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Free Taster Sessions!

Membership of CURTC is open to all, very much town as well as gown.  We love welcoming new members of any age.  This ancient and intriguing game is fast or slow, tactical, subtle and addictive.  One of our professionals (Kees, Peter and Mark) is usually here 9am – 5pm on weekdays or 9am – 12 noon on Saturdays, they will be happy to explain and encourage.

We offer free taster lessons in small groups usually on the first and third Wednesday each month at 12:30pm and 5 or 6pm.  Just register your interest with the pros, in person, by telephone, 01223 357106 or by email

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A Tale of Two Countbacks: Day 2 Sunday

Hello again, it’s me, Brooke the dog, with a rather second-hand report from Div II of The East Anglia Cup between the hosts Hatfield, Newmarket, Prested and Cambridge. Mrs Revier couldn’t be there while Mr Revier travelled on that awful motorcycle of his. I’m a German Shepherd with no little dignity. I was not to be found howling down the A1 at 7.30 in the morning but I’ve met with those that did and I’m told they enjoyed the day. On the Saturday Cambridge’s Div I team had lost on countback but Sunday was even closer. The day’s a non-stop series of first to six or the half hour matches with just enough time between to lock up solid.

The Cambridge team was Alasdair Bovaird, Kate Kirk, James Dowson and Mr Revier who normally starts every day with an all too strong cappuccino but not today. This might account for his miserable showing in the day’s opening match, an 8.40 start and a 6/2 loss. He was, though, to make up for it later. The rest of the team then delivered better performances with each, including him, winning two of their three matches putting them in with a chance, especially with two of those wins, not his of course, being 6/0. It’s no surprise his performances improved markedly after a team meeting over coffee next door.

No result was predictable which, I’m told, added to the fun. Hatfield were on court for the day’s last three matches. A win in any would give them the title and none was against Cambridge. They then managed to lose the first two. It was all down to the last match and we’re Cambridge, valiant runners-up and all that. We expected to lose. It’s what we do. We waited until the end more in hope than anticipation. In the day’s last match Hatfield’s Darren Isted faced Newmarket’s Jonathan Becher and before you say anything I know Jonathan’s a member at Cambridge too. Their styles couldn’t have been more different. Darren’s all action, running everywhere, which Jonathan is, erm, loathe to do. Where was our money ? I’m afraid the Cambridge contingent weren’t hopeful. And then the game started. Jonathan delivered a masterclass in understated tennis and came out a comfortable winner leaving a pleasantly surprised Cambridge with the Div II title.

Mr Revier’s come home like a dog with a new bone. He’s always liked playing at Hatfield and the day’s result has left him horribly high. So much so that I’m about to take him out for a walk in the cool of the evening to calm him down. On that walk he’ll tell of Hatfield’s welcome and the effort put in by Robin, their captain on the day, and how beautiful the court and, indeed, the whole setting is and I’ll smile benignly while he repeats himself which he does these days. He really does. Bless him.

Alasdair, James, TK and Kate’s avatar

The Cup at Home, part 1…

…and part 2


EAC Honours Boards

2008Prested Hall
2009Prested Hall
2010Prested Hall
2011Prested Hall
2012Prested Hall
2014Hatfield House
2015Hatfield House
2016Prested Hall
2017Prested HallHatfield House
2018Hatfield HousePrested Hall
2019NewmarketPrested Hall
2020No competitionNo competition
2021No competitionNo competition
2022Prested HallPrested Hall
2024Prested HallCambridge

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A Tale of Two Countbacks: Day 1 Saturday

It was Hatfield’s turn to host the 2024 East Anglia Cup on the penultimate weekend of June. Sadly Hatfield were without a team which at least guaranteed the string of Home Club victories would end at 5. CURTC’s team set out for the 8:26 train to Hatfield except for Charles (first up at 9:50) who noted he’d take the earlier train just ‘to be sure’. And how right he was, as on arriving at the station, the 8:26am was nowhere to be seen as the inbound train had failed to get beyond Letchworth.

Ben and Miles find a train

also en route

Fortunately there were alternatives and we arrived just in time to see Charles turning the tide against his formidable Newmarket opponent, who’d (fortunately) had an 8+ point handicap reduction earlier in the week. Our Doubles pairing made every attempt to not win but ultimately failed and won 8-7. Miles kept going and completed the sweep. Next up was Prested and again Charles got us off to an excellent start so if we could just win one of the next two matches the cup would be making the return journey on Network Rail. However in more or less identical fashion we came agonisingly short in both. The buzzer (40 mins) went with the both match scores tied in games and Cambridge down the Hazard end and unable to complete the sudden death penalty shoot out/super over to our satisfaction.

Go Newmarket! Charles, Ben & Miles do their best

Arghhh… +8 wins it!

So we were reduced to cheering on Newmarket in their battle with Prested in the final match. Our cheering did not have desired effect in the first two matches but if Newmarket could win the last, the overall result would go to a games countback… Jon Fistein (Newmarket) and Josh Pike (Prested) played the match of the day which was finally edged by Jon 8/7. So out came the calculators to find that (unfortunately) Prested were three games to the good. So congratulations to them and Robin Mace from Hatfield for his superb organisation of a great day of tennis (and lunch).

