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Note to Self…

…Probably best not to arrange a 10am starting time for an away Club match, especially if you are playing in the first rubber, the day the clocks go forward…

Leamington 0 - 5 CURTC

Leamington 0 – 5 CURTC

Having got up at a ridiculously early time even without the extra hour factored in, thanks to #TeamKirk, we made it to Leamington allowing plenty of time for most of the team to investigate the beer festival going on over the road (“Roaring trade & lots of families” was the verdict).

Tennis got off to a slow start CURTC wise as I lost the 1st set to Leamington MM James Levy but we then went on a roll and reeled off 8 successive sets. I would like to say I wore my opponent down but it became increasingly clear as the match progressed that James was more concerned about the non-appearance of a) Ben, the Pro (feeling a bit ‘poorly’) and b) Lunch. Suffice it to say that Julie (Levy) stepped into the breach lunchwise and that we all wish Ben the best for a speedy recovery.

The next match was all CURTC in the form of the tweeter Kirk (Kate) until Kate had won the first 10 games. Kate then added an eleventh with an outrageous shot off the edge of the Penthouse and the Dedans wall to win a 2&3 chase with her opponent threatening. However, aforementioned opponent then produced an almost identical but even more outrageous shot for a Dedans ‘force’ via the same bit of Penthouse to finally take a game. Great stuff with much fist pumping amidst huge roars from the assembled spectators!

Prof was up next and having comprehensively lost the warm-up and the first two games suddenly started smashing and placing the ball over the place especially the place his opponent was not standing at the time. Several rallies literally used the entire court as backpedaling of a level not seen since the budget was in evidence on both sides of the net. I was marking this rubber using Frostie’s RT marker Pro while James worked on a) lunch, b) Ben and c) wine for the marker. There were a few hiccups and and acknowledgement of consistency for my efforts with the comment “I thought you called all the chases 1/2 a yard long”.

Bailey showing an urgency I’ve only seen before in proximity to a beer festival (oh…, wait a minute) kept the ball rolling literally and figuratively in CURTC’s favour. By this time the mysteries of the Leamington oven had been solved by Julie & Kate’s combined mastery and some ‘bon odeurs’ interfered with the concentration of those in the Dedans.

Felicity Sargeant (aka Fliss) finally got a set for our hosts with an astonishingly consistent attack on the server’s back hand corner. But Howard hung in there and started mixing things up a bit and gradually edged ahead but not without some of the best tennis played on the day. (Fliss is a student at Manchester and I strongly urged her to consider some post graduate study here in Cambridge).

An overexposed image of RT Marker Pro

Many thanks to our Leamington hosts, especially James & Julie, for a most enjoyable day of tennis and an excellent lunch. We look forward to seeing you back here in Cambridge and promise we will start at 11am in next year’s fixture.

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20-29s Tournament

The 20-29s category tournament was held over the last couple of weeks, with just 3 entries (the bearded wonder was incapacitated after his trip to Krakow). In the round robin Matt Shaw topped the group, with Charlie D’Oyly second. However, in the final Charlie managed to overturn his loss in the group stage, winning 8-4.  

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Hampton Court vs Cambridge National League

Cambridge’s permier league team travelled to Hampton Court last Friday to take on the team currently topping the table.

World number 5 Chris Chapman (who was owing 15) beat Ed Kay 5-6 6-3 6-2. Jamie Giddins continued his imperious form to beat Nick Hatchett 6-4 6-4, to ensure Cambridge took the tie.

Next up for Cambridge is the world champion pairing of Rob and Claire Fahey, away at Holyport on 4th April.

Following that, Cambridge’s will be hosting Manchester on Thursday, 13th April starting at 4:30pm in the Regular season finale. Please mark your diaries!

All support is most welcome as Cambridge continue to press for home court advantage in the knock-out stages!

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CURTC Finals day….

…sponsored by Hannay-Robertson Financial Planning

2017 CURTC Ladies Championship

CURTC Ladies +

50’s Final, Andy Smith vs Johnathan Becher

40’s Final, Alex Wright vs Chris Schramm

30’s Final, Pieter van Beesten vs Tim Poolman

60+ Final, Amanda Murphy vs Hugh Markus

“I’d love to have a beer with Duncan”

Click on the Thumbnails for much larger images!

