Evening Herald Reports 2021
The 2021 "one - off" Head Plymouth Tennis League has finished, with the last rally played on Thursday August 12.th Since the League started in the mid-sixties this season must surely rank as the one of most interest, contrast, and unexpected problems, but above all, the commitments of players to make sure that the season was completed. Also, from comments received, it was thoroughly enjoyable, with every Club playing their part in co-operating in the re-arrangement of postponed matches. To add to a normal season of bad weather, Covid 19 restrictions meant that, at very short notice, matches were called off due to self-isolation. 98% of matches were played and again the hard working team secretaries have to be congratulated on the hours they put in, in making sure that as many matches were played as possible. You cannot get much higher than 98%! To give some idea of commitment, e-mails were being timed at 6.28am and 11.25pm, bringing a new meaning to expressions such as "up with the lark" and "burning the midnight oil".
There was no promotion or relegation, which was a wise decision, as more and more matches as the season progressed saw players having to withdraw due to self- isolation. It could have meant that Covid 19 decided divisional placing's, not match play. There were two main changes to the League format, involving scoring and start time. The scoring has always been on sets won in an event, with the winning score being either 2-0 or 2-1 in sets. For 2021 it was games won that counted, with 6 points each for the first two sets plus a bonus of 6 points for a 2-0 win, or by winning, if needed, the third set tie break. The maximum score for a winning team would now be 72 for four events, compared to 8 based on set scoring. This change had no effect on final positions, but the losing teams felt that the match had been more worthwhile with some game points won. The start time also had a change, moving from 6.00pm to 6.30pm, as there had always been some players who could not get to the earlier start. A 6.30 pm. start meant that more players could compete, but this later start meant a later home arrival. Also, with many players quite happy with 6pm, there was disagreement when they had to wait until 6.30pm. Neither of the changes really proved conclusive, so proposals for the 2022 season should arouse much discussion.
On the playing front, Devonshire Men won two divisions, the A team Division 1 and the B team Division 5. Two top spots went to Tavistock B in Division 3 and Tavistock*C in Division 4, with Saltash B finishing as top dogs in Division 6.
Mannamead A Ladies took the Division 1 title, with a last minute leap frog over 2019 winners Devonshire A, with Devonshire B winning Division 2. Menheniot were the most successful club in the lower divisions, winning Divisions 3 and 5, with Plympton C claiming top spot in Division 4.
The maximum games a team could win was 720 and in the Men's Divisions, Devonshire A scored 638 in Division 1 and Devonshire B scored 646 in Division 5. The two Tavistock teams, B and C, had almost identical records, both winning 7 matches, and the B team top in Division 3 with 560 points and the C team leading Division 4 with 545 points.
The top scorers in the Ladies' Divisions were Mannamead A in Division 1 with 658 points. Two teams actually lost three matches but still won their division. Devonshire B won Division 2 with 566 points and Looe A also winning 7 matches but finishing in fourth place, 99 points adrift of Devonshire B. Plympton C, with 7 wins and 3 losses, were the Division 4 leading team on 554 points. The two Menheniot teams won two divisions, with the A front team way out in Division 3 by 175 points. It was much closer for Menheniot B, who won Division 5 by 6 points.
It is now all over for 2021 but no doubt Covid 19 and its effect on the 2021 season will not be forgotten for many seasons to come.
With the Plymouth Tennis League not in operation in 2020, as a result of Covid 19, a decision had to be made early in 2021 as to whether it was possible to try and arrange league play for later in the year. Eventually it was agreed that there was no guarantee that there would not be any interruption from Covid 19 and this could have an effect on Club membership. Therefore it was decided to run a "one off" 2021 league. There would be no promotion or relegation issues, thus giving more flexibility with team selection with no worries about relegation including players new to league tennis. Another change would be in the scoring system, previously based on sets won. For 2021, games won would be counted, with each game earning one point. There would be no effect on final positions but more recognition to the closeness of the sets. An event won by 6-2, 6-4 would count 12-6, plus bonus points, whereas an event won by 6-0, 6-0 would count 12-0, plus bonus points. As the season progressed it became obvious that Covid 19, through self- isolation etc. would see players having to withdraw from matches, even on the same day of the match. However, with numerous contacts between Clubs and a two week extension to the season, the last match was played on August 12.th There were 33 matches per week, and in a 10 week season, a total of 330 fixtures to be played. With the tremendous co-operation between Clubs, by August 12th, 323 had been settled on court. To have only 7 matches to be settled off court was a remarkable achievement, and reflects the determination by all teams to finish the season.
One team, moving players up into a higher division, was Ivybridge Men's A. The team were relegated in 2019 from Division1 and it was decided to use talented younger players in the team for 2021, some of whom were playing in a higher level for the first time. The team settled in quite quickly and had a very successful season, finishing by winning the division. Obvious in their play was the will to win every match, displaying sportsmanship throughout the season, which promises a bright future for the Club and players. Ivybridge A, captained by Harry Hargreaves, won 9 out of 10 matches, only beaten by third placed Looe A. Junior players, Max Daniels,Sam Hargreaves, Rory Harkness and Linus Ganderton all made their debut for the team.
In Division 1, Devonshire A Men were again the winners, being able to choose from many excellent players. Mannamead A finished in second place, with Tavistock A third. The Divisions 3 and 4 titles both went in tight finishes to Tavistock teams. Tavistock C held off a late challenge from Noss Mayo A, to win Division 3 by five points, and Tavistock D had a narrow 8 point lead over Hill Lane B in Division 4.
The biggest winning margin of any team, in either the Men's or Ladies, came in Division 5. Devonshire B won the division from Mannamead D by 201 points, scoring 646 out of a possible 720 total. It looked likely that a succession of Sunday rain postponements would prevent Saltash B from winning Division 6. However, they completed their fixtures just in time, to win the division by 36 points from Menheniot.
In the Ladies Division 1 there was a change at the top. In week 9, Mannamead A defeated Devonshire A, to take over as the leading team, and they hung on to their lead in week 10, to win the division by the slim margin of 3 points from Devonshire A. Devonshire B were always the favourites in Division 2, ending up 60 points clear of Tavistock A. Nearly every week there were unavoidable changes caused by Covid 19 isolation to the two Menheniot teams, in Divisions 3 and 5. Only by playing 4 matches, with the cooperation of their opponents, in the last week of the season, did Menheniot A complete all their Division 3 matches. Three wins in these matches saw them finish above Plympton B and Yelverton B.
Plympton C went one better in Division 4, winning by 43 points from Looe B. All the last week tension was at Menheniot B in Division 5. Second placed visitors, Hill Lane B, brought with them a six point lead. On the night, Menheniot B were just the better team, beating Hill Lane B by 22 points, to win the division.
Whilst celebrating success, spare a thought for teams who have not had the best of results this season, but competed every week. To those without a win, but thanks for playing, were Men's Divisions Plympton B (Div. 2) and St. Budeaux D (Div.5), also Ladies' Divisions Mannamead B (Div.1) and Ivybridge (Div.2).
HEAD PLYMOUTH TENNIS LEAGUE 2021 DIVISIONAL WINNERS;
Restrictions placed by Covid 19 on playing matches, added to the normal seasonal bad weather postponements, have meant that the league programme has been extended by two weeks.
The last match in the Ladies Division 1 was between St. Budeaux A and St. Budeaux B. As is usual when two teams from the same Club meet, play was closely contested throughout, with many long rallies and hard ground strokes from all eight players. However, the form book held true with the final score of 72-22, indicating a comfortable, and expected win for the A team. Natalie Hepburn and Beth Groves won by 36 games to 13 and Kate Gibbons and Nikki Aitken by 36 games to 9 for the A team.
