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    LEAGUE TENNIS 2019

    After missing promotion to Division 4 by the slenderest of margins last season, this one proved very different indeed. For long periods of the campaign our place in the league was in jeopardy as we were finding it difficult to beat team we had beaten previously with more or less the same personnel!

    Wetherby walked away with the title, not only gaining maximum points but also only losing a few sets. By the time of the last 3 matches, our survival was in the balance, but some splendid performances at Knaresborough and Racquets saw us gain maximum points and finish comfortably above the relegation zone.

    •  New for 2019 – a singles ladder for both men and women (please ask a committee member for details)

    Tom Johnson

    VALE OF MOWBRAY MEN’S DOUBLES LEAGUE – 2019

    Five teams participated in this year’s event, a reduction on previous years. As a result a schedule of home and away matches was introduced, and this seemed to be popular with most of the teams.

    After completion of the league matches the top 2 teams, Mashamshire and Harrogate (a team comprised of a mixture of Harlow and Starbeck members) met in the final, which was held at our courts on the afternoon of Sunday 29th July just ahead of some heavy and blustery showers.

    The match started with the first and second pairs both playing their opposite numbers in 2 very closely fought matches. Neil Hutchinson and Tom Johnson securing a particularly good result in beating Colin Leftley and Andy Guise the number one paring from Harrogate 6-3, 6-3. On the other court Simon Kitching and Frank Kucera got off to a slow start and lost the first set 6-2 to the Harrogate second pairing of Andrew Carrick and John Berger. However, they reacted positively to that scoreline and went on to level the rubber by taking the second set 6-3. Thus at the end of the first round rubbers the match score was 3 sets to 1 to Mashamshire.

    For the second round the pairs swapped. Simon and Frank now faced the big hitting of Colin and Andy, which proved to be too much in a close first set, which went to Harrogate by 6-3. However, once again their resilience came through and they fought hard to win what turned out to be a decisive second set 6-3. On the other court Neil and Tom were facing the net rushing style of play of Andrew and John and lost an early break to go 2-0 down. They then recovered and eventually managed to take the first set 6-4. At 3-2 up in the second the rubber ended due to illness and was therefore declared to be drawn at one set each. Thankfully after a sit down a full recovery was made.

    At the end of all this the match result was 5 sets to 3 in favour of Mashamshire. An excellent result for us and the continuation of our fine form in this competition. We’ve appeared in each of the last 3 finals, winning 2, a pretty good run of form for our relatively small club and one we hope to enhance further in 2020.

    As always we must thank our Team Captain David Miller, not only for organising our own team’s participation in the competition, but also for organising the league and making sure, where possible, that teams fulfilled their fixtures. This league is the only opportunity we have for competitive Men’s Doubles in the area and as such it’s something that most clubs look forward to playing in.

    FUN DOUBLES COMPETITION 2019

    This competition has been the foundation of the club’s internal competition for a number of years. For 2019 we attracted a record (for many, many years) entry of 18 players. The format of the competition requires that players are drawn randomly into pairs and then each pair plays all other pairs in matches consisting of 4 games. Pairings change during each of these matches and individuals total up the number of games they won in each match. Thus after all pairs have played one another the lady, gentleman or intermediate with the most points is classified as the winner in their particular category.

    After the recent wet and windy weather it was a delight to see warm sunny skies return to Masham and the weather remained warm and sunny for the whole afternoon.

    The high player numbers and the warm sunny weather gave the event a special summery feeling and it was very apparent that everyone was thoroughly enjoying the day. This is of course the aim of the competition, so it was pleasing to note that amongst the fine display of tennis, there was a good smattering of banter and the more than occasional sound of people having fun. It was also true to say that there was some fine tennis on display, and it is almost certainly true that the Adult and Intermediate Coaching sessions (April to July) have been of considerable benefit to some of the participants.

    As always competition within the various different events was keen. The Ladies event attracted the highest score of the day and also a new name on the trophy. The event was won, with a magnificent score of 23 by Norma Johnson, who was rightly pleased to have won this event for the very first time, and by a comfortable margin. The Ladies Runner Up was Lara Theakston, who always performs strongly in this and every other event. Norma can be seen collecting her trophy from our Chairman Tom Johnson.

    T he Men’s event was a close run thing between 3 players, Simon Kitching, David Butterworth and Frank Kucera. With one match (each) still to play the result could have gone either way. In the end Simon was the winner with 22 points and thus he retained the cup for a very commendable third year (he shared the trophy in 2017 with 2 other players). The runner up was David Butterworth just one point behind on 21 points. The men can be seen collecting their trophies from our Chairman Tom Johnson.

    T he one disappointment on the day was the lack of Intermediate entry players. Nonetheless our one entrant Hamish Klemz (fresh from a successful round of O’ Level results – congratulations) played very well throughout the afternoon and scored a very creditable 19 points to retain the trophy for the second year. Hamish can be seen collecting his trophy from our Chairman Tom Johnson.

    Thanks go to all those who took part in the event, and all those who made it happen. Especially worthy of a mention here is Tessa Klemz (mother of Hamish) who came along simply to watch her son play and was persuaded to undertake the difficult and onerous (not really!) task of keeping everyone on court playing and accurately recording the scores. Thank you Tessa.

    If you would like to take part in this really fun event in the future, watch out for details of the 2020 event early next year.