Tomlinson Tournament 2016
Monday 2nd May
After the successful experiment last year of moving the Tomlinson Tournament from Easter Monday to the May Day Bank Holiday in the hope of having better weather, it was decided to repeat the experiment this year and again it proved successful. Although the May Day Bank Holiday started wet the forecast was for a dry afternoon up until 3:00pm when rain would spread from the north. Therefore the decision was made in the morning to go ahead and to ensure play was finished by the time the rain arrived.
Twelve players turned up at the appointed hour of 12:45 and although it was overcast and blustery the temperature was mild and track suits were rapidly removed. For once tournament organiser Dave Smith did not have to ask for any cross dressing as the twelve players were evenly split between gentlemen and ladies. With six pairs it was decided to have just one group of six with every pair playing each other over five rounds. Normally the pairs would have played eight games per round but with the rain forecast to start in two hours the organiser decided there would only be six games per round. This meant that each pair would play 30 games to decide who would go into the final. Unlike in our usual American Tournaments partners were not swapped and each pair kept the total score of games. At the end of the five rounds the two highest scoring pairs would play each other in a grand final.
The pairings were all fairly evenly matched this year and the quality of tennis was excellent but by the end of the five rounds their were two pairs who were ahead. Rachel Morfill and Paolo Pederoda (19 games), and Julia Freeman and Alexis Alexander (16 games). Whilst the finalists prepared themselves as the first drops of rain started to fall, the other contestants started on their delicious afternoon tea prepared by Eilish MacBean, Sue Jones and Sheena Darke.
Having scored the most number of games during the preliminary rounds Rachel and Paolo were favourites going into the final, especially as Paolo was out for revenge having narrowly lost in last year’s final. However the final showed how quickly the game of tennis can change. Despite some internal dissent in the Julia and Alexis pairing they soon stormed to a 3-1 lead and although both pairs played some excellent tennis and gave the spectators some really good viewing, Julia and Alexis continued to get the vital points and went into a 5-1 lead. At that point it was impossible for Rachel and Paolo to win and so they made the sensible decision to stop and join the others in afternoon tea.
Maureen Tomlinson (the trophy is in memory of her husband Derek) and her daughter Sue had travelled up from their home in the West country to watch the tournament. And to finish off a great and enjoyable afternoon’s tennis, Maureen presented the trophy to the winners Julia and Alexis. Whilst Sue presented the consolation prizes to Rachel and Paolo.