Eaton Bray Lawn Tennis Club
Posted on October 7, 2007
As I write this one Sunday morning, I just don't know which channel to watch. BBC1 for the European football qualifiers, ITV for the Rugby World Cup and Formula One Grand Prix, Sky for the Tennis US Open or ITV4 (or is it 5 or 6?) for the Cricket. I'm sitting in front of my telly in a state of confusion; smoke pouring from my remote control due to over-exertion of the programme buttons, empty cans of SkolsbergCarlbrau carelessly surrounding my armchair, and my England flag flopping aimlessly from the curtain rail. Let's face it, the possibilities of England winning, or even featuring in the finals of any of these events is slightly less than the chances of my daughter's guinea-pig designing and building a spaceship, launching from our back garden beside the potted bamboo, and becoming the first rodent on Mars (after Anne Robinson). So, with no hope of a national victory (with the possible exception of the Formula One Championship if Lewis can 'sort out' Monsignor Alonso) I decided to switch off the box and get down to the tennis courts in order to motivate my fellow Sunday morning social players to bigger and better things, so that one day we may once again stand proudly at the top of the world tennis mountain.
Unfortunately it wasn't to be. Our club is blessed with several top class players (I'm too modest to count myself amongst them) but the motley crowd of eight that gathered this morning to take on the elements and one-another were not part of that elite group.
The top people were apparently watching the cricket. So with goodwill and brave hearts, we set to the task of splitting ourselves into pairs and commencing battle. Now lets look at the day-jobs of these eight people, We had a hat seller, an X-ray equipment seller, a Construction Material Testing engineer, a retired Vulcan and Easy jet pilot, a Silverlink train driver, a Cambridge graduate, an office worker and an about to be student. But bring these together with the single objective of winning the best of five games and all day-jobs fade into oblivion. Victory is the one and only objective! Such an example was when one of my superbly executed topspin lobs landed clearly right-on our opponent's baseline, only for it to be called 'out' by my opposite number.
Now this is a man who back in 1982 (even when he had much better eyesight and a co-pilot to boot) couldn't hit a runway 2 miles long and 300 feet wide over Port Stanley, so what chance has he of calling a ball in or out over a 27-foot line just an inch wide? The hat-seller agreed with me, but the train driver sided with the pilot (must be some sort of transport union) so the point was replayed whereupon I served a double fault to settle the matter unequivocally. Moral of the story? Always play against the Student because you can threaten to tell their parents about the latest scratch on their car, and hence take away their allowance if they don't award you the point. Firm but fair I'm sure you'd agree.
Almost finally, some good news about our recent accomplishments. Our third court has just completed its resurfacing programme at a cost of around £18,000. We have received £2,000 from the Flagship Fund towards this through South Beds District Council, along with a grant of £1,920 from the Local Network Fund, both for which we are extremely grateful. Now we are now one of the few lucky clubs in Bedfordshire to have three brand new courts all with floodlighting, and a growing membership ishing to avail themselves of the facilities (1 in every 19 villagers, remember...).
To end on, many congratulations to Junior member Alison Lowe, who took a magnificent runners up place in the Beds County Mini Tennis Green competition under 10's. This is a major feat as there were some excellent youngsters from clubs all over Bedfordshire competing, and we should all congratulate Alison on her achievement. No pressure Alison, but Wimbledon starts in eight months time... J
For any further information about the club, including when we get together for our social tennis sessions up at the School Lane courts, or our various activities, please contact either Chairman Ross Bagni, Coach Nick Boys, or if they're all out and I'm not locked in the bathroom sulking about the latest dodgy line call, me, Andy Cross.
Source: Focus, October 2007
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