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

Posted on June 18, 2024 | in Tournament | by

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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