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Varsity 2nds: Day 1

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East Anglia Pennant vs Prested

On 13th February Cambridge hosted the latest East Anglia Pennant fixture v Prested Hall.

This was a big fixture as Prested were sitting at the top of the league before this match.

Oliver Brenton played a great singles match and showed good focus and determination to win 6-4 against Graham Wilcox. Ben Geytenbeek then fought hard but lost 4-6 to Adam Dixon-Smith. Ben and Oliver had a blinder of a doubles match against Graham and Adam. It went all the way to 5 all, 40 all, and having the best rally of the whole match on that point, won 6-5 to take a crucial match for Cambridge.

In his singles, Julian Stafford had a close match with Richard Ramjane, and Julian edged ahead to clinch a win 6-4. Jim Ludekens faced a tough opponent with a stylish game in his singles where Brian Muir dominated and secured a singles win for Prested 6-2. Julian and Jim were successful in their doubles, Julian was solid throughout the match and although Jim had a few shaky periods, they finally conquered the opposition 6-5.

So, the overall score came out as a 4-2 victory for Cambridge. Cambridge are currently second in the league table with one final fixture to go; a home match against Newmarket on 13th March. We are looking for a big victory!

Jim Ludekens

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The Stream Team are Back…

…but for two days only

The Varsity 2nds take place this weekend at the Home of Real Tennis. Please come along to the Club and support if you can. If you can’t follow the stream by clicking on the links below:

Friday, from 2pm

Saturday, from 9am

Please let us know you are watching by posting a comment or two on the YouTube page!

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60s Category Tournament

Congratulations to Dave Isherwood and Tony Kennedy who will contest the 60 Category Final on Finals Day, sponsored by Hannay Robertson Financial Planning, on Saturday, March 16th.

How Tony & Dave made it to the final

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Giraffe Club Cup: Part 2

Click on the Pictures for larger versions and/or the Caption of the Collages for a Google Photo Gallery of the individual images and more…

But first

Best Bobble

Kevin Hefferman: Best Bobble

and finally…

Masterchef

MasterChef

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Giraffe Club Cup

On Court!

Giraffe Club Cup, February 2nd, 2019

Thanks to Niholson Gin for their….

Nicholson Gin

…generous sponsorship!

CURTC played host to the Giraffe Club Cup over the weekend to promote students Real Tennis in Cambridge, with 32 players across two divisions playing doubles. The match play was followed by an exhibition match between Ed Kay and Jamie Giddins, before everyone headed out to Jesus College for a black-tie dinner. Huge thanks go to Nicholson Original London Dry Gin for their sponsorship of the drinks reception and to Kees ,Vix, Peter, Simon and Mark for their organisation and marking, and to those who prepared food for the lunch and canapes. Read More

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East Anglia Pennant: Cambridge @Prested

The latest East Anglia League match was between Cambridge and Prested. Richard Jones was on first for Cambridge and was close to defeat early on but came back with determination, bringing it to 5 all, but his opponent just edged it in the deciding game. Carl Backhurst then had a great back and forth match where he eventually lost 6-5.

Jim Ludekens then played and won, but guess what, the score was 6-5! Julian Stafford then faced a tough opponent who served a powerful railroad and put him under pressure, he fought hard but lost 6-4. In the doubles Richard and Carl battled hard but lost 6-5. Julian and Jim played well together and conquered their opponents 6-2 with some great serving. It was an evening with a lot of close matches and we look forward to the home fixture at CURTC to get our revenge. Read More

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Newmarket v CURTC Ladies, Sunday, 13th., January, TK reports

The handicaps were high but so was the entertainment value of the tennis on offer. That it came down to the last game of the day’s last match to leave a six all draw was somehow fitting. A day enjoyed by all.

Tony Kennedy

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The Dutch visit the Home of Real Tennis

CURTC vs The Dutch, 5/1/19

CURTC vs The Dutch, 5/1/19

5 of the 12 matches went the full distance and 2 more were only one game short of the maximum. So the handicap system seems in good shape but the schedule did suffer! At the end of it all, CURTC had managed to reverse the orange tide which had engulfed us over the past two years. But it did take a considerable number of games to do so, I reckon the entire match comprised of very nearly 90% of the maximum possible number of games!
Picking out even a few highlights is impossible but I’ll do it anyway. Our Doubles went to 40-all in the last possible game. At no point was either pair ahead by more than two games and the lead changed at least 4 times. We only won when we finally managed to induce a volleying error from our worthy opponents. I was pretty shattered mentally as much as anything after it was all over. And then I had to go and do it all again in my Singles match except I lost (in the last possible game, of course).


And if you want to see all the results…. here you go!
Click on any of the images for a larger version and if you want to see a Google Photos gallery of the individual shots (plus a few extras) please click HERE
Many thanks to Peter, Simon, Mark & Kees who marked the marathon and the CURTC Juniors for their patience….

