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Westward Ho

Posted on November 14, 2017 | in Match Report, NewsTicker | by

Oxford’s perfectly proportioned Court

A squad of CURTC’s finest are back from their trip to the mid west and west of the UK’s Real Tennis Clubs. First up was Oxford on Saturday. We did not get off to a great start… Newly re-recruited Paul Brown took the first set but with exemplary politeness allowed Danny Dawson from his new base to take the next two sets. Johnny Bailey was next up and faced the dilemma of plying Jeremy Irwin Singer who was also preparing lunch. Johnny did the right thing and lost as quickly as was deemed polite for the greater good.

And good it was! Both on the table and off as it signalled a dramatic change in Cambridge fortunes. Tony Kennedy was in fine form and made relatively short work of Chris Peri. Next up was the Saturday ‘dream’ team pairing of Ben Geytenbeek and Charles Pendred. They were up against the infamous (Ron) Mutton chop and ambidextrous serving Stephen Cryan. With the aid of some not so subtle distraction of Stephen in the form of almost true updates from the Scotland rugby match, Cambridge stormed (well walked briskly) back from 3-5 to take the first set. However, their sense of fair play prevailed and they returned the favour by allowing their opponents to take the second set after having a 5-3 lead and a couple of match points. But that was enough politeness as Cambridge took the third set, evening up the match at 2-All. Unfortunately this brought the Knees and Hip combo of yours truly and David Pimblett to Court to try and take the day. We creaked and groaned our way to 5-All against John Stevens and the returning Chris Peri but alas that was it as we let things, our tie and the match slip 5-8 and 2-3. Still an entertaining day of tennis and many thanks to Craig Greenhalgh for marking and organising and Jeremy for that invigorating lunch.

The spacious confines of Bristol RTC

Following a (not so) brief sojourn at the Magdalene Arms, it was on to Bristol the next morning. On the early shift, the Sunday ‘dream’ team of Kennedy and Bailey proved to be too good for our hosts. Johnny remained on Court for his Singles but began to visibly flag as he trailed 3-7 before he put in his bid for comeback of the day to put Cambridge 2-0 up. But would it be enough to give us a winning weekend and to take the coveted ‘Lazarus’ trophy?

Another excellent lunch (thanks to Lyn & Nigel Harradine) did not galvanise our opponents the way it had galvanised our good selves the day before. Back on Court Kennedy put on an immaculate display of hitting the ball straight back down the middle of the court which might have been fine when playing Doubles but was not such a great tactic against a fine striking but somewhat mobility challenged opponent. Still TK prevailed in spite of the singular lack of sympathy for his plight from the Dedans. The Knees and Hip duo were given a second outing but again proved more than unequal to the task as we slipped to a two set to nil defeat sufficiently rapidly to get us back on schedule.

Charles Pendred then took the Court and his somewhat abstemious lunch choices were looking decidedly ill advised as he slipped (well crashed might be a better description) to lose the first 6 games against Patrick Quinn. Fortunately this was a 10 game set and Charles finally got on the scoreboard to take that crucial 7th game. However that seemed a bit of an aberration as the score slid to 2-8. But suddenly there was a ‘Road to Damascus’ like transformation as Charles slowly started racking up the games and the score crept to 8-All. However in that crucial 17th game, Charles was 40-15 down and facing two sub 3yd chases. Incredibly he won one and it was chase off on the other; he got the serve back and served out not just the game but also the set to take the ‘Lazarus’ trophy by acclaim and give Cambridge a winning weekend! Many thanks to our hosts and Kevin King for his patient but eloquent marking.


The squad contemplating the eastward trip Home

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