Holyport
Tom Seymour-Mead/ Andrew Fowler - Queen's
James Acheson-Gray/ Adam Phillips - MCC
Simon Stevens/ Andrew Lyons - Queen's
James Coyne/ Claire Vigrass - Queen's
Mike Carter/ Ricardo Smith - Prested Hall

David and I played each of the above in one set first to 7. We opened up the day with a victory over the pairing of Acheson-Gray/ Phillips, before going down in two close matches against Coyne/ Vigrass and Seymour-Mead/ Fowler, and a rather disappointing loss to Carter/ Smith before rounding out the day with wins over Freeman/ Williams and Stevens/ Lyons to sneak into 4th place and a semi final. David and I had the strongest handicap so we had given some quite difficult handicap starts to some of these pairs especially our semi final opponent and eventual winners in James Coyne, rackets world number 6 - and one hell of a good eye... and Claire Vigrass, Ladies Real Tennis World Champion. 

This tournament is played in memory of Charles who tragically took his own life due to depression a few years ago at such a young age (28), he was a solicitor in a major City of London commercial firm after attending university at Cambridge. Of which I didn't know leading into the day. 
It was a great day's tennis attended by not only James (brother) who played but the parents of James and Charles were present for the 2nd half of the day and the presentation.

Many thanks to David for asking me to play, personally I had a great yet tiring day of tennis and in genuinely good company,


Tuesday, 12 March 2013

National League 2012/13


Another season is drawing closer to a finale in the Premier Division of the IRTPA National League, Nick and I were scheduled for an away fixture on the Thursday 7th March at Prested Hall against the team of Tom Durack and Ricardo Smith.
The fixture went ahead but unfortunately for me I had to find a replacement player at the 11th hour. On Wednesday just over 24 hours before the match I developed an eye infection and after seeing a doctor made the decision to find a fill-in in the form of Matty Ronaldson.

Nick and Matty headed for Prested trying to defeat them on their home turf. Matty kicked things off against local Head Professional Ricardo Smith. The result went to the local and Prested with the opening rubber 6/3 3/6 6/2.

Next up was Nick taking on Holyport/Petworth Senior Professional Tom Durack. Nick was just a bit too strong and after a late scare took the match and levelled the evening 1 rubber all with a straight sets victor 6/1 6/5.

The doubles was to decide the night and Prested ran away with the set and took the points with a 2-1 rubber win with an 8/2 victory in the doubles.

A big thank you to Matty for stepping in and almost winning his singles match against Ricardo who knows the very strange Prested glass backwalled court better than the back of his own hand.

Our 6th and final match is a return fixture against Prested at RTC on Saturday 13th April. A win will all but tie up a finals place in 3rd possibly still to snatch 2nd and a home Semi Final. Below is the poster for the upcoming fixture. It would be great to have strong home crowd support to make the visitors shake in their boots...

Also a quick side note that the final of the Premier Division is to be held at RTC on Wednesday 24th April and tickets are to be purchased via the IRTPA, details very soon.