Menheniot A, in Division 3, cleared a backlog of fixtures by playing four matches in four days, winning three. The first match resulted in a 64-22 win at Mannamead C, with Zoe Harris and daughter Charlie unbeaten and winning 36 games. The team were not at their best four days later at St. Mellion, suffering a first defeat by 50-41. Full credit to St. Mellion for competing so strongly in one of the longest matches of the season that the last set could not be finished. Menheniot really came back to winning ways in their last two matches, with maximum scores of 72-7 against Yelverton B, and 72-17 against Plympton B. In Division 5, the leaders Hill Lane B went to Menheniot B holding a 6 game advantage. The match was played in the correct spirit of a top of the table clash, with Menheniot B coming out winners by 56-32, to claim top spot.
The match between St Budeaux B and Mannamead A in the Men's Division 1, was played in memory of Gerry Sullivan, a well-known player for several Clubs in the Plymouth area, who died recently. Gerry really loved his tennis and matches with him involved were always enjoyable and full of unexpected and improvised shots. The Men's Division 3 match at Noss Mayo A against Whiteford Road was continually delayed looking for hidden tennis balls in the long grassy surrounds of the tennis courts. The Club are obviously in need of a friendly terrier! On court, Jason Vosper and Yuen Sui were unbeaten for Noss Mayo, with a game score of 33-16, helping Noss Mayo to prevail by 61 games to 30. Noss Mayo A ended the season with a hard fought 56 -37 win at Yelverton A, which gave them second place. St Budeaux C had a much needed win in Division 4, beating Ivybridge C by 56-36. Ricky Palmer and Rich Mitchell were the undefeated pair for St. Budeaux, winning by 18-6, over Paul Medlicotte and Dave Wilson, and by 18-3, over Malcolm Bruce and Austin Herzig. Paul Davis and Anthony Costantino were again in winning form for Noss Mayo B, conceding just 7 games against Tavistock D in Division 5. Noss Mayo won the match by 62-26. Menheniot had an off night at home to Yelverton B, in Division 6. The visitors scored their best result to date, in a 72-16 win. Saltash B won two matches, to move to the top of the division. After beating Yelverton B 57-37, Saltash played Mannamead E. The first two matches between the teams were postponed due to bad weather. As the teams had never met, double game points were at stake. Mannamead put up an excellent show, only losing 45-51. Paul Tapp and Paul Hough were unbeaten for Saltash in the two matches. Yelverton B lost at home by 46-55 to Menheniot, who thus avenged an earlier defeat.
Div 2 Ivybridge B 29 Mannamead B 64
Div 6 Yelverton B 46 Menheniot 55
Div 2 Ivybridge 35 Hill Lane A 59
Devonshire A Ladies were the top team in Division 1 for the first eight weeks of the season, but suffered their first defeat in week 9 when beaten by Mannamead A, who took over as the leading team. The last match saw Mannamead hold a three point advantage, with Devonshire appearing to have the easier match, away to the bottom team Plympton A. Devonshire won the match comfortably by 72 games to 8, leaving Mannamead a target of 70 games to regain top spot. Mannamead rose to the occasion, also winning 72 games, to become the 2021 Division 1 champions. St. Budeaux A ended up in third place after defeating Mannamead B 70 games to 22. In Division 2 it was catch-up time for Tavistock A, who played three matches in three days, winning two of them. The first match at Hill Lane A resulted in a slightly surprising, but deserved, win for Hill Lane, by a narrow 48-46 margin. In the second match, on their home courts, Tavvy finally overcame a spirited display from Yelverton A, to win by 61-26. Despite such a hectic three matches, with the same team in each match, there was still plenty of tennis to come from the Tavistock team, with their third win being by 72-7 against Ivybridge. Hilary Picton and Frances Lindsay won 107 games out of 108, backed up by a very useful 72 games from Lucy Hillman and Lindsay Fear. Yelverton A found Devonshire B just too good for them in winning by 70-23 and Looe A dropped only three games in a 69-14 home win over Ivybridge.
Yelverton B were anxious to reverse an earlier Division 3 defeat by Tavistock B, and in a very determined performance emerged winners by 57-43. Ann Short and Lynne Macfarlane had to battle for every game in beating Hilary Broadley and Karen Horton 18-8, and Olga Rogers and Olivia Clark 15-9. The bottom team, St. Mellion, upset the form book with an excellent win over the leaders Plympton B, by 58-36. Looe B won two matches in Division 4. Looe won by 63-29 against Saltash, and it was even easier at St. Budeaux C. Looe were already 36-9 ahead when Julie Adamson for St. Budeaux had to pull out of her first match, thus conceding 18 games, with Looe match winners by 72-11. A second top of the table Plympton team, Plympton C, also lost to lowly opposition. Next to bottom Devonshire C, Tracey Stafford, Henrietta Ferguson, Gemma Ward and Vicky Dennis were all playing well, to gain a 70-21 win. Plympton D did prevent a third home loss for the Club with an emphatic win by 72-11 over Yelverton C in Division 5. Audrey Scott and Chris Woodward won 36 games and were unbeaten for Looe C, with the team winning by 57-31 at Plymstock.
As expected in the Men's Division 1, both the leading teams won by large margins. Devonshire A beat Hill Lane A by 72-8, and Tavistock A defeated St. Budeaux A 72-17. Looe A, in Division 2, completed the double over Plympton teams. The same line up of David Richardson, Nigel Watson, Alan Palin and Paddy Southern won by 72-17 at Plympton A and then hosted Plympton B and defeated them 72-13. Plympton B also went down at Ivybridge A, losing 72-16. Pete Rodgers and Bert Rodgers had an excellent match for Tavistock B against Mannamead C in Division 3. They won by 18-5 against Andrew Leigh and Adam Short and by 18-0 against Neil Coleman and Kiaran Ryan, with match honours to Tavistock by 57-34. Alex Westmoreland and Kamrian Khan were unbeaten for Hill Lane B against St. Mellion, with a score line of 36-8. For St. Mellion, Paul Shepherd and Russell Birch defeated Steve Randell and Phil Hore 12 games to 11.
St. Budeaux C could only send a very inexperienced team to Tavistock C, in Division 4. However they did well to win 27 games, in a 67-27 defeat. For St. Budeaux Max Hembry and Lee Hoyne must have been pleased to take a set off the much senior players, Dave Martin and Rick Read, who won by 14 games to 7. Phil Davis and Anthony Constantino were the mainstay for Newton and Noss B, at Tavistock D in Division 5. They overcame Simon Church and Steve Buckley 18-2 and Matt Dowle and Paul Turner 18-5, in a team win of 62-26. Devonshire B are clear winners of the division but did not have games going all their own way, finally winning 65-31 against Mannamead D.
Div. 3 Mannamead C 64 Menheniot A 22
Div. 4 St. Budeaux C 55, Tavistock C 48
Mannamead Ladies A, in Division 1, inflicted a first defeat on Devonshire A, to take over as divisional leaders. Devonshire were not at full strength but all the Mannamead team played well. The two Sarahs, Allen and Fielder, won their matches 35 games to 11, and Katherine Bell and Alex Theyer were 27-21 winners, with Mannamead winning by 62 games to 32. The two St. Budeaux teams had their best results in a week, with the A team scoring maximum points in defeating Plympton A by 72 games to 8, and the B team dropping only one game, with a 71 games to 21 victory over Mannamead B. Devonshire B, in Division 2, were made to fight for every point, before overcoming Looe A by 48 games to 41. Jess White and Kate Galloway remained unbeaten for Looe, winning 36 games. The following night Looe were in Devon again, this time winners at Tavistock A by 52 games to 37. Yet again White and Galloway proved too good for the opposition, winning another 36 games.