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from the 2017 Pol Roger Trophy Final

The Team listen as Ed gives a speech…

Cambridge Team

Queen’s plus…

2017 Pol Roger Trophy

Cambridge plus…

Click on the Thumbnails for much larger images!

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Pol Roger Trophy Final @RTC

CURTC’s Pol Roger Team with PR’s James Simpson

The CURTC Stream Team were at Hampton Court on Sunday for the Pol Roger Trophy Final where the Home of Real Tennis took on the Queen’s Club. Unfortunately Hampton Court’s Tudor style bandwidth precluded streaming (they are working on it!) but the videos are available by clicking on the Links below

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Prested Hall cat ‘F’ Open Championships 25/26 March

Prested Hall Real Tennis Club are holding an Open Championship for Category F handicap players, that is players with a handicap from 50 to 59, on the weekend of the 25th and 26th of March, and some on Friday the 24th if you can make that.

So far as possible, matches will be the best of 3 six game sets and will be in a knockout draw. Claire and Rob Fahey (World Champions and all-round nice people) are running it and have offered to help players travelling from eg Cambridge with a considerate match time. There is a good bar which does good food, and a swimming pool we can use between matches. They can even arrange accommodation for you.

Entries should be emailed to NOW as the closing date is imminent. Cost is £34 (£22 for 28 and younger) payable now or on the day.

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Pol Roger Trophy Final

CURTC will be playing the Queens club in the Pol Roger trophy final, starting at 10am on Sunday 12th March at Hampton Court Palace. Read More

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CURTC Finals Day sponsored by Hannay Roberston Financial Planning, Saturday March 18th

Hopefully final schedule…. – All matches on Blue Court

  • 50’s 10:15 Andy Smith vs Johnathan Becher
  • 40’s 11:00 Chris Schramm vs Alex Wright
  • 30’s 11:45 Pieter Van Beesten vs Tim Poolman
  • CURTC Ladies Championship 12:30 Victoria Harvey vs Annie Plews
  • 60+ ~13:20 Amanda Murphy vs Hugh Markus

Please come and support our worthy Finalists.
Lunch (Lasagna/Salad/Hot dessert), £7pp, is available but please sign-up HERE

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CURTC Ladies vs Middlesex Ladies

Old friends, new friends and epic rivalries continue at Middlesex

On Saturday 18th February the CURTC Ladies’ Team took on MURTC Ladies’ Team at Middlesex Court. In a warm up for Varsity, the day consisted of four singles and two doubles matches played off handicap; first to eight in the singles and first to six in the doubles. The initial warm up hit on the court felt like playing pinball and we found a new earned respect for our hosts (especially when they play on the Green court at Cambridge). Lucy Barrett was first to play against Lousia Madsen. It was clear from the outset this would be a tussle. It went game for game, until finally at five all, Barrett broke the deadlock winning 8-5.

Our loyalty was then torn as Cambridge’s Olivia Chesser took on Emily Chadwick – Cambridge alumni and former teammate but now playing for Middlesex. Confusingly both were sporting the Cambridge uniform. With exquisite shots Chesser raced to the lead and was one game from the match at 7-2. We really wanted Chesser to win but how could we see a former Cambridge legend go down so easily. We shouldn’t have doubted. Unfortunately with experience on her side Chadwick came back to win 8-7. Some skilled doubles then followed between Barrett & Murphy against Allen & Chadwick and Plews & Chesser against Madsen & Mejibovski. Cambridge took the first match 6-2 but Middlesex levelled winning the second match 6-1.

In the third singles match of the fixture, a great consistency of shot into the decans doomed Amanda Murphy to an 8-4 loss against Middlesex’s Ester Mejibovski. Playing for the draw CURTC’s Annie Plews faced off once again with MURTC’s Georgina Allen. The Interuniversity tournament had seen a memorable clash at Newmarket where Plews went down 5-0 only to come back and win 8-7 – this was the rematch Middlesex had been waiting for. Plews started slowly on the bouncy court and, in a repeat of Newmarket, Allen won the first five games. However this time, Allen was wary and despite bringing the score back to 7-3, Cambridge lost the match 8-3 and the tie 4-2.

