Well it's been an event packed summer at EBLTC so I've no time for idle banter this month. As if I'd....
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Eaton Bray Lawn Tennis Club

Posted on October 2, 2010

This article was published in October 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Eaton Bray Lawn Tennis ClubWell it's been an event packed summer at EBLTC so I've no time for idle banter this month. As if I'd ever do that.

So let's start with our Summer League results, where we entered 5 teams competing against such mighty opposition as Luton & Vauxhall, Linslade and our local derby opponents Edlesborough (although there's never any crowd trouble, and there's not a single vuvuzela to be heard thank goodness). In total our teams played 33 matches, winning 17 of them (over half!) with the stars of the show being our Men's C team who won 6 out of their 7 matches, just one more win than our Men's B team. In terms of overall scores, our teams achieved 369 points against the opposition's 311, so another 'victory'! It's possible that our C team may get promoted next season, although look what happens when West Brom and Burnley do that - usually straight back down again. So we may claim insanity and stay where we are - these things are all sorted out by people a lot further up the tennis hierarchy than me! But overall an excellent season's campaign, and congratulations to all the EBLTC players who took part and played so proudly for our club.

From Summer to Winter. It's still not too late to join our club if you'd like to try some tennis over the cooler months (at bargain discounted rates of course...) - committee member Glenn has once again brushed the mothballs off his ZX-81 and compiled a competition spreadsheet so hugely complicated that an Enigma operator would have been proud to crack it, and only a very brainy one at that. However once he explained it to the committee in a meeting that lasted several days, all eventually became clear, and the long and short of it is that we're running a winter league where you can play about once a month on a Sunday from October through to March; this is organised around our normal Sunday social sessions. Players are placed in a section according to their standard, so it's open to absolutely everyone, and should be a lot of fun. The winner is awarded the Mike Venn trophy in memory of one of our club's founding members. Last year over 30 members played in the league, with Kevin Todd coming out as overall winner, So please do call us if you'd like to take part; as I've said we're very cheap at this time of year ☺

What next...? Ah yes the Chairman's barbecue. I can report on a good sized gathering in early September comprising of members aged from 4 months to, well, a tad older. Chairman Bernadette Hillman once again hosted whilst husband Dave was put in charge of burning the steaks and spilling the wine (although Peter Hale was in charge of spilling the beer). In fact the steaks were huge and juicy, the chicken was cooked to perfection and the beer and wine fl owed as freely as the Zambezi (mostly onto the Hillman's decking). Young Sophie Anne Booth, our newest recruit, was passed around for several members to coo at without once crying (Sophie, not the members), so we're sure she's made of stern enough stuff to lead our Ladies team one day. Maybe, Rosie and Jon, you can get her up to the courts on a Sunday morning? It's never too young to start, so they say, and we have some quite small racquets and can lower the net a bit.

Oh gosh this is exhausting, so much news. I'm all worn out. So to our club Final's day which took place on 11th September. 'Focus' have very kindly 'held the front page' for these results, and it was worth it! We saw two relatively new club members walk away (quite slowly) with championships. Stuart Adolph, with partner Jane Wigley, took the Mixed Doubles title in a tight match against Danielle Tansley and Martin Clarke. In the Ladies Doubles, Jan Hale and Judy Venn beat Carole Thorp and Des Antoniou in a game umpired by yours truly; I performed this task from ground level, due to the extremely small seat at the top of the steps not fitting my body shape. This was Judy's fourth title since the inception of the tournament in 1989, but Jan's first, so there was much celebration in the Hale household that evening. During a quiet moment in the scoring, I decided to add up the player's ages which, when added to mine, made a total of 307. I think that must be some sort of record for 5 people on a tennis court, unless of course Ilie Nastase and Billie Jean King made a comeback.

The Men's Doubles was another close contest with another recently-joined member taking the title; John Slater and partner Darren Kerins got the better of Nick Boys and Glenn Wigley, and Darren went one better in the Men's Singles beating an in-form Keith Hillman in another excellent contest. This was, believe it or not, Darren's 24th title, an average of 1.4 a year since his first back in 1993. Now that will take some beating, and I'm planning to start with my first next year; I reckon I can beat Darren by the time I'm 108. In the meantime, congratulations are due to Stuart Adolph and John Slater for making such a rapid rise up the club rankings and taking their first tournament titles, and most certainly not their last! Just wait until they meet me, though...

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, you can visit our website at www.ebltc.org.uk.

Source: Focus, October 2010

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