Sandra Fox and Jen Kothari were the unbeaten pair for Mannamead C, in the 49-49 draw at Plympton B in Division 3. Fox and Kothari defeated Sophie Raymond and Jo Jackson 18 games to 5 and Vicki Finnegan and Sarah Robertson 18 games to 8. St Mellion won by 48 games to 43 at Tavistock B, but the undefeated pair were in the Tavistock team. Hilary Broadley and Karen Horton won by 13 games to 11 against Candy Birch and Zoe Lui, and by 18 games to 6 against Oonagh Glancy and Mel Broadhead. St. Budeaux C earned a much needed win, by 52 games to 37, at Devonshire C in Division 4. In very hot conditions all eight players overcame the high temperatures, none more so than Pat Hexter and Julie Adamson of St Budeaux, who won both their matches with a game score of 30-13. Plympton B hit form at Saltash, winning by an impressive 72 games to 19. Mary and Penny Harold were the match winners for Tavistock C, being unbeaten and winning 36 games, in the team win of 56 games to 41 against Looe B.
In Division 5, Looe C dented neighbours, Menheniot, chances of top spot by beating them 43 games to 42. In a match played in a normal background seagull noise and the unexpected Chinook flypast, Looe held on to win by 43 games to 42. Tamsin Hemmings and Linda See were unfortunate that their 36 games for Menheniot saw them finish on the losing team. Another team to win by a single game were Hill Lane B against Plympton D. Hill Lane owed much of their win to Libby Allman and Sue Warne, who won 36 games, in the team win of 49 games to 48.
Devonshire A, in the Men's Division 1, were comfortable winners at Mannamead by 70 games to 19. Particularly impressive were Will Heard and Linden Hardisty, whose net play formed an almost unpassable brick wall. Tavistock A were too strong for St. Budeaux B, winning the maximum 72 games, with only 21 games from St. Budeaux in reply. St Budeaux A won by 49 games to 40 at Hill Lane A. Neil Hunt and Rory Harries won their events in straight sets with backing of 13 games from Gary Symons and Ed Rescorl. Looe A, with a stronger team than in recent matches, scored a great 64 games to 30 win, over leaders Ivybridge A in Division 2. This was Ivybridge's first defeat, but they are still favourites to retain top place. Joe Thomas and Gary Brooks won 35 games for the Plympton A team, victorious by 51 games to 46 at Mannamead B. 51 games were also enough to earn Ivybridge B a 51 games to 47 victory at Plympton B, with Gareth Borthwick and Fred Tyler the better pair for Ivybridge, being undefeated in winning 33 games.
Mannamead C had only one pair available at home to Saltash A in Division 3, and conceded 36 games. On court Mannamead actually won 29 -15, but the concession cost them the match, 51 games to 29. Tavistock B are almost home and dry at the top after having no problems in a 72 games to 8 win at Whiteford Road. The St. Mellion first pair of Steve Smith and Russell Birch won 25 games of the team's total of 30, in Division 4, but Tavistock C ended up clear winners by 57 games to 30. In Division 5, Tim Randell and Dave Roberts won the most games for Plymstock, at home to Hill Lane B. The pair won 36 games, to put the team on the victory road for a 56 games to 42 win. Runaway leaders, Devonshire B, notched up another 72 games by winning 72-28 at Noss Mayo B. Saltash B, with a vital 70 games to 23 win over Looe C, are back among the leaders in Division 6.
Div. 2 Ivybridge A 55 Mannamead B 34
Div. 5 St. Budeaux D 28 Tavistock D 70
Div. 6 Hill Lane C 52 Yelverton B 38
Week 8 Knock Out Cup Final
The final of the Knock-Out Cup was as predicted, a very hard fought and close match between St. Budeaux and Tavistock. Tavistock had won the Cup once before in 2009, but St. Budeaux had never got beyond the semi- final stage. In the first round of events, honours were even at two sets each. The St. Budeaux first pair, Rory Harries and Natalie Higman, defeated the Tavistock second pair Nick Beilby and Hilary Picton 6-1, 6-1. However the St. Budeaux second pair, Martin Hill and Kate Gibbons, were defeated 2-6, 2-6 by the Tavistock first pair, Rhys Dunford and Frances Lindsay. At the half way stage both teams had won two sets, but St. Budeaux had a two game advantage.
St. Budeaux went 3 sets to 2 ahead when Hill and Gibbons won the first set 6-2 against Beilby and Picton Beilby . The first set between Harries and Higman and Dunford and Lindsay took an almost unbelievable change in fortune, which completely altered the pattern of the match. Dunford and Lindsay led 5-2, and all seemed in their favour to go on and level the match. The next four games were won by Harries and Higman, in an almost immaculate display, to go 6-5 ahead. Dunford and Lindsay fought back to take the set into a tie-break. They led in the tie break, but Harries and Higman were not to be denied, winning the tiebreak 8-6, to put St. Budeaux 4 sets to 2 in the lead. Meanwhile, Hill and Gibbons then won the Cup for St. Budeaux with a second set 6-3 win against Beilby and Clifton, to achieve the necessary 5 sets for St. Budeaux. Harries and Higman finally prevailed by 7-6(8-6), 3-6, 10-7 over Dunford and Lindsay, for a final score of St. Budeaux 6 sets and Tavistock 3.
The standard of play was remarkably high throughout, with all eight players contributing to an afternoon of hard hitting combined with much excellent retrieving. The win by St. Budeaux was a fitting reward, as the Club celebrated 40 years since its formation in 1981.
The trophy was presented to Kate Gibbons, the St.Budeaux Captain, by Dudley Tolkien, Vice President of the Plymouth and District LTA.
St. Mellion Men have one of the smallest playing squads, but after seven defeats, finally won their first match in Division 4. They just managed to defeat Ivybridge C, at Ivybridge, by one game. Steve Smith and Russell Birch won 33 games for St. Mellion, beating Paul Medlicott and Nick Haigh 18-0 and, in a much tighter match, Austin Jerzig and Malcolm Bruce 15-9. The St. Mellion second pair of Roy Barraclough and Paul Shepherd won 13 games, with a match win for St. Mellion by 46-45. In a re-arranged match at Tavistock C, David Bate and Chris King, who both served well throughout, won 31 games in the 55-43 success for Plymstock. Tavistock C did win, when with 35 games from Sean George and David Scott, theybeat Hill Lane B by 63-40. The three leading Division 1 teams, Devonshire A, Mannamead A and Tavistock A, all won the maximum 72 games, beating St. Budeaux B 72-6, St. Budeaux A 72-17 and Hill Lane A 72-17, respectively.
A slippery court brought an abrupt end to the Division 2 match at Plympton B, with visitors Mannamead B winning by 57-19. Joe Thomas and Gary Brooks were unbeaten for Plympton A, at Ivybridge A, with wins over Rory Harkness and Richard Marshall by 15-8 and over Jack Freeman and Linus Ganderton by 15-10, but Ivybridge won the match 54-42. There was also success for the Ivybridge B team who were too good for Looe A. All the Ivy team turned in a good performance, with Fred Tyler and Gareth Boswick the better pair, with a game score of 36-6. In Division 3, Veterans Ron Coe (72) and Rob Thomas (63) turned the clock back, with two excellent wins for Noss Mayo A against Saltash A. After not winning a game in the first set, they recovered to beat Ben Davis and Saul Davis 18-7, and also defeated Jon Jacobs and Martin Paul 18-1, with Noss Mayo winners by 56-31. Only two players turned up for Yelverton A at Tavistock B. Gifted 36 games,Tavvy won another 26 on court, to win by 62-23. Craig Hillary and Jason Webb had few problems for Devonshire B, beating Looe B in Division 5, when they defeated Nathan Thomas and Toby Davis 18-5 and Clive Poole and Andrew Smale 18-1, to put Devonshire well on the way to a 65-25 victory.
