Oli and Laurence played an absorbing, high-quality final on Saturday, with Laurence eventually coming out on top 1-6, 6-4, 6-1. As you'd expect from two such athletic players, there was some terrific retrieving, but there was also a lot of enterprising attacking play with frequent forays to the net from both of them.
In a hard-fought first set, Oli seemed to have an answer to everything Laurence threw his way, and it wouldn't have been a surprise if the second had continued in much the same vein. But Laurence dug in and gradually began to make headway. It was tight throughout, and they reached deuce at 5-4, but that was the closest Oli came.
As the third set wore on, both players continued to win well-constructed rallies, but Laurence gradually began to establish a bit of a stranglehold, making full use of his top-spin forehand and charging to the net at every opportunity. By contrast, Oli's game was no longer looking quite so robust, and one or two volleys went awry at crucial points.
It was a very enjoyable match to watch, one of those where it was a shame there had to be a loser. And it made me want to get out on court and play more singles! Does anyone else feel the same?
So that's the club tournament done and dusted for another year. Thanks again to Shingo and Matt for organising it.
We played the club tournament doubles finals on Saturday. There were 15 of us involved, the rain held off, and there was some really good tennis played. The winners were:
The mixed doubles final was a really high-quality match with some fantastic rallies. David and Sophie, who replaced the injured Kerry, just managed to get their noses in front of Oli and Kelly.
There are some pictures on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/TauntonTennisClub
We've still only got the one team (in Division 1 of the North Somerset League), and it looks like we're a bit short of ladies for a second team. Is anyone interested who hasn't come forward so far? We still have time to enter a mixed team in Division 4 of the Yeovil & District League.
The Monday and Friday evening sessions are starting next week. Karin's Thursday lunchtime and Sunday evening sessions are starting in the week beginning 24 September.
The mixed A team won the league last night. For the first time in quite a few years, a period dominated by Trull and Taunton School, they won Division 1 of the West Somerset League. Elliott Rugg (captain), Kelly Cunningham, Laurence Paul and Hayley Collins needed 7 points away against Wellington to move ahead of Taunton School into first place, and they came away with 9. Honourable mentions also go to Oli and Nicolette, who played a lot of matches, and maybe other people too (not sure exactly who played in every match).
Here is Laurence's match report:
Our first pair [ed: Laurence and Hayley] began their match holding serve effectively while securing several break points in some long games without being able to take those opportunities. At 2-2, and with a few adjustments to their play, however, these break points were soon converted and the set was secured 6-2. At 5-1 up in the second, their opponents managed to play an impressive game and broke back for 5-2 but, in the end, could not best their previous set; the final score being 6-2, 6-2.
Taunton's second pair [ed: Elliott and Kelly] were even more imperious, finishing their two sets in record time with a 6-0, 6-0 victory, proving that consistency and tactics is a solid recipe for success. This proved to set in motion the next rubber, for the women managed to replicate this scoreline with good serving from both players and little to trouble them. While the men took longer to do so and had several very close games, they too pulled off a 6-0, 6-0 win, meaning the team lost only 4 games on the night and emphatically sealed their position as winners of the league.
What a fabulous way to finish the season and for Elliott to bow out: captain of the league champions and without conceding a single game in his final match. Unfortunately for us, he's moving away from Taunton next week. Our loss will be his club on the Isle of Wight's gain. We'll miss him, and I don't mean just for matches.
So that wraps up a very successful summer season. Let's not forget that three of our other four teams won promotion: the women will be playing in Division 1 of the North Somerset League next season, the men in Division 2, and the men's team in the Yeovil and District League won Division 2 with matches to spare and next season will be trying to spend more than their usual one season at a time in Division 1. The mixed B team narrowly lost to Wiveliscombe last night and finished in a comfortable third place in Division 2 of the West Somerset League.
Winter league next: we have a team in Division 1 of the North Somerset League and want to enter another one, possibly in Division 4 of the Yeovil and District League, but we're looking a bit short of women. Is there anyone out there who'd like to play?
