Field Cup Trophy Semi Final v Oxford 27th Jan
A mixture of a little youth and a lot of experience was not enough to prevent Jesmond from defeat in the city of the dreaming spires.
Despite late changes Oxford fielded a very strong side with two expert left handers at the top of the singles order.
The Oxford court is quite different. It’s somewhat more compact than Jesmond with a much smaller dedans and it takes more cut. This made it tougher for our men .
The first match saw the welcome return of Paul Hetherington to our colours. Rob Walker, his opponent is a seasoned player off 16. Paul struggled with Rob’s consistent floor game and found himself 4/0 down very quickly. However Paul rallied and played much better with more accurate returns and strong boasts to level matters at 5/5.
Sadly the key game was lost and second set was a formality.
Alex Dyter followed and met Anthony Bewes who gave our likely lad no quarter. Facing an opponent strong in every department , Alex lost the first set to love and the second 2/6.
Sadly Mark Dickinson found himself up against a very technically good player in Charlie Defries and was beaten two love but never stopped trying.
Match over but pride left to play for.
Simon Johnston and Ronald Paterson were next up against Lintott and Nathan.
Sadly, our pair who had recently returned from The Boomerang Cup in Australia appeared to be a little jet lagged and lost when perhaps on another day they’d have triumphed. 3/6 1/6.
So the stalwart pair of Duns and MacAlister were left to salvage a point in the first doubles. Playing the young pair of Mark Fishel and George Peel ( Oxford Captain) the Jesmond men performed well with both serving well and attacking the dedans successfully.
A competitive match saw them win through 6/5, 6/4.
Our team then enjoyed a night out in Oxford before the majority retired to an “interesting” hotel which would have been considered basic in East Germany in the 1970s.
Fortunately, a decent amount of wine consumed allowed its threadbare carpets and spartan rooms to be forgotten by most.
Not, withstanding the accommodation and the result a good time was had by all.
To quote the words of John Pullin , the England Rugby Captain in 1972 “We may not be the greatest team in the world but at least we turn up”.
I would encourage more members to tune up their games by taking lessons with Scott and try for the team next year