Sarah Allen and Sarah Fielder formed a strong partnership for Mannamead A, in the Ladies' Division 1. They were far too good for both the St.Budeaux A pairs, as Mannamead won easily by 69-21. Tavistock A produced one of their best displays, by winning at Devonshire B in Division 2 by one game. Hilary Picton and Frances Lindsay, for Tavistock, won both their events in straight sets, for a 36-12 game score, as Tavistock won by the odd game 49-48. Clare Hutton and Fiona Murphy, along with Ann Short and Annie Wook, were two new partnerships for Yelverton A. Both the line-ups combined well, as Ivybridge were beaten 57-29, in Division 2. Looe A move up to within sight of Devonshire A and Yelverton A, when consistent all round play brought a win by 60-36 over Hill Lane A.
Another team in form were Plympton B in Division 3, when maximum games were won against Tavistock B, despite steady opposition from Olivia Clark and Zara Rizk who won 16 games. Plympton were the comfortable 72-23 winners. Plympton C, in Division 4, took full advantage of a weakened St. Budeaux C team, to lead the division by 51 games after beating their visitors 72-10. Second placed Tavistock C lost ground on Plympton C, after a win by 58-40 at Saltash was mainly due to 36 games from unbeaten Olga Rogers and Julie Wigmore. Looe B closed the gap on the teams above them, by defeating Devonshire C 58-37.
Hill Lane B go one game above Menheniot B at the top of Division 5, by winning 71-28 against Looe C. Menheniot won ten games fewer than Hill Lane, prevailing over Yelverton C 61-26. By contrast only two games separated Plympton D and Plymstock. Anne Hughes and Vicky Roberts did all they could with 36 games for Plymstock, but Plympton hung on to win 48-46
St. Budeaux C 34 Plymstock 67
Menheniot 39 Saltash B 63
There will be a new Club name on the Plymouth and District Knock-Out Salver for 2021. Neither of last year's finalists, Mannamead (holders) or Devonshire, reached the final stage this season. In the semi-finals St. Budeaux won at Mannamead and Tavistock, at home, defeated Looe.
The win by St. Budeaux over Mannamead was achieved by the narrowest of margins, with the result only decided on game difference. In the first round of matches, Rory Harries and Kate Gibbons, the St. Budeaux first pair, won by 7-6, 2-6, 10-7, against the Mannamead second pair Dan Chadder and Sarah Allen. The St. Budeaux second pair, Neil Hunt and Natalie Higman were beaten 6-1, 6-4, by Alex Cox and Alex Theyer. The score was now 3 sets to 2 in favour of Mannamead. Harries and Gibbons continued in fine form, winning their second event 6-2,6-2, against Cox and Theyer. Hunt and Higman started well against Chadder and Allen, winning the first set 6-1, but Chadder and Allen recovered to win the next two sets 6-4, 10-7. Each team had now won 2 events and 5 sets, but St. Budeaux won through by winning the most games.
Tavistock reached the semi-final stage with an excellent win over visitors, Devonshire, by 5 sets to 4. It was new territory for Looe who were making their first ever appearance in a semi-final. Both teams were at full strength and, although beaten, Looe did well to win 2 sets against a team ranked marginally higher in the league. Tavistock included Plymouth singles champion Rhys Dunford who, partnered by Frances Lindsay, formed a formidable line up. Dunford and Lindsay won both their events, beating Jack Puckey and Jess White 6-3,6-2, and Dave Richardson and Karen Galloway 6-1,6 -2. The Tavistock second pair of Peter Bradley and Hilary Picton beat Richardson and Galloway 6-3,6-3, but were defeated 7-5,6-3 by Puckey and White, leaving Tavistock match winners by 6 sets to 2.
The final will be played at St. Budeaux on Sunday July 25th at 2pm.
Wet weather in week 7 of the season caused many matches, particularly on Monday evening, to be postponed. To help clear the backlog of matches the last date for matches to be played is Monday August 9th.
In the Men's Division 1, St. Budeaux B completed the double over the A team. Matt Lloyd and Martin Hill remained unbeaten for the B team, in wins over Rory Harries and Ricky Palmer by18 games to 8, and over Devlin Skinner and Gary Symons by 14-8. Rob and Matt Thomas, of Newton and Noss Mayo A, had a great evening in the Division 3 home match with Mannamead C. The pair defeated Phil Whitby and Neil Coleman in straight sets 18-6, but needed a third set to win by 13 -10 against Nils Hanemann and Graham Rodda.
Malcolm Bruce and Austin Herzig won 36 games for Ivybridge C, in Division 4, but their effort was not quite enough to prevent a Hill Lane B home win by 54 -41. Bruce and Herzig defeated Jose Rosas and Ross Ellis 18-8 and Kamran Khan and Alex Westmoreland 15-10. In Division 5, Mannamead D won by 61-32 at home to Budeaux D, for whom Ryan Gillard and Ed Reccorl won 28 games. One of the longest journeys in the League must be from Noss Mayo to Looe and return. Noss Mayo made the trip worthwhile, coming away from Looe B after winning by 52-37.
Only one match was played in the Ladies' Division1, with leaders Devonshire A having an easy 72 -10 win at Mannamead B. The Division 2 match at Looe A, against Tavistock A, was stopped by rain at the half way stage, but as two events had been completed the score counted. For Looe, Jess White and Silvia Racca defeated Hilary Picton and Frances Lindsay 16-11, with Tavistock replying through Lucy Hillman and Beth Lynch winning 18-8 against Sacha Byford and Carol Metcalfe, leaving Tavistock winners by 29-24. Ivybridge found Devonshire B in top form and were beaten 72-7. Even if a visiting team lose at Yelverton B, in Division 3, the defeat is made almost palatable with the hosts providing a fabulous tea. St.Mellion enjoyed the match, despite Yelverton winning 63-24. Jenny Whybrow and Clare Hutton were the leading pair for Yelverton, winning their two events by 36-4.
None of the four pairs, in the Plympton C versus Tavistock C match in Division 4, won more than two games in a set. And it was "get to know you time" as Cathy Warne and Jo Irving were playing together for the first time for Tavistock. In a low scoring match, Plympton C won by 58-21. There were many long rallies at Devonshire C, when an unbeaten performance from Tracey Stafford and Lily Giadrini, in winning 36 games, put Devonshire well on the way to a win by 56-33 over Saltash. Su Jameson and Katrina Borowoski were another pair, not only forming a new partnership for Yelverton C, they had never met before the start of the match against Hill Lane B. The Hill Lane team were much more experienced, winning 72-13 in Division 5. Every point was closely contested at Plymstock, where Menheniot B were the visitors. Menheniot showed why they top the division, with a good all round display of tennis, which deservedly earned them a 72-16 win. Hilary Hewitt and Audrey Scott of Looe C were too strong for both Plympton D pairs. Their two wins, with a score of 36-12, went a long way towards Looe winning by 52-46 .
Devonshire B 56, Tavistock D 46.
Mannamead E 51, Yelverton B 38.
Looe C 58, Hill Lane C 36
One of the most successful clubs in the lower divisions of the League is Menheniot in South East Cornwall. The club has 2 Ladies' and 1 Men's teams in the League and all are doing well in their respective divisions. Menheniot Ladies A lead in Division 3 by 70 points from Plympton A and the Ladies B team are 9 points ahead of Hill Lane B, in Division 5. In the Men's Division 6 Menheniot are in second place, 23 points behind Hill Lane C. Much of the success appears due to the selectors having more players available this season.
In the Men's Division 1 both the leading teams, Devonshire A and Mannamead A, won their matches fairly comfortably. Devonshire were at St. Budeaux A and with Richard Stafford and Chris Ryland winning their games 36-9 the team were winners by 61-31. Mannamead were away at Tavistock A and were without Alex Cox. However Simon Poyner and Ben Knight were on form remaining undefeated and winning 33-17 with Mannamead winning by 54-42. Covid 19 caused the postponement of the Hill Lane A and St. Budeaux B match. The two derby matches in Division 2 both resulted in wins for the higher ranked team. Ivybridge A showed no mercy on their B team, winning 72-14. It was closer at Plympton B where the A team won by 54-39. For Plympton B Alan Robertson and Mike Finnegan upset the form book, defeating Gary Brookes and Nick Haley 16-8 and Adam Blain and John O'Gorman 15-10.