We would like to thank the MURTC Ladies and friends for hosting us and for the great meal and marking. I think we need another fixture back in Cambridge soon.


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Busy Couple of Days

The Women’s and Men’s Varsity Teams are in action today & tomorrow at Lord’s. Across town at Queen’s, Jamie is in the Amateur Doubles semis @5pmn and Ed is in the Final of the Amateur Singles @11am tomorrow. Next weekend it is the turn of the 2nd’s Varsity here in Cambridge. Please drop by and lend some support if you can. Good luck to one and all and Play well!
Live Stream from Lord’s (currently no audio)

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Check the CURTC Twitter Feed

Ed & Jamie through to the Amateur Semis… Gotta be a first for CURTC or any other club!

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Giraffe Club Tournament Photos

Only 4 photos this time…. Click on the images for much bigger versions.


Chaseless Saturday

The Final

Prize Giving…

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Hardwick House pay a Visit

CURTC 4 -1 Hardwick House TC

February is mostly dedicated to the Category tournaments and practice for a series of matches against the other place at the end of the month. However, a visit from Hardwick House proved a timely reminder that our favourite sport provides a most enjoyable way of spending an afternoon in good company with some excellent food, wine and dare I say it Tennis! The scorecard doesn’t reflect the closeness of the contest let alone the enjoyability of the contest. Not surprisingly, we already have half a team for the return visit next year to one of RT’s iconic venues!
Special thanks to Peter for marking and match manager Karen for an excellent lunch.

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40’s Roll On

Congratulations to Chris Schramm & Alex Wright who are the latest additions to the race card for Final’s day, sponsored by Hannay-Robertson Financial Planning, on Saturday March 18th.

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CURTC vs Wellington Live Stream

Yes, the stream team will be back on Thursday (16th) with all of the National League Match between CURTC and Wellington.
The first match will start at 5:30pm with Jamie Giddins vs Adam Player followed by Ed Kay vs Peter Wright. Two tight matches are in prospect and with only the top three teams going through to the post-season Cambridge really need to win.

Jamie vs Adam Start: 10:40
Ed vs Peter Start: 1:17:05

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Final’s Day Update

2017 50’s Category Tournament

Congratulations to Amanda Murphy & Hugh Markus who will battle for the 60+ Category Cup on Final’s day, sponsored by Hannay-Robertson Financial Planning on Saturday, March 18th. They will join Vix Harvey & Annie Plews, the CURTC Ladies Championship Finalists.
In the 50’s Category tournament there were some big upsets. Amanda nearly made it from her ‘wildcard’ entry and Will Boys-Stones staged a heroic fightback but just fell short against Andy Smith who will face Johnathan Becher on the 18th.

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150 Years of Play Celebration: Doubles Highlights

Just in time for the 151st Anniversary, CURTC’s Stream & Video Team bring you some carefully (you have no idea how carefully) selected highlights of the Doubles Exhibition between Chris Bray & Ed Kay and Jamie Douglas & David Woodman. Enjoy!

Thanks to Paul Brown & Frederika Adam for the original footage and Julian Stafford & David Hope for the video editing.

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Congratulations to….

… the Giraffe Tournament Finalists! Preceding the Final, an entertaining series of Group matches, where the after effects of the previous evening were much in evidence, included the first ‘chaseless’ set of the Tournament. The names of the chaseless are being withheld by request. To the left, Runners-up Andy Smith (L) and Robin Faux (R) receive their loot from Organizer in Chief, Vix Harvey. They were beaten 8-7 in a pulsating Final by the Varsity Ladies Team pairing of Annie Plews (C/L) and Amanda Murphy (C/R) seen below with Lucy Barrett (L) and Emily Chadwick (R).

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Giraffe Club Tournament Finalists…

Giraffe Tournament Group Stage Results

Congrats to our worthy Finalists who live to take the Court tomorrow.
In no particular order they are: Alex Evans & Andrew Petrie, Amanda Murphy & Annie Plews, Jimmy ‘The Beard’ & Colin Clifton Brown, Emily Chadwick & Will Boys-Stones and Robin Faux & Andy Smith.
They get to join Ed Kay & Matt Shaw who clearly have something on the Organisers that justified a bye into the Final Rounds…
The ‘Oh, So unlucky’ award goes to Catherine Stewart & Carina Mouritsen-Luxhoj who lost out on the second tie breaker with an honourable mention to Andrew Snodgrass & David Hope.

