A large entry in the two draws (the Inter-Uni Cup and the Handicap Singles) made this years Pol Roger Inter-Uni Event another great success. Players from Cambridge (C) were joined by representatives from Middlesex (M), Newcastle (N), Exeter (E), Bristol and Durham over four days of intense but very good natured competition.
In the first semi-final of the Inter-uni cup Cambridge 2 played Exeter in what was probably the best contest of this tournament. Home heroes Matt ‘tonsils’ Shaw (25.7) and Jimmy ‘5.18am’ Campbell (27.2) faced Ben Boddington (13.7) and Tom Larminie (54.6). The two singles matches went with handicap and left the rubber to be decided by the doubles. After trading games for the first half of the match, Matt Shaw found some good serves (after much urging by his partner) and clinical volleys to compliment the increasingly solid back court play of Campbell. Cambridge completing the win to set up a repeat of last year’s all Cambridge final against CURTC 1 (Ed Kay, Jamie ‘who?’ Giddins and Alex Evans) who had already cruised through their previous rounds to reach the final themselves.
The final got under way with a clash of the men’s and women’s captains Alex ‘jet lag’ Evans (13.7) and Sophie ‘Osprey of the year’ Morrill (46.1) and was continued with Ed ‘thanks for coming’ Kay (4.1) vs Jimmy C, both ties going as expected to CURTC 1. Playing for pride, Matt Shaw returned from playing Fives to partner Jimmy in the doubles. Despite Jimmy’s cunning plan to put the opposition off with looping lob dedans forces, the 1st team pair were triumphant.
In this year’s Handicap Singles Tournament Carley Williams (M), Keeler Mears (C), Vix Harvey (C), Max Vasey (N), Abilash Chauhan (M) and Alexander Mansfield (E) comprised the fine crop of talented newcomers who progressed to the knock-out stage of the tournament. They were joined by seasoned campaigners Nick Worsnop (C), Tom Larminie (E), Amanda Murphy (C), Tufan Dirik (M), Venetia D’Arcy (C) and Hugh Vermont (N) who had all made considerable improvements to their playing standard since last December. Cambridge players, Nick Worsnop and Venetia D’Arcy were eliminated in the semi finals by Abilash Chauhan and Alexander Mansfield.
During the final contested between Abi (61.2) and Alex (58.0) it quickly became clear that both players were far better than they’re handicaps. The ‘battle of the bandits’ provided great entertainment to the assembled spectators, partisan and impartial alike. One particular shot from Alex led British Open veteran Ed Kay to remark ‘that’s literally the best volley I’ve ever seen!’. The standard and length of rallies confirmed to the large crowd that these were two players who would quickly move down the rankings. Alex’s experience and left-handed railroad proved too much for Abi, who only started playing this term, leaving Exeter in a good mood for they’re trip back home.
Thanks go to the club professionals for organising the event, Pol Roger for they’re unerring liquid sponsorship, Sue Ecob for preparing excellent food for the Saturday evening dinner and George Pearson for presenting the prizes at the end of the tournament. Most of all, Cambridge extends sincere gratitude to the large number of students that travelled from all parts of the country to take part and make the tournament such a good natured and enjoyable event.