Noss Mayo A did well in Division 3, coming away from Tavistock B winners by 58-41. The in-form players for Noss Mayo were Jason Vosper and Yuen Sui who beat Ron Temperly and Peter Rodgers 18-7 and Gareth George and Bill Sparks 16-10. It was not a good night for the Yelverton A first pair, Andy Weymouth and Bob Verey at Mannamead C. The pair only won 9 games, as with Phil Whitby and Andrew Leigh unbeaten, Mannamead C won by 62-36. St. Mellion are finding life in Division 4 hard going this season. Aches and pains are slowing up movement and the courts seem to get bigger. As usual the team put all their energy into the match at Plymstock but suffered another defeat, losing 72 to unlucky 13. In Division 5, Looe B sometimes have player availability problems but managed to find a team to travel to Tavistock C. The trip across the Tamar was worthwhile, particularly for Steve Garaghon and Alan Palin, who returned to Cornwall undefeated, winning 36 games, with the teams drawing 46-46.
The Division 6 leaders, Menheniot, entertained near neighbours Looe C and thanks to Ian and David Harris winning 34 games, Menheniot won 58-45.
Mannamead B Ladies were up against it in Division1, against the Mannamead A team, being beaten 72-12. St. Budeaux A did better than usual against Devonshire A, winning 39 games,but Mae Dartnell and Margaux Slade remained unbeaten for Devonshire.They defeated Natalie Hepburn and Beth Groves 18-8, and Kate Gibbons and Nikki Aitken 18-7, with Devonshire winning 59-39. Both Toni Lloyd and Janet Butler are playing well for St. Budeaux B this season, and they paired up to win 36 games against Plympton A,resulting in St. Budeaux beating Plympton 52-40. Myra Ahmed made her debut for Devonshire B in Division 2. Paired with Sophie Murray, the pair were never in trouble winning, with a game score of 36-1, as Devonshire won by 72 -9. Another pair to be far too good for the opposition were Helen Smith and Clare Hutton for Yelverton A against Looe A in Division 2. Their 36-4 score line indicated their superiority, with Looe beaten 67-19. St. Mellion are faring better than their Men, but it was touch and go in Division 3 against Mannamead C. Sandra Fox and Esther Pettit were unbeaten for Mannamead and unlucky to be on the losing side. Fox and Pettit beat Lara Alford and Candy Birch 18-7 and Mel Broadhead and Oonagh Glancy 18-6, but could not prevent St. Mellion winning by 49-48. Menheniot A scored yet another maximum win, with this week Tavistock B the unfortunate losers by 72-16. When Yelverton B won by 61-32 at Plympton B, Lynne Macfarlane and Annie Woock won both their events by identical scores. They won by 18-5 against Rachel Blain and Jo Jackson, and also 18-5 against Helen Wright and Vicki Finnegan.
Olga Rogers and Alison Clish-Green were persuaded to turn out for Tavistock C, at home to Devonshire C, in Division 4. It was well worth the effort, as in winning 36 games to 11, unbeaten Olga and Alison were full value for their efforts in a 72-22 Tavvy win. Saltash avenged an earlier defeat by St.Budeaux C winning by 56-42, with Caroline Hambly and Jill Cansfield unbeaten for Saltash. Carla Price and Alice Wildgoose were the pick of the Plympton C team, being undefeated in a 61-36 victory at Looe B. Becca Perkins was playing her first match for Hill Lane B in Division 5. Visitors Plymstock also included a beginner, Vicky Roberts. Both had encouraging debuts, with Roberts probably the happier as she was on the winning side, with Plymstock winning 59-33. Yelverton C had to concede 18 games through injury when, in a 3 hour match, they were beaten 64-25 at Looe C. Menheniot keep on top of the division when they overcame Plympton D 62-37, just in time, yes, before the rain came in.
W. Road 19 Saltash A 72
St.Budeaux C 38 Hill Lane B 60
Ivybridge C 32 Tavistock C 59
St. Budeaux D 26 Devonshire B 63
Newton/Noss B 62 St, Budeaux D 29
Hill Lane C 45 Saltash B 39
Tavistock player Rhys Dunford was over the moon and in seventh heaven after winning the Men's Singles title for the seventh time and the last six in succession. Rhys has dominated the event in recent seasons, rarely dropping a set. His opponent in the final was Ali Al-Moussawi from the Hill Lane Club, who had caused a minor surprise by knocking out the second seed Rory Harries. In the first set Rhys settled down immediately by breaking service. He continued to move Ali all around the court and coupled with great serving won the set 6-0. Ali was more confident in his game in the second set, and had his chances, but Rhys had the answer to most of Ali's tactics and took the set 6-2, for a worthy win. Rhys even managed to produce the shot of the match. This was a shot between the legs that flew down the line, passing Ali, for an extraordinary winner. Junior player, Beth Groves of St. Budeaux, won the Senior title by defeating Stephanie d'Haussy of Hill Lane. Beth was the more attacking player, very strong in all areas, and her powerful ground strokes kept her opponent on the defensive for most of the first set, which she won 6-0. Beth had trouble with the slow pace in the second set, and made some unforced errors. However, despite some good retrieving from Stephanie, the aggression from Beth paid dividends, enabling her to win the second set 6-3, and the match 6-0, 6-3.
There was an excellent match in the Men's Doubles, full of great rallies, changes of pace and crisp volleying. Alex Cox and Dan Chadder trailed 1-4 in the first set, recovered to 4-5. Ben Knight and Rhys Dunford won their serve for the set at 6-4. In the second set Ben and Rhys were more confident in their play, and with fine shot making won the set 6-1 and the match 6-4,6-1. The match was played in a good spirit from both pairs, and entertaining to watch. Kate Gibbons and Natalie Hepburn were too good in the Ladies Doubles for Sephanie d'haussy and Caroline Floccia. Although never giving up, Stephanie and Caroline found that Kate and Natalie were too good throughout as they won by the maximum 6-0,6-0.
The Veterans Men's Doubles needed a tie-break to decide the winner, when Neil Hunt and Dave Brimble met Alan Mayes and Kamran Khan. The use of the drop shot, by Neil, proved vital in winning the first set 6-3. Alan and Kamran fought back in the second set and although losing serve at 5-3, the pair held on to win the tenth game and the set. A closely fought tie-break eventually went the way of Alan and Kamran 10-7, for a win by 3-6,6-4,10-7. Four players who have met on many occasions contested the Veterans Ladies Doubles when Hilary Picton and Linda Trebilcock faced DI Harrison-Webber and Helen Smith. Di and Helen broke service in the first game of the first set and went 3-0 ahead. With both pairs covering the court well and retrieving consistently, Hilary and Linda came back to even the set at 4-4 and 5-5. Hilary and Linda were now the steadier pair, breaking serve for 6-5 and then serving out the set at 7-5. The second set, despite many deuce games, saw a combination of solid ground strokes from Hilary and Linda, and great running from Linda proved to be too much for Di and Helen . The winning of crucial points meant the second set win for Hilary Linda by 6-0, and a match success of 7-5,6-0. Tony Maestri and Alison Goodwin were too strong for Ian Bines and Georgia Jones in the Veterans Mixed Doubles. Alison controlled the net play backed up by subtle touches from Tony and despite some long baseline rallies the first set set w s won by Tony and Alison 6-2. The second set won by Tony and Alison by 6-0 was closer than the score would suggest with Tony and Alison forcing errors from Ian and Georgia.