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Adam Phillips

Members will be very sad to learn that Adam Phillips has passed away. Adam grew up in Cambridge and started his apprenticeship at CURTC under Brian Church; longstanding members fondly remember his kindness, even from those early days. Adam went on to work at Canford, where he met a young Peter Paterson, then on to Hatfield and Lord’s. Many Blues teams will no doubt remember Adam’s encouragement and good humour when marking at the Varsity Match. I was delighted when he agreed to return to Cambridge in August 2020 after a long 33-year absence and he seemed thrilled to be back home.

Adam was a much-loved member of our Professional team and we will miss him.

Vix, CURTC President

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The Chetwood* Trophy 2024, 15th/16th June @The Hyde

Saturday Morning Bruce Henning had to face two Simons, both comparatively new to the game, and improving quickly.  Simon Benney found a devilish serve, that Bruce, as a southpaw on a foreign court, struggled to deal with.  Simon Kirk on the other hand had the opposite problem, falling victim to Bruce’s spinney railroad. He did however overcome it, and both Simons progressed to the next round.

In the second group, Jon Pentreath and Alan Sharpe had a back and forth contest… either player could have won it, but Alan’s experience won the day.  Charlie Wells came in with lowest handicap of the tournament, and proved why, as he railroaded Jon off the court.  Alan faired better against Charlie’s railroad, and although Charlie found other serves to get the win, both players went through to the following day.

The final group was the closest of all.  Rachel Hollington and Mary Joyner went back and forth in a quality display of tennis, with Rachel narrowly beating Mary.  Richard Ramjane had to give some big handicaps to both the ladies, and they took full advantage with a barrage of superb volleys.  Richard fought hard and played some good tennis, but on the day Rachel and Mary were too strong.

CURTC at the Chetwood Trophy…

…Simon Kirk and Alan Sharpe

Sunday continued to be a close affair.  Simon Kirk had a very tight match against Alan Sharpe, a re-match of the Cambridge Handicap Final.  Once again they were back and forth but Alan managed his nerves slightly better than Simon and narrowly won.  Then Simon had another nail-biter against Mary.  Either player could have won but Mary nicked it 8/7.  To decide who went through to the final, Mary and Alan made it to 7 all, 40 all, there was a chase, and after a nervous 10 shot rally, Alan managed to put the ball away.

In the second semi-final group, Simon Benney couldn’t find an answer to Rachel Hollington’s demi-pique, and when he did get a chase, Rachel would very quickly volley her way back to the service end. Simon played incredibly well against Charlie, finding himself in the lead at various points, but Charlie played out of his skin to overcome the handicap and the rockets that Simon was firing at him.  The last group game was another grudge match; Charlie and Rachel had played one-another in the Leamington handicap final.  Charlie started off very relaxed, and won the first game comfortably, but that was the only time he looked comfortable.  Rachel started to hit some incredible returns, and Charlie found himself 4-1 down.  He battled back, and not for the first time we had 7/7 40/40 on the scorecard. It was decided by Rachel firing in a return that Charlie couldn’t get back.


Finalists: Alan and Rachel Hollington

In the final, Rachel kept her momentum going, chasing everything down and hitting winners every opportunity she could.  Unfortunately for Alan, a previous injury had come back to haunt him in the semi-final.  Had he run down all of Rachel’s shots like he had in the previous matches, this could have been a very close affair, but Rachel’s pressure was relentless and she deserved the win.

It was a great weekend of tennis.  Out of 15 matches, 5 were 8/7, and 3 were 8/6 with two 7/7 40 alls to decide the finalists.  It felt like anyone could have won the tournament, and it was no surprise that they were all finalists in their club competitions.  What’s more, is that we had a lovely atmosphere, with everyone showing great camaraderie, being good sports on and off the court.  I would like to thank all the competitors and their supporters for visiting The Hyde and making this such an enjoyable tournament.  I would also like to thank the T&RA for their support and sponsorship, and a final congratulation to Rachel Hollington for a well deserved victory!

Jez Brodie, Head Pro, The Hyde

*The Chetwood Tropy is an annual competition for the winners and runners-up of the UK’s Real Tennis Clubs’ Handicap Singles Tournaments. In CURTC’s case, this is (of course) the Graduate Cup

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A Fun Intro Session Last Wednesday

Newcomers get airborne at a CURTC Intro Session!

Photo: Kees

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Recent Intro Sessions

CURTC’s free taster sessions are a great way to get an introduction to our great game. Here’s some recent introductees!

