Jesmond Dene Invitation Doubles

Posted by Kerry Blaber on 20 September 2017

Jesmond Dene Invitation Doubles Tournament, 15-17 September 2017


For the organizers, the Tournament was a mixture of relief and satisfaction. The court had been closed for repairs in early June with massive scaffolding structures inside and out. At the end of August, work was still continuing, the court was a building site, and it wasn’t until 7 September that the internal scaffolding was removed. Feverish cleaning and refitting followed and the court was finally playable on 9 September. New lights, new net, new paint, new antiglare film installed and substantial repairs completed.


Plus, our new Professional, Scott Blaber, had started on 21 August, so we were very keen to put him to work!


There was an excellent entry of 22 pairs, the maximum that the event mastermind, Simon Harris, advised could be accommodated. The general principle was that a Jesmond Dene member would be partnered by a guest. There were many old friends and some new faces.


Highlights of the initial group stages – five pairs won their three group matches to go through to the quarter-finals, to be joined by three other pairs with a 2-1 winning record and a high positive game difference. Simon Talbot-Williams and Sue Haswell, the lowest handicap pairing, were clearly in very good form with three wins and a game difference of +12, but Alastair Robson and David Chappel had a wonderful start with three wins and +15.


In the quarter-finals, four pairs continued their winning ways to achieve 4-0 records. Simon and Sue, and Alastair and David, were joined by Martin Hornby and Andy Agate, and Paul Cattermull and Martin Kellaway.


The semi-finals both pitted high against much lower handicap pairings. The handicap difference was 37 in both cases, resulting in “one serve, banned tambour, chases 3 and 4” for the better pair. Alastair and David surged onwards with Simon and Sue making few mistakes, but enough to lose 6-0. Alastair and David had dropped only 6 games in total in their 5 matches!


Paul and Martin K battled on against Martin H and Andy. Mental and physical torture for them but good fun for the rest of us. They missed the tambour by millimetres on several occasions. Was it precision play or luck? Finally, after much agony, Paul and Martin won 6-5


In the final, Alastair and David seemed to run out of steam. One match too far perhaps! Paul and Martin, by contrast, seemed strengthened by having survived their semi-final and won

8-2. Their excellent form continued with Paul’s strong forehand and Martin’s remarkably steadiness.

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