The final match of the Championships proved to be the best and a fitting end to over six hours of tennis. Chris and Lucy Ryland were defending their Mixed Doubles title against Neil Hunt and Natalie Hepburn. Neil and Natalie settled down more quickly than Chris and Lucy, and although both men made timely interceptions the set was won by Neil and Natalie 6-2. Chris and Lucy made a great fight back in the second set, cutting down on unforced errors and in a set of many deuce games Chris and Lucy won it 6-3. The lead changed hands several times early in the third set tie break. Chris double faulted but the Rylands soon recovered their composure going on to prevail by 10-6 to retain the Mixed Doubles trophy.
Steve Hitch, Chairman of the Plymouth and District LTA thanked all concerned for making the Championships such a success. Particular thanks were due to Keith White, MBE, Chairman of sponsors Michael Spiers. Andrew Leigh as Referee played a major part In the smooth running as did Margaret Banyard in the kitchen. Alex Cox and Alison Goodwin stood in for Andrew on Finals Day
On a personal note, grateful thanks to Chris Webber of the Yelverton Tennis Club. His work on Finals Day in piecing together the event scores ,and how the matches ebbed and flowed was invaluable. Without his help, there would not have been such excellent coverage in the Herald (July 1st )
It seems amazing that we are already in Week 6 and the first five weeks have apparently gone very well and by all accounts been very enjoyable. Although there will be no promotion or relegation issues the winners of each division will receive the divisional trophy as normal. It has not been decided whether there will be an Annual Presentation.
Result Sheets - There are I'm afraid far too many Results Sheets sent in with errors or omissions. Can you please make sure all the details are not only written in, but correct.
Photos - Thanks for all the photos you are sending in. They get sent in to the Herald, with my Review, but they have a very limited space for Sport these days which varies each week, so only a limited number can be included.
KO Cup ( Scores in sets )
Yelverton 4 Plymstock 5
Ivybridge 0 Mannamead 8
Hill Lane 0 St. Budeaux 8
Plymstock 2 Looe 6
Tavistock 5 Devonshire 4
Tavistock v Looe 10 July
Mannamead v St Budeaux 30 June
Final at Mannamead/St. Budeaux Sunday July 25 (2.15)
Looe A won two home matches on consecutive nights, in the Men' Division 2. Jack Puckey was in terrific form for Looe, winning the maximum 36 games, with different partners. Puckey and Des Hocking won 36-8 against Mannamead B, and then Puckey and Nigel Watson did even better, winning 36-1 against Plympton A. Mannamead B improved in their home match with Ivybridge B, winning all eight events, for a match score of 67-26. Rory Harkness and Peter Tongue of Ivybridge A, defeated Plympton B players Paul Robertson and Ming Dai 18-2 and Alan Robertson and Michael Finnegan 18-8, with the team winning 61-33. All the Division 1 matches went according to the form book, and by very wide margins. Devonshire A beat Hill Lane A by 71-15. Mannamead A beat St. Budeaux B by 71-2, and in a slightly closer affair, Tavistock A accounted for St. Budeaux A by 70-31.
Whiteford Road caused a surprise when, in their best display of the season, they defeated second placed Newton and Noss A by 48-42, in Division 3. Joe Fisher and Alex Dougherty were in excellent form for Whiteford Road, remaining unbeaten with a score-line of 35-6. Mannamead C players failed to come to terms with the third set tie break, in their match with Tavistock B. They played three, losing two, which resulted in Tavistock B winning by 54-40. Paul Newton and Pete Rodgers, for Tavvy, ground out a narrow win over Toby Clark and Neil Coleman 17-11, but easily defeated David Whitelock and Paul Matthews 18-2. Strong serving and good volleying from the Yelverton A team was needed to overcome steady resistance from Saltash A, before Yelverton came through by 70-24. Plymstock are settling down in Division 4, and thanks to 36 games from Tim Randell and Steve Maller, Ivybridge C were beaten 56-43. St. Mellion have the smallest number of players available, and injury problems have not helped, in their quest for points. However, they have completed every match and this week won 26 games, with visitors Hill Lane B victors by 72-26.
Looe C won by 63-27 in Division 6, at Mannamead E, but unfortunately one of the Mannamead players had to concede one event and18 games, having to leave the match due to sickness at home.
There were mixed fortunes for the two Mannamead and the two St.Budeaux teams in the Ladies' Division 1, with the higher ranked team winning on each occasion. Both matches were played at St. Budeaux, with Mannamead A beating St. Budeaux B 72-12, and St. Budeaux A defeating Mannamead B 72-13. There was a very easy win, by 72-9, for Devonshire A over Plympton A. The strong serving and powerful ground strokes from Sophie Murray were much in evidence for Devonshire B, in a 56-28 Division 2 win against Yelverton A. The Yelverton cause was, unfortunately, not helped when Fiona Murphy had to concede 11 games through injury. Ivybridge lost two matches at home, starting with a 30-58 defeat by Tavistock A. Two days later, Looe A came away from Ivybridge winners by 59-26, with Jess White and Karen Galloway of Looe proving to be one of the leading pairs in the division, scoring 36 games to1. In the 59-25 win by Tavistock A over Hill Lane A, Louisa Warring and Debbie Wilson won 22 of Hill Lane's games.
Menheniot A lead in Division 3, and are still unbeaten after a comfortable 72-15 success over Mannamead C. Candy Birch and Zoe Liu won 25 games for St.Mellion, at Plympton C, but their effort was not enough to prevent a home team win by 63-34. Yelverton B must have been delighted to win by 70-27 at Tavistock B, with Yelverton twice coming from a set down to win by two sets to one. Tavistock C won by 72-19, in Division 4 against St.Budeaux C, with junior player Olivia Clark displaying much talent, which showed potential for an excellent tennis future. Looe B enjoyed playing on the grass courts at Saltash, winning by 50-43. Becky and Jackie Wray were unbeaten for Looe, with wins over Val Knight and Di Fitton by 18-5 and over Caroline Hambly and Jill Cansfield by 17-8. Devonshire C and Plympton C were fairly evenly matched, but an unbeaten performance for Plympton, from Alice Wildgoose and Jo Jackson, did much to give them a win by 58-36.
Mannamead D 34 Devonshire B 56
Hill Lane C 34 Menheniot 59
Looe C 48 Plymstock 59
Plympton D 39 Menheniot B 50
Yelverton C 46 Plympton D 40
Not even an ace or a double fault separated Looe B and Mannamead D, in the Men's Division 5, with both teams winning 48 games. Chris Janes and Velu Balasubaramanian were unbeaten for Mannamead, winning by 18-7 against Nathan Toms and Tom Davies and by 16-7 against Steve Garaghon and Dickie Lovelock. Tavistock D overcame St. Budeaux D 59-40, who, with an inexperienced team, did well to win 40 games. Newton and Noss B had to concede an event through injury, when going down 60-28 at Devonshire B.
The top two Division 1 teams met at Devonshire A, who just did enough to edge out Mannamead A by 45-43. However, it needed Linden Hardisty and Chris Ryland to win 36 games, to ensure a win for Devonshire. Tavistock A continued in winning form, by defeating St. Budeaux B by 56-42. For Tavistock, Rhys Dunford and Luke Wakely were too strong for both St. Budeaux pairs, and Peter Bradley made a welcome return to A team tennis. St. Budeaux A won their first match, and with both pairs unbeaten, the team won by 68-27 against visitors Hill Lane A. After two maximum wins in Division 2, Looe A suffered a 57-33 defeat at Ivybridge A. Undefeated for Ivybridge were Liam Murch and Max Daniels who played well to win by 18-1 against Dave Richardson and Jake Richardson. Plympton A found Mannamead B altogether too good for them, and went down 70-17.