Thanks to all those who took part, I certainly had a good if not desperately successful time on Court and a thoroughly enjoyable evening afterwards!!

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Giraffe Club Exhibition Matches, February 10th

To kick-of the 1st Giraffe Club Weekend, the Ladies World Champion, Claire Fahey visited the Home of Real Tennis to play against CURTC’s very own Ed Kay. But first she ran some Masterclasses for our Varsity squad and Juniors before teaming up with Alex Evans to play some Doubles against Ed and Capt’n Jimmy with Scott marking and Emily Chadwick providing some Commentary.
Click for Video and Timings

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CURTC vs Wellington National League, Thursday Feb 16th

Cambridge’s Division 1 National League team take on Wellington next Thursday, 16th February. Starting at 5.30pm Jamie Giddins (8) takes on Adam Player (10). Adam is fresh off his win in the Seacourt Silver Racket, while Jamie will be looking to get his first home win of the season. Around 7pm Ed Kay (2) will play against Peter Wright (5). In their only previous meeting Ed won in the final of the MCC all comers, so Peter will be out for revenge. Please come down to support the Cambridge team!
If you can’t make it to the Club, please follow along via the Live Stream (details forthcoming) and send in your support via Twitter or the Live Comments on the Youtube page.


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CURTC vs Queen’s, March 12th @Hampton Court

RTC @Hampton Court

CURTC will be playing the Queens club in the Pol Roger trophy final 10am-4pm on Sunday 12th March at Hampton Court Palace. Can anyone who would like to come down and support please contact Nick Wood ( Also let Nick know if you would like lunch (£15). Any support would be much appreciated by the CURTC team.


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60+ Category Tournament Update

2017 60+ Group Stage

2017 60+ Group Stage

We have our first Category Semi Finalists! Congratulations to Richard Bowers and Howard Markus who will face off in a repeat of last year’s Final along with Amanda Murphy and James Dowson, the other Semi-Finalists. The winners do battle for a place on the Honours Board and a Cup for the mantelpiece on Finals Day, Saturday March 18th, sponsored by Hannay Robertson Financial Planning.

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Ladies Club Championship

CURTC held the first rounds of the Ladies Club Championship this weekend. As usual there was a good mix of seniors and students (and one intrepid 10 year old managed to sneak a few matches).

Friday evening’s round was for newer players: Bex Faux played well from the start, hitting the ball low and fast, not allowing Bella Harvey to find her best strokes. Bex won 6-1. Carina Mouritsen then stole victory from Catherine Stewart , 6-5, in an excellent match with many long and hard fought rallies. Bella, having regained her composure and donned a rather fetching bobble hat to combat the hyperborean conditions, twirled around the court to defeat both Catherine and Carina and finished second in the group; quite an achievement for the youngster!

In Saturday morning’s group, first up were Karen Pearce against Victoria Harvey, swapping the lead throughout until, at 7-6 down, Vix saved a match point, then won that game and led in the final game. Vix didn’t look back, maintained her momentum, and won the match. Amanda, the University Team Captain, showed the improvements she had made by pushing Karen in an excellent match but Karen was too consistent, attacking the corners effectively and winning 8-3. Vix started well against Amanda, then Amanda came back and led 7-5. Vix saved a match point again and although utterly exhausted, managed to win 8-7.

Bex earned her spot to take on Linda Fairbrother and Annie Plews in the afternoon group. Bex’s inexperience wasn’t going to hold her back and she showed excellent speed to get to balls after she served but the ball kept coming back in her matches against Annie and Linda; and, whilst Bex won many points she lost 8-0 in both matches. Annie made it clear that she had been working hard on her game this season and, whilst Linda showed why she has dominated this event in previous years by fighting for each point, Annie’s movement and composure kept her ahead throughout the match, Annie won 8-6 to reserve her place against Vix in the final on March 18th.

Whatever happens on March 18th, there will be a new name on the championship board….

