President’s Tournament 2016
Sunday 28th August 2016
Sadly our President, John Coghlan, had passed away earlier in the summer and so the 2016 President’s Tournament was held as a charity tournament in memory of John with all the proceeds going to the Royal British Legion. The tournament had to be moved away once more from its traditional August Bank Holiday Monday slot, not for weather, but due to the shortage of courts during the club’s scheduled resurfacing of the courts.
The day chosen, Sunday 28th August was forecast to be fine and dry if not a little cloudy but as always in the English Summer things do not always go to forecast. It was good to see eighteen players turn up to compete in the annual President’s Tournament but not so good to see the rain clouds appearing during the afternoon causing several breaks in the play.
The format of the annual President’s tournament is for mixed pairs to be drawn and to keep your same partner throughout the afternoon. The split this year was almost correct with only one male player having to be designated a female for the afternoon. Tournament organiser Dave Smith did the noble thing and donned a figurative skirt and was known as Davina for the duration of the tournament.
With nine pairs it was decided to have one of four pairs and one group of five pairs. The group of four played eight games against the others in that group and the group of five played six games. Thus, in the end, each pair played 24 games. Each pair kept a score of overall games won and at the end of the 24 games the winners of group one played the winners of group two in the final.
Group one produced clear winners in the shape of Davina Smith and Graham Pattie and after another slight rain delay, group two eventually also had outright winners in Julia Freeman and Colin Johnson.
So while the rest of the players settled down to a splendid afternoon tea supplied by Eilish, Sheena and Julia, the two winning pairs from each group played a very close fought final. The format was the same as earlier, the finalists would play eight games and if there was a tie there would be a 10 point championship tie break.
Although Julia and Colin were favourites going into the final, Davina and Graham stormed into a 3-0 lead. It all seemed to be over but Julia and Colin rallied (pardon the pun) and took the next four games. Leading 3-4 they just needed a final game to clinch the prize but their opponents were not going to give up that easily and after some great tennis won the game to level the score at 4-4. The enthusiastic crowd then looked forward to the deciding tie break and that was as close as the games themselves with the lead changing hands several times, but eventually Julia and Colin just won out with a 10-8 points victory.
The Club Chairman, Dave Smith (reverting to his normal gender), presented the prizes to the winners and thanked everyone for coming and for helping to raise £115 for the Royal British Legion.