Andy Weymouth and Bob Verey were the only winners in Division 3 for Yelverton A, at Newton and Noss A. The pair beat Jason Vosper and Rob Thomas in straight sets 18-9. The remaining six sets were closely contested, with Newton and Noss winning them by 52-25, to win the match by 61-43. Gareth George and Jeremy Hyde won 36 games for Tavistock B, in a 61-33 win over Whiteford Road. Jamie Ashleigh made his bebut for Tavvy winning one event with Kevin Siemonsm despite suffering a hamstring injury. Also winning 36 games were the Mannamead B pairing of David Whitelock and Phil Whitby, which enabled the team to defeat Saltash A by 63-34. An injury to David Gale meant a retirement in his match for St.Budeaux C, in the Division 4 match at Ivybridge C. St. Budeaux were ahead when Gale retired, but the concession of 11 games finally saw Ivybridge winners, narrowly, by 44-41. Rick Read and Jon Farquarson of Tavistock C struggled to beat St. Mellion players Russell Birch and John Horton 18-10, but did not drop a game in their 18-0 defeat of Roy Barraclough and Paul Shepherd, with Tavistock match winners by 59-30. Saltash B remain unbeaten in Division 6, when, in a most enjoyable match, they came away from Looe C comfortable winners by 63-31.
Devonshire Ladies A again showed their superiority in Division 1, when they won by a convincing 67 games to 28 against second placed Mannamead A. Sarah Fielder and Sarah Allen were by far the better pair for Mannamead when, although losing, they took a set off both the Devonshire pairs. Fielder and Allen were beaten 16-10 by Mia Loye and Mae Dartnell and 17-11 by Lucy and Sophie Ryland. Two straight set wins, from Toni Lloyd and Ursula Richardson, ensured a narrow 53-48 win for St. Budeaux B at Mannamead B. Plympton A took two sets to the tie- break stage but lost both, as St. Budeaux A won for the first time by defeating Plympton A 72- 21. Home advantage held good, in the Division 2 Moorland derby, when Yelverton A won by 62-38 against Tavistock A. Hilary Picton and Frances Lindsay won 26 games for Tavistock in losing 10-15 to Helen Smith and Lynne Macfarlane and defeating Fiona Murphy and DI Harrison-Webber 16-11. Lesley Crocker and Julie Lee won the maximum 36 games for Ivybridge at Hill Lane A, but could not prevent a 51-49 defeat. Jessica White and Karen Galloway of Looe A had to come from a set down to beat Georgia Jones and Sarah -Jane Pritchard, but won in straight sets against Jo Battersby and Chris Parker, with Looe A winning 51-38 over Devonshire B. The return from injury of Ann Short did not result in victory for Yelverton B, who went down 58-39 to Division 3 top team Menheniot A. Candy Birch and Zoe Liu of St.Mellion were unlucky to finish on the losing side, as they won 36 games, but visitors Tavistock B were match winners by 51-47.
In Division 4, Jackie Wray and Rebecca Kellagher of Looe B, dropped only 9 games, being too strong for both the Tavistock C pairs. They won by 18-4 over Karen Horton and Elizabeth Raikes and by 18-5 against Olivia Clark and Mary Harold, with match honours going to Looe 55-40. The win by Plympton C of 70-27, over Saltash, looked to be rather one sided, but long rallies meant that the match only finished in semi-darkness.
It was147, at Plymstock, in Division 5. Not snooker, but the combined ages of the Yelverton C second pair, Angie Lynch and Louise Dawe, and they played throughout, not needing a break. It did seem to be a long trip back home, as Plymstock won by 63-24. Menheniot B made it two wins for the Club in the week, by defeating Looe C by 58-38. Despite injuring her right arm in the warm up, Debbie Theophilus, of Hill Lane B, decided to play in the match at Plympton D. A wise decision, with the team winning by 72-14.
Ivybridge B 63 Plympton B 27
Hill Lane B 61 Plymstock 39
Yelverton B 52 Hill Lane C 46
Menheniot 49 Mannamead E 45
Mannamead C 32 Plympton B 61
Plympton C 44 Looe B 57
Plymstock 56 Plympton D 28
In the preliminary round of the Knock-Out Cup, Yelverton were at home to Plymstock. The match consisted of two pairs of Mixed Doubles, with each pair playing both the opposing pairs. The first two events consisted of the home team first pair playing the away team second pair, and the home team second pair playing the away team first pair. The rankings held good, with both the first pairs of Phil Gasche and Helen Smith (Yelverton ) and Tim Randell and Jess Randell (Plymstock) winning In straight sets, for a halfway score of 2-2.
Tim and Jess Randell continued in winning ways again, in straight sets against Gasche and Smith. The match swung the way of Plymstock when, in the event between the second pairs Chris King and Nicky Slight, and Bob Verey and Di Harrison - Webber, King and Slight won the first set and thus a total of five sets for the match. Verey and Harrison-Webber did win the next two sets, but Plymstock took the match by 5 sets to 4. Nicky Slight played particularly well in her debut in league tennis.
Match scores (Yelverton names first).
P. Gasche/ H. Smith lost to T. Randell/J.Randell 3-6;1-6.
beat C.King/W.Slight 6-4;6-2.
B. Verey/D. Harrison-Webber lost to T.Randell J.Randell 1-6;1-6. beat C.King/W.Slight 3-6;6-1;6-1.
First Round Draw
Ivybridge v Mannamead
Hill Lane v St. Budeaux
Tavistock v Devonshire
The Cup holders, Mannamead are seeded to meet Devonshire in the Final.
Michael Spiers Plymouth Tennis Championships 2021
The 2021 Plymouth Tennis Championships will take place at the Mannamead Lawn Tennis Club from Monday June 21st. with finals day on Saturday June 26th. . There are five Open events. Men's and Ladies' Singles, Men's and Ladies' Doubles and Mixed Doubles. In addition there are three doubles events for players 50 years of age or older by 31s December 2021. There were no Championships in 2020, but this year the Championships are again under the Sponsorship of Michael Spiers, who are financing the event and providing the Winners and Runners-Up Trophies. The Plymouth and District LTA are most grateful to Keith White, of Michael Spiers, for all his interest and support of the Championships.
Closing date for Entries is Friday June 18th.
In a Men's Division 5 match, Noss Mayo B just edged out visitors Looe B, by 48 games to 46, with all four pairs winning an event. Saltash B remain unbeaten in Division 6, after a home win over Hill Lane C. Paul Tapp and Paul Hough won both their events scoring 32 points to 18, with Saltash winners by 57-43
An undefeated performance, scoring 36 points, from Liz Webb and Olivia Clark, put Tavistock C well on their way, in the Ladies Division 4, to a 63-31 win at Devonshire C. The Division 5 match at Looe C finished in failing light, with Plympton D probably seeing the ball more clearly than the home team, to win by 49-45.
No Herald Report Unavailable
Despite the wind, rain and below normal temperatures for mid-May, the fixtures for Week 2 of the season did not suffer too badly from postponements. Of the 33 scheduled matches only 7 were not played, and one of these involved Looe B Men in Division 5. They had to make an early decision about their match at Noss Mayo B as one of their team was a fisherman at sea, and obviously did not want to sail home only to find that the weather had caused a postponement. Saltash B Men, Tavistock A Ladies and Plympton D Ladies have still to start, as their two opening matches were rained off.
In the Ladies Division 1, Devonshire A gave a debut to junior player Margaux Slade. Margaux, aged 16, is a pupil at Devonport High School for Girls and has just finished her GCSE's and is currently Devon Ladies Singles Champion. In the match against Mannamead B, Devonshire won comfortably by 72 games to 6. There was another debut winner when newcomer, Natalie Hepburn, joined St. Budeaux. Hepburn, partnered by Toni Lloyd, were unbeaten, scoring 36 points in defeating St. Budeaux A by 53-36. Promoted Plympton A are finding points hard to win, losing by 72-10 at Mannamead A. Yelverton A had quite an easy win in Division 2, defeating Hill Lane A in straight sets by 72-20. Jo Battersby and Rachel Yoines-Pearce were in fine unbeaten form for Devonshire B, scoring 36 points in the 64-26 win over Ivybridge. Zoe Harris and Debbie Smith won both their events for Menheniot A, in a 56-36 win at Plympton B in Division 3. Harris and Smith beat Helen Wright and Vicki Finnegan 18-5 and Jane Wilson and Sophie Raymond 18-6. Only one event went to a tie break at Tavistock B, who defeated Mannamead C by 72-26. Sandy Johnson and Lynne Macfarlane beat Candy Birch and Zoe Liu 18-7, and Mel Broadhead and Oonagh Clancy 18-7, as Yelverton B won by 57-39 at St.Mellion.
