Woodfield Grove Tennis Club took full honours at the Millennium Cup Masters on Saturday, 1 August, hosted by Telford Park Lawn a Tennis Club in celebration of fifteen years of the local team competition that has involved hundreds of members from the clubs of Streatham.
Fielding the bare minimum of a team, David, Aiden, Maggie and Anna stepped up the plate and came up trumps.
The late arrival of Snookie added Peter to the mix, who able assisted both as co-captain and bench sub.
It was all about celebrating fifteen years of the Millennium Cup and four of the five participant clubs took part, with Wigmore absent due to being unable to field a team, which was disappointing.
Three rounds of ties were played, with Grafton LTC, Norbury Park, LTC, Telford Park and Woodfield Grove playing each other during the course of the day in timed ties over singles, doubles and mixed.
“It was tricky, making sure you got all the matches played in the timeframe,” said Nigel, Norbury Park’s captain. “But the short format is fun because it engages everyone quickly!”
Fast4 was launched in Australia in January and allows players to play a quick match by winning four games to win a set with a short tiebreak at three games all.
For the MC Masters, each match comprised of one set and all games won (and lost) counting towards each club’s cumulative score line.
“The aim is to win as many games as possible,” said Steve, Telford Park’s Captain. “And lose as few as possible!”
WGTC established an early lead after the first tie lasting 90 minutes, defeating Telford Park 15-9.
The opening men’s singles went to a short tiebreak in favour of Telford’s Robin, who defeated Aiden 4-3, after which the eventual winners kicked in to lose just five more games in the next four matches.
A break for a fabulous barbecue lunch provided by Telford Park followed, which was enjoyed by all sitting outside in the glorious weather.
After an extended lunch break, the Tie Period was reduced to 75 minutes to increase the challenge and WGTC was up for it.
Second round opponents were Grafton and although they were pushed in both the doubles and got pipped by the clock, Woodfield still recorded a convincing win, 18-10.
Aiden found his range on the synthetic clay and 14-year old Anna, who proved to be the backbone of the team, came through their singles with the loss of only two games between them.
Grafton’s Rosie teamed up with Fiona and pushed Anna and Maggie hard but lost out in the short tiebreak, while Peter and Aiden proved too strong for Will and Paul (G) 4-2.
Murray and Julie proved strong challengers against Snookie and Maggie but ran out of time, 3-2.
Maggie was struggling with a bad back but since Woodfield only fielded the minimum two ladies, soldiered on bravely, pairing up with Anna to win the doubles in another short tiebreak.
“We thought of substituting Maggie but she was determined to play her part,” said David, WGTC’s Captain.
“She and Anna did really well!”
The final round of ties was played after a short break with WGTC leading the pack, just two points ahead of Norbury Park. There was all to play for…
Norbury challenged them hard but Woodfield ultimately proved too strong, winning through 17-12 when time ran out on them.
Terry McGranaghan and Andrew King (NP) snatched the men’s doubles from Aiden and David, despite the substitution of Peter mid stream, in the tiebreak.
As everyone repaired to the clubhouse for a sumptuous tea and the presentation, the final standings were confirmed by the referee:
- First Place – Woodfield Grove [50-31]
- Second – Norbury Park [41-38]
- Third – Telford Park [37-41]
- Fourth – Grafton [33-46]
The winners received a certificate and a bottle of Prosecco each for their efforts and everyone else on a team, a certificate of participation.
“Congratulations to everyone!” said Barbara, the referee and founder of the Millennium Cup as she made the presentations.
“This was somewhat of a pilot, using the new short tennis format [Fast4] and you all did very well.
“We saw some really competitive tennis, especially towards the end as you all became used to the format.
“The consensus seems to be that this has been a successful and enjoyable event, a good way to celebrate fifteen years of Millennium Cup competition and, maybe, we’ll do it again soon.
”I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank our hosts, Telford Park, and particularly Juliet and Steve and their team, for welcoming us so warmly and for providing such wonderful hospitality throughout the day.”
Juliet, Chair of the Millennium Cup Organising Committee added: “We have all really enjoyed today.
“When Barbara proposed this to the committee, we all got very confused and thought it would never fly but it has and it has been great fun!
“The committee will take a good look at how to tweak it for the future and we hope we can do this again soon.”
Murray spoke on behalf of all the participants: “I’d like to thank Barbara for all the arrangements and for running the show so smoothly, particularly providing all the materials to explain what we should be doing!”
All in all, a good day and a good way to celebrate the Millennium Cup’s 15th Anniversary year.
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