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East Anglia Pennant at Half Way

Played Doubles Singles Total Points
PRESTED 3 6 8 14
CURTC 3 3 8 11
NRTC 3 1 5 6
HHTC 3 2 3 5
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2018 Christmas Tournament

This year’s Christmas tournament was as successful as ever, with a full draw of 24 Christmas hangovers on court fighting for the coveted box of chocs. The creative format of the draw, by John Trapp, requires successful players to be able to overcome opponents of vast differences in handicap in singles matches plus the ability to coordinate effectively in new doubles pairings.

Groups are formed of a low handicap, a medium handicap and a high handicap – only one player makes it though to the knockout rounds. In the knock-out stage John Reid struggled with Noah Wright’s serve and Tony Kennedy couldn’t cope with Alex Peake’s energy, setting up the semi between Alex and Noah in which Alex won 6-2.

In the bottom half of the draw Geoffrey Greatrex defeated Richard Bowers on match point for both players, and Alan Harris (who gallantly stood in for the group winner Jeremy F) also won 6/5 versus John Burnett. Alan’s smooth swing and calm movement allowed him to conserve his energy and win 6/3 against the tiring Geoffrey.

For a further year the final was viewed by family members trying to remain unbiased with their applause but quietly hoping to return home with the box of Lindt. After a close first game which Alan won, Alex took a strong 4-1 lead with excellent speed around the court. However, Alan calmly came back to make it 5-all.

The 15 year old Alex almost lost his opportunity as the handicap in the final game was now providing Alan with less of a disadvantage, but Alex showed his desire for the prize and attacked consistently for the dedans, which proved a winning strategy.

Congratulations Alex!

Kees

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East Anglia Pennant Update

CURTC’s winning streak came to an end on December 13th away at Newmarket. The team lost 4-2 (but there is a home leg to redeem ourselves).
The team was:
Julian Stafford
Jim Ludekens
Ollie Brenton
Alan Sharpe

In spite of some very promising starts, the team was rarely able to clinch victory. However, we retain 2nd place in the League with an important match against the current leaders on January 10th.

Jim Ludekens

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Getting the Royal Treatment

CURTC braved the latest named storm (Deirdre?) last Saturday to visit the latest of the Real Tennis Courts at Hampton Court. Sadly the 16th century court is no more so we had to make do with the 17th century version. The place is steeped in history and as a recent guide to tennis (1553) states,

this game has been created for a good purpose, namely, to keep our bodies healthy, to make our young men stronger and more robust, chasing idleness, virtue’s mortal enemy, far from them and thus making them of a stronger and more excellent nature

I guess, not much has changed in the intervening centuries beyond the benefits now being available to both men and women and no longer restricted to the young.

The court is huge but quite bouncy so getting a hazard chase proved surprisingly (depressingly??) easy, as I was to discover. CURTC’s day had started brightly on both the trains and the M25. The brightness continued as Jo & Dave overcame a major handicap disadvantage and two spirited opponents and we moved smoothly through the first set and to a 5-3 lead in the second.
What could possibly go wrong, you dear reader, and those in the Dedans could reasonably ask? Lunch it appears. The Dedans emptied and so did our fortunes. This sadly presaged a rather dramatic change in CURTC’s day as the G-Men took a bit too long to come to grips with the Court. However, to be honest I did not see much more than the last point of their match as I was discovering quite how splendid the lunching arrangements were both in the Club and the neighbouring Palace. TK & Andy also struggled although it did give me an opportunity to take a photo showing quite how large the court seems.

Alas I missed DHR’s noble effort to make the scoreline more reasonable as I had to venture out into Deirdre to find a train. This proved remarkably easy until we made a un-scheduled stop at Stevenage. A tree had buried a train and Royston, the driver breezily told us followed by ‘I’m going to open the doors in case anyone would like to get some fresh air’. ‘Oh dear tree’ (Deirdre, geddit? No, Ed), I thought but I can take a hint so I sprinted* for a cab…
2018 Royal Tennis Court v Cambridge Results-1

*Yeah, ok, slight exaggeration but reads better than ‘lumbered’

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Pol Roger Cup

Cambridge move on to the semi-finals following a 3-2 win at Moreton Morrell. Thanks to Keith Beechener for the pix!

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70+ Category Tournament

Last weekend saw the first of this season’s Category tournaments for those with handicaps of, you guessed it, greater than 70. On Friday evening the 80+ handicappers had their own mini tourney with two qualifying for the Saturday groups. So congratulations to Christopher Desira who has the 80+ bragging rights for the rest of the season. Congrats also to Jacqueline Siu who also made it through to Saturday but special congratulations to everyone who signed up and played!

On Saturday, the groups went more or less to form as Elle Curzon-Green and Krittka D’Silva won their groups with 3 wins each but with a couple of close 6-5 matches on the way. They met Paul Fox and Joss Poulton in the two semi-finals in another good mix of ‘Town & Gown’. Elle presumably not wearing a gown was clearly unstoppable and Paul edged the other semi to earn a rematch in the Tournament final which will be played on Finals Day, sponsored by Hannay-Robertson Financial Planning, Saturday, March 16th next year. Click on the image below and you will be able to see all the results.

Elle & Paul’s route to Finals day

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