Owen Saunders writes:
1st Round : Hatfield lost to RTC, 2/3:
This match is sub judice and legal issues prevent us from discussing the results, or discussing just how awesome Alex Rozier-Pamplin was.
|45+ Doubles||Robert Stewart / Alistair Hunter||beat||Isabel Candy / Paul Newton||6/1 5/6 6/2|
|30+ Singles||Nick Brodie||lost to||Alex Rozier-Pamplin||2/6 1/6|
|40+ Singles||Chris Handley||lost to||Martin Daly||5/6 2/6|
|50+ Singles||Nick Pickard||lost to||Doug Sheperdigian||2/6 1/6|
|35+ Doubles||Martin Richards / George Foxhall||beat||Elvira Campione / Owen Saunders||5/6 6/2 6/4|
Quarter-final : RTC beat Hardwick, 5/0:
“Yes I Can(dy)!” : Youth and Experience Blend To Produce Vintage Performance
On the first outing for the club’s new limited edition Team Player shirts, the team followed up their 3/2 win over Hatfield with a crushing 5/0 victory, conceding only 20 games in the process.
First up was RTC’s overseas player, Sherpa Digian. Sherpa Digian’s superhuman strength comes from a childhood spent in the rarefied low oxygen atmosphere of Nepal’s eastern mountainous region. Sherpa Digian was up against the exquisitely named Fiona Fountain (maybe related to the Diana Fountain that can be seen in Bushy Park?), but this was more like a stroll over The Downs rather than climbing Mount Everest, as Sherpa Digian made a mockery of his 48 handicap to win 6/1 6/0. There were few weaknesses in his game as he monopolised the service end, hit the tambour and grille relentlessly and found a nice length. Fountain didn’t play badly, Digian simply played flawlessly. He will be very difficult to beat in the 50+ singles category, as long as he remains eligible for selection.
Great comedy partnerships need a contrasting pair, a straight man and a comic: think of Morecambe and Wise, Cannon and Ball, Little and Large… RTC’s very own version, Campione and Saunders, were next up. Owen Saunders: wistful, chatting to the dedans, making mistakes, forgetting the game plan. Elvolley Campione: determined, focused, putting away all her chances ruthlessly, like a T-800 Terminator sent to assassinate the target without judgement or remorse. The pair played well, always keeping the weaker handicapped opponents – regular sparring foes Colin Butler and Peter Mawson – at bay, and came home comfortably 6/2 6/1.
Next up, and with the chance to secure victory for RTC, was the 45+ doubles pairing of Izzy Candy and Paul Newton. Candy deserves automatic selection into any RTC team, purely on the grounds that her surname makes writing headlines for articles, and including puns, so much easier. Eye Candy, Candy Girl, Yes I Can(dy), etc etc. Newton offers disappointingly few options, unless I can crowbar in the phrases “how do you like them apples” or something about “the gravity of the situation”. Anyway, back to the match report… The guile and canny experience of Newton were an excellent foil for the youthful exuberance of Candy. Candy leapt around like a salmon and snapped up any volleys that came here way, and is improving steadily on her back wall shots. Newton, with the speed and agility of a cuddly Koala bear, marshalled proceedings majestically, rarely putting a foot wrong. They dispatched Tim Tomalin and David Weston 6/1 6/0, to wrap up the match 3/0 for the loss of only 5 games.
The 40+ singles match saw Martin Daly playing in his first ever Brodie Cup dead rubber. Daly saves his best for the Brodie Cup, and once again the Shouty Scot® played a beautiful game against Richard Oldham. Hitting to a good width and length, mixed in with some judicious forcing, Daly wore his opponent down. Although Daly won 6/3 6/5, he considers the match to be a failure due to not serving his famous drag serve into the winning gallery, the sole criterion on which he judges success or failure in a match. Impressively, at 3/5 down in the 2nd set, Daly reeled off 12 out of the next 13 points to win the set and the match.
The final rubber saw Paul Wright take on Simon Constantine in what promised to be a high class 30+ singles rubber. The pair didn’t disappoint, serving up a tasty match full of proper shots that the rest of us can only dream of. Wright made things tough for himself by persisting with his railroad, which the T&RA have officially verified as having the least amount of spin of any railroad in the world, and then serving “one bounce on the penthouse straight onto the back roof”, a serve that is so bad it doesn’t even have a name. Despite this, he maintained composure, dug in and played some exquisite tennis to win 6/3 6/4.
So RTC progress to the semi-finals for the first time in living memory. Some tough decisions for the skipper Dick Cowling – can he drop Wright for Rozier–Pamplin after such a good performance, will Sherpa Digian still be eligible, can Saunders get some lessons in before the next round? – but overall RTC can be very happy with their day’s work. The smart new shirts did the trick.
|50+ Singles||Doug Sheperdigian||beat||Fiona Fountain||6/1 6/0|
|35+ Doubles||Elvira Campione / Owen Saunders||beat||Colin Butler / Peter Mawson||6/2 6/1|
|45+ Doubles||Isabel Candy / Paul Newton||beat||Tim Tomalin / David Weston||6/1 6/0|
|40+ Singles||Martin Daly||beat||Richard Oldham||6/3 6/5|
|30+ Singles||Paul Wright||beat||Simon Constantine||6/4 6/3|