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Cambridge vs Petworth, Pol Roger Trophy Semi-Final

Ed Pearson and Jules Camp complete a 5-0 sweep for Cambridge in an exciting 3-setter.
On to RTC on March 12th for the Final vs Queen’s! Click for Video and Timings

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Tayabali & White singles – Th’underdogs v T&W2

In the opening match of the Tayabali & White 2017 Cambridge Singles League for Division 3, Th’underdogs took on Tayabali & White 2 (there’s a Tayabali & White 1 with presumably better players in it somewhere above us)

First up was Neil Ruffles against the eponymous Simon White who managed to claw back from Neil’s killer serves with some skillful corner shots to take the second set and then the third set. Neil’s game seemed to suffer from some self-frustration as his grip on the game lessened, which only accelerated the slip. He managed to get on top of this but slightly too late to help secure the last set.

Next up was Robert Altham against Tom Hartley who both seemed to be taking it rather too lightly. Robert’s fantastic boasts from the mainwall corner of the service end meant the ball kept just dying out of reach from Tom. Robert took the first set 6-3. Tom eventually realised about halfway through the match that a mainwall nick shot around the last gallery line could stop this and it had the added advantage that it often gained a chase and this turned the match in his favour, and gave him the second set 6-3. Tom eventually took the final set also with the score of 6-3, making it 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 to Tom.

The final leg saw Alasdair Poore take on Guy Kirk who was pleased to learn he was spared any pressure for the match. However, this was not perhaps the case for Alasdair as he clearly cared passionately about winning his match. Guy’s relaxed air helped him gain a comfortable lead in the first set but Alasdair managed to pull himself out of his low spot and fought back bravely managing to hold Guy to five all in the second set. At 40-all, game, and potentially set and match point, Guy served, Alasdair returned, Guy shut it down into the corner and Alasdair was unable to fetch it back.

A clean sweep for Tayabali & White but a valiant effort and some fantastic food from Th’Underdogs

Th’underdogs (Alasdair Poole rec’r) v T&W2 (Guy Kirk serving)

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CURTC vs Petworth, Semi Final of the Pol Roger Trophy…

… is this Sunday (29th) @CURTC. It all starts at 11am. The best of the best will be on Court so please come along to the Club and lend your support. (I’ve seen some of the squad practicing recently, they definitely need deserve all the support we can give them!). If you can’t make it to the Club, please follow along with the live stream and let us know how things are going via Twitter (@cam_tennis) or Youtube.

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Jingle Bingle… It’s over….

…but not before we congratulate our final three ‘Leaders of the Pack’: Robert Doe, Keeler Mears & Peter Cowley (vrrrmm, vrrrmm..) along with Stephen Doel, the Social Elf aka Santa’s Pet. Hopefully there will be a bottle of wine prize for each of our four worthy winners. Stayed tuned for Easter Scramble planned for the err, um.. Easter vacation unless we can come up with a catchier/punnier name!

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CURTC Crumbles at the last…



Hatfield House TC were in town on Saturday, and what a gripping day of tennis it was. Seven Singles matches were on the schedule and three went to 5-all, 40-all in the 3rd set. Kudos to Gillian Moore for winning her match in this fashion and commiserations to Howard Richardson and Andrew Snodgrass (after a 2+ hour epic with all three sets ending 6-5) who didn’t. Anthony Bailey & Nick Heath were the other CURTC winners but sadly David Hope lost the deciding match (in the third set of course) to give HHTC a 4-3 overall victory.
Then it was on to the main business of the day, Lunch. CURTC match managers are a creative lot in the kitchen but Andrew & David pushed up the bar another notch with their menu of MacCheese+ and Focaccia followed by massive amounts of 4:3:2 Crumble. In fact CURTC now boasts two Crumble makers of the highest class so a Crumble Rumble is definitely on the cards.

Thanks are due to our sporting visitors along with Peter, Simon and Kees who not only marked but made sure the whole schedule made sense (Peter) and applied some key mid match repair to a recalcitrant calf (Kees).

Finally, some pictures of the lunchtime attractions…

Going, Going... (with matching forks)

Going, Going… (with matching forks)

Andrew's Crumble in action

Crumble Action Shot

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