Northstowe Girl Guides

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CURTC Win The Peter Luck-Hille Cup

William, Leandros and Riya with the Cup

In the final of the Peter Luck-Hille Cup at the Wellington Real Tennis Court, CURTC represented by 3 players from Parkside Community College, overcame Wellington College 5/1 to win this National competition for school children. Congratulations go to Leandros Georgoulis, Riya Bharwad and William Buttrey for this excellent achievement.
Thank you’s go to Peter for travelling with the team as their coach at the final and Felicity Ridall-Bell for supporting Kees throughout the season.
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The Champagne Tournament for Newcomers, May 2024

Oliver Anderson-Shah presents the winner with his bottle of Pol Roger

The new intake of 9 Uni students to the Club were invited to compete in the Champagne Tournament on Saturday 18 May, giving them the opportunity to play matches after only starting the game two weeks earlier. In the group stage Marcus Cloke-Browne had convincing victories over Alexander Frenkel, James Gibson and Jacob Haddo, all 6-1. Jacob was able to overcome Alex 6/5 to book his place in the final.  In the Final, Marcus led 5-1 with excellent sidewall serves and strokes to good length from the hazard end. However Jacob was able to win a series of match points to come back to 4-5 which tested  Marcus’ resolve. Marcus stepped up his game, again, with two excellent chases, which he then defended successfully to win the tournament. Special thanks go to Oliver Anderson-Shar and Benjamin Craig for marking the matches.





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MCC Fens Weekend

Every year our friends based at Lords and elsewhere make a weekend pilgrimage to play in the flat lands. Saturday is Newmarket and this year both halves of the MCC-Newmarket trophy were reunited for the first time since 2015. (Having seen the newly reunited trophy pieces I can sort of understand why, as it was not obvious that the two pieces had anything to do with each other!)

Of course the match ended in a tie (4-all, including 3x 7-all, 40-all’s) so the winner to be engraved on the trophy had to be decided by a games countback which ended by a margin of 2 in favour of the hosts. ‘Never in doubt’ as someone muttered….

Sunday was Cambridge and a 10am start which stretched the coffee making resources and biscuit supply somewhat. In order to avoid the plethora of 7-all’s of the previous day, all matches were a single set to 10 of which only 2 went to to 9-all which kept the schedule more or less on track. Cambridge took the honours (5-3) including all 4 matches on Fortress Green. So no countback was needed to decide on the engraving although the absence of any trophy (lost or found) made this somewhat academic.

Thanks to Mark and Peter for their marking and post match encouragements. We look forward to visiting Lords in December and the return, here in the Fens, next May.

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Spot the Senior Treasurer…

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Youf Club

CURTC Youf met Hatfield Youf on a fun day of tennis, pizza, and music this Sunday!  
A day full of social doubles matches mixed Cambridge students, alumni, and visitors from many different clubs – Hatfield, Prested, Middlesex, Queen’s, RTC & MCC.
The club was filled with good vibes, unbelievable rests, and bubbling enthusiasm for the game – even rail strikes couldn’t stop a single player from making their way to Cambridge!
Thanks to everyone for coming down and making it a fantastic day of tennis – hopefully a start to a lovely new tradition 🙂
Thanks to Hatfield Youf for a brilliant original idea and help with transferring the format to CURTC – cheers Paul, Clare, Grant, Minty! And thanks to Kees for all the support and help with organising!
Ulla Petti
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Mark Hobbs – CURTC Professional

Mark Hobbs & Ed Kay

I am delighted to announce that Mark Hobbs has agreed to join our current Professional team of Kees and Peter at the Club. Mark starts this new role on Monday 20 May.

Mark is a well known figure around CURTC, as he has been coaching and marking for us on an ad hoc basis for many years: he first worked at CURTC in 1998; since then Mark has gone on to qualify as a Level 2 Real Tennis Professional as well as holding coaching qualifications in a wonderful array of other sports. He is a keen player himself, with a ‘best handicap’ (at least according to RTO) of 0.1. In addition to Cambridge, Mark has coached at Newmarket and was Head Professional at Prested Hall.

I am sure he will bring enthusiasm and energy to the Club and I know Kees and Peter are looking forward to returning to a fully staffed team. I am very grateful to them for keeping us going through the many staffing arrangements we have had in place over the last few years.

Vix Harvey, CURTC President

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2024 Rose Bowl

The annual club dinner will be held at the club on the Saturday night.
Please DOWNLOAD the entry form here and either email details to:- or telephone 01638 66 66 12

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23/24 East Anglia Pennant: Cambridge Win!

CURTC regained the East Anglian Pennant 2023/24. After another great season, Cambridge came out on top of this year’s EAP by a clear 5 points. Captained by Alan Sharpe with team members of Arthur Adams, Ben Craig, Vix Harvey, & Sonia Badenhorst they overcame stiff opposition in Prested, Newmarket and Hatfield with matches home and away, singles and doubles.

I would just like to say a big thank you to all players involved who made commitments on Thursday evenings through the winter schedule, sometimes not returning back to Cambridge till the early hours of the following morning. We hosted some great dinners afterwards which makes the Pennant such an enjoyable evening. Thank you to my team and we look forward to retaining the Pennant in 24/25

Alan Sharpe – EAP captain & Away travel taxi service

PlayedDoublesSinglesTotal Points


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