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Battle of the *URTC’s

Posted on October 24, 2023 | in Match Report, NewsTicker | by

The Millennium Court

An intrepid band of CURTC members battled the remnants of Storm Babet and Network Rail’s ‘brilliant’ strategy for dealing with aforesaid remnants to visit MURTC in Hendon last weekend. Nestled alongside a multitude of multi lane highways in various states of disrepair, the magnificent Millenium court is under threat of closure as many of you will no doubt have heard. Things may not look quite as bleak as they did before the pandemic hit but there is no solution in sight. MURTC currently have an enthusiastic set of students playing (they are looking forward to the Inter Unis at CURTC in March) and their current junior pro is an alumnus as was at least one member of their team.

The early shift saw myself and Charles Norbury take on Mark Hefferman and CURTC alumnus, Danny Leboff, in Singles and Doubles. Charles started off a storm until I started watching from the Dedans when a series of 40-all points went the Hendon Way and it was first blood to MURTC. The Doubles was a different story as while playing I could not watch from the Dedans but only admire Charles’ near faultless display of volleying from the Court. 1-all. Unfortunately Danny has two big advantages over me as I quickly discovered. He is a lot younger and quicker and perhaps more crucially at MURTC, closer to the ground and although I staged a bit of a comeback from 2-6 it was only enough to avoid a large loss on RTO.

Next up, was the biggest age difference of the day (and possibly ever at MURTC) of 65 years (give or take) as Felicity Riddall-Bell took on the experience of Alastair Hume. They traded the first 6 games in a remarkably cagey contest until Felicity unleashed a Dedans barrage which took the spectators and no doubt Alastair rather by surprise and suddenly Felicity was serving for and winning the match. The CURTC Doubles pairing of Felicity and Danny Lawrence did get off to a bit of a rocky start (it was Danny’s 2nd game of Doubles) but slowly the CURTC pair gained composure and control as a more relaxed Danny and Felicity played some impressive shots and avoided both the ‘double(s) leave’ and running into each other.

At this point the rumours started swirling that Kings Cross had been closed so I missed the denouement of Danny’s Singles against CURTC Country member, Colin Luke. The only 8-7 result of the day and it meant CURTC’s middle order had swept the board and put CURTC 4-2 up with 3 to play…


Sadly the 3 to play all went the Hendon Way as I struggled to find a way into Kings Cross where the Cambridge trains were running but empty as getting on them was such a challenge. The entire station was closed off both from ground level and below with supposedly several thousand people inside. Unbelievable.
Many thanks to MURTC for such a warm welcome and the Pros Jack Carter and Will Burns for organising, marking and lunch. Fingers crossed that a deal can be done to save their splendid Court!


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