Our teams have been doing remarkably well...
Mixed A team in the West Somerset League
Most remarkably, after years of relegation battles or languishing in mid-table while Trull or Taunton School took the glory, the mixed A team is now one match away from being champions of the West Somerset League. They need seven points from their final match against Wellington. Currently, they are six points behind Taunton School with one match left to play. The school have played all their matches. The table is shown in the attached file.
Ladies' team in the North Somerset League
In their final match of the season last week, the ladies secured promotion to Division 1, finishing second, four points behind Wrington. Here's the table: http://nstl.org.uk/Summer18/LADIES2_.TXT
Men's team in the North Somerset League
The team has won promotion to Division 2, securing second place, just two points behind Congresbury, the leaders. Here's the table: http://nstl.org.uk/Summer18/MENS3_LG.TXT
Men's team in the Yeovil & District League
The team won Division 2 last week with a 7-4 win over North Cadbury and two matches still to play. The table is here.
Mixed B team in the West Somerset League
The team is currently third with two matches to go and, as things stand, could still come first or second, in which case they'd be involved in a play-off for promotion.
We had our first committee meeting since the AGM on Saturday, our first with David Walter as chairman. Present were:
Oli: men's club captain
Hayley: ladies' club captain
Shingo: new player recruiter-in-chief
Matt (not a committee member but helping to organise the club tournament)
Laurence (happened to be there and joined in)
Apologies from Karin, Nigel and Kerry.
The club tournament
Men's singles: We've had 14 entries for the men's singles, and Shingo and Matt have made the draw. Players are arranging their own matches, and the final will be played on Finals Day on 8 September.
Women's singles: no entries!
Mixed doubles: We've had four pairs entering so far, with three players still looking for a partner.
Men's doubles: We've had three pairs enter so far, and there are two players looking for a partner.
Ladies' doubles: Two pairs have entered so far.
If you haven't entered yet, please do, regardless of your standard. If we get people of very different standards entering, we can organise separate events. You don't even need to be a member - just a Blackbrook user. Please enter by 19 August, preferably sooner. You can do so by replying to this email. If you don't have a partner, we'll find you one.
All doubles matches will be single-set matches on Finals Day (Saturday 8 September).
We need to think about the winter. Our one winter team is now in Division 1, which is a pretty high standard. We need another team so that others get some tennis in the winter too. We think we probably have enough people for another team – but we'd like to hear it from you in writing! If you are interested in playing and haven't told me already, please reply to this. The options are to enter a mixed team in Division 4 of the Yeovil and District League or Division 7 of the North Somerset League. In both you get some mixed tennis and some single-sex tennis.
We're very pleased to report that we've had a couple of new people turn up on Wednesday night – the Walsh brothers, Kevin and Will – and we're hoping for more.
We had 13 people at club night on Wednesday last week, and that should increase as we move towards the autumn. On Saturday two courts were in use on a very windy afternoon. On Thursday evening at 7 pm only one court is used generally, I think, so there is definitely a lot of room for more. We want to encourage people from other sessions at Blackbrook to come along to Thursdays and Saturdays.
We've had a couple of match reports in the Gazette, and hopefully there will be a couple more before the end of the season. This should be a good way to promote the club. We have a Facebook page (you don't need to be a Facebook user to see it), which should also help. You can find it by googling "Taunton Tennis Club" (it's the fifth or sixth hit). If you're a Facebook user, please LIKE it! And if you'd like to contribute, please let me know. We will soon have a website. I'll let you know when we do.
Competitive indoor doubles
We are going to try and continue the competitive indoor doubles we enjoyed earlier in the year and turn it into some sort of league format.
That's all for now.
Local league results
summer local league standings
Yeovil & District League
North Somerset League
West Somerset League
Mixed A team
Mixed B team
Mixed C team
winter local league standings
Culm and Exe Valleys League