Plympton C did well to win their Division 4 match at Tavistock C by 64-36. The unbeaten pair for Plympton C were Carla Price and Alice Wildgoose, with a two event score of 36-12. There were no tie break sets when, in a close match, Devonshire C won by 14 points when overcoming Saltash away, by 53-39. In an entertaining match at Looe B two straight set wins from Tania Belcher and Kirstie Harland put St. Budeaux C well on the way to a 58-35 success. Although Plymstock lost by 39-54, at Menheniot B in Division 5, the hot cup of tea at the end made the journey worthwhile, but neither Plymstock pair could beat Tamsin Hemming and Linda See. Yelverton C, eventually, found their way to Hill Lane B in Lockington Avenue. Played in unusual weather of dry conditions and little wind, an unbeaten performance from Debbie Wilson and Bev Urbans did much to enable Hill Lane to win by 55-32.
Devonshire A and Mannamead A are already proving to be the front runners in the Men's Division1. Thanks to 36 points from Will Heard and Chris Ryland, Devonshire won by 58 points to 42. Mannamead A achieved the full 72 points, in a 72-12 victory over Hill Lane A, with all the Hill Lane points coming from Alan Mayes and Ali Al- Moussawi. The inclusion of Matt Lloyd and Martin Hill certainly strengthened the St. Budeaux B line up against St.Budeaux A. Neil Hunt and Rory Harries were undefeated for the A team, but their 33 points won was not quite enough to win the match, as St. Budeaux B won by 48-44. Looe A dropped only 8 games in a convincing 72-8 win at Plympton B in Division 2. Ivybridge A won both the tie breaks played, giving them a 65-26 win at Mannamead B. In Division 3, Toby Clark and Phil Whitby of Mannamead C, were far too good for both the Newton and Noss A pairs. They won by 18-5 against Jason Vosper and Yuen Sui and by 18-3 against Matt Thomas and Ron Cole. Although Tavistock B won all four events, Saltash A competed strongly throughout, scoring 23 points in a defeat by 72-23. The matches between St. Budeaux and St. Mellion are generally closely fought. The latest match was quite an exception, with St. Budeaux C by far the better team, in a 72-8 win in Division 4. The match at Ivybridge C, where Hill Lane B were visitors, did not finish until 10pm. The rallies must have been closely contested, as no tie-breaks were needed, with Hill Lane winners by 62-46. Ron Temperly and John Mulley were the main reason for a win by Tavistock C at Plymstock. Temperly and Mulley beat Phil Hughes and Ian Cloud 18-5 and Dave Bate and Dave Roberts 18-2 as Tavvy won by 55-35.
Devonshire B won in Division 5 by 72-14 at Tavistock D, but it was a much closer match at Hill Lane C, home to Looe C in Division 6. It needed 36 points from Paul Cooper and Phil Hore to see Hill Lane the winners by 62-33.
The League will have a different match format for 2021 due to possible Covid restrictions. Earlier in the year it was not known what effect Covid would have on outdoor sport, so 2021 would be a one off season, with no promotion or relegation. Also, it would be an opportunity to try a different scoring system. Previously the scoring was based on sets won, but for season 2021 results would be decided on games won. Each of the four events played would be the best of three sets. The first two sets being with a tie-break at 5-5. The third set, if needed, having a long tie-break set. Games won will be totalled for the first two sets, and if a pair wins both sets they will receive a bonus of six points. When the first two sets are shared, and a long tie-break is required, six points will be awarded to the winning pair. A maximum of eighteen points could be won for each event, and with four events played, seventy two points is the maximum team total.
In the first week of matches, only Looe B, in the Men's Division 5, achieved maximum points in their 72 -11 win over Tavistock D.
In the Men's Division 1, the two promoted teams from 2019 met at St. Budeaux B, with visitors Hill Lane winning by 48-47. Ali Al-Moussawi and Alan Mayes were the unbeaten pair for Hill Lane, defeating Martin Hill and Devlin Skinner 18-5 and Matt Lloyd and Troy Lambourne 18-6. St. Budeaux A also lost, going down 16-69 to a strong Devonshire A line up. Linden Hardisty and Chris Ryland were almost unplayable for Devonshire, losing just one game. The match at Mannamead A lasted nearly three hours, before, with thirty four points from Jamie Moncrieff and Simon Poyner, Mannamead finally overcame Tavistock A by 63-34. Ranking order held good at Plympton A in Division 2, with a 63-26 win over Plympton B, with the A team winning all four events. In Division 3, Yelverton A needed their second pair of Tom Alway and Jim Aird to win both their events, in the 56-42 victory over Mannamead C. Alway and Aird defeated Phil Whitby and David Whitelock 15-10 and Simon Dusting and Toby Clark 18-7. The winning of three tie-breaks made all the difference when Noss Mayo A beat Tavistock B 50-42.
Tim Randell and Chris King of Plymstock were too good for both St. Mellion pairs, being unbeaten with a game score of 36-3, in Division 4, with Plymstock winning narrowly by 44-39.
Three tie breaks were played at Devonshire B, with the home team winning all of them, in defeating St.Budeaux D 65-28 in Division 5. The South East Cornwall derby match resulted in Menheniot winning, in Division 6, at Looe C by 69-17. A feature of the match was the brilliant net play from David Elworthy and Don Hollick of Menheniot, who only dropped one game in four sets.
A strong Devonshire A team started in fine form at St. Budeaux A, in the Ladies Division 1. Mae Dartnell and Mia Loy remained unbeaten for Devonshire, in a team win by 65-31. Kate Gibbons and Nicki Aitken won twenty two points for St.Budeaux, including beating Lucy Ryland and Georgia Jones 15-11. Plympton A, up from Division 2, did well to win forty games against St. Budeaux B, but lost the match 40-61. For Plympton, Lyn Helliwell and Alison Miles scored a good win over Toni Lloyd and Sue Gale in straight sets by 12-10. The Looe A first pair of Jess White and Karen Galloway played a major part in the 45-39 win against Yelverton A, in Division 2. White and Galloway won thirty six points, in beating Di Harrison-Webber and Helen Smith 18-3, and Fi Murphy and Sandy Johnson 36-0. In a very competitive first match of the season, Devonshire B won a closer match than the score would suggest, by 66-30, at Hill Lane A. Sophie Raymond and Alice Wildgoose had little difficulty in winning their two events 36-7 for Plympton B, who won 63-25 in Division 3. Sue Parsons and Tracey Morrison were the form pair, with two wins for Tavistock B at Menheniot A. However their 32 points were not enough to prevent Menheniot winning by 51-42. All twelve sets were played at St. Budeaux C, in Division 4, with Saltash beaten 50-46. Jill Cansfield and Di Fitton were another unlucky pair, to win both events and finish on the losing side.
It was good to see Ladies' team tennis return to Plymstock after too long an absence. Their opponents were Hill Lane B, who won by 71-27 in Division 5. Although losing, the Plymstock team were really pleased to be back in the league.
Other Results: -
Division 2 - Ivybridge A 71 Ivybridge B 24
Division 3 - Saltash A 61 Whiteford Road 27
Division 4 - Tavistock C 70 Ivybridge C 20
Hill Lane B 23 St. Budeaux C 69
Division 6 - Yelverton B 35 Mannamead E 58
Division 5 - Yelverton C 69 Looe C 29