In a round packed with great tennis and excellent, really active groups, Group 2 of the Bournemouth and Christchurch league seemed to us to catch the very essence of all that's great about your commitment to the league. Worth a special write up we thought... Nine players started, over thirty matches were played, everyone earned their bonus points. Here, with the help of runner up Prem (pictured above), is the story of the round.
The players flew out of the starting blocks, scheduling matches early to send bonus prizes flying off the shelves...
"We were all really eager to get off to a strong start with Langer helpfully setting up a WhatsApp group to get the ball firmly rolling (tehe!) and Roger trying to get into our minds by showing us a video of himself with his excellent form. This meant that the whole the group managed to secure their extra bonus points making for even more closely fought matches."
Mark and Peter provided us with the first three set thriller of the round, a closely-fought match that eventually went Mark's way but only just! Not to be out done Ben and Hugh, Prem and Sam, Ben and Sam and Mark and Roger all followed with epic encounters of their own. Hugh and Prem efficiently went about their business, recording win after to win to move to the front of the group, though they didn't have it all their own way.
"I had some really close games with unexpected twists and surprises, at times clinging on literally with my finger tips to the racket to come back from the brink of defeat - thank you Sam and Langer for some nail-biting finishes."
In the end it was a very close call for the title with Hugh and Prem finishing on the same win/loss record (W7, L1). However there can only be one winner, and this time the congratulatutions go to Hugh as he added a point to his total from a marathon defeat to Ben to edge into the lead.
"Hugh as usual you saved your best till last and were a worthy winner of the group, well played."
Away from the on court action, Sam received "an education on wooden tennis rackets and skirt lifters (see below to find out more!)" from Peter in their post-match chat while Roger and Peter discussed a "barbeque-and-play tennis get together".
"What made this such an enjoyable group was the fun and good-humoured spirit in which the matches were played."
The rain and wind didn't seem to stop anyone in this round, but with this dark and dreary weather now upon us it is always great to have some colour added to the game.
"I'd say the unoffical award for most colourful player of the group would go to Ben and his unique ability to swing into either Italian or English as required! The most colourful racket would have to go to Mark with his custom-built 18-gauge HEAD Supremo!"
And the final words come from winner Hugh and third-placed Mark:
"This round was certainly the best value I've played in so far. Eight enjoyable matches against very different, enthusiastic opponents played on five very different courts. Everyone was keen to arrange their matches (I think Prem played all his matches in the first week....) and flexible about where and when they played - just what LTL is all about. See you next round!" Hugh
"That's me signing out for this round - all 8 played. Very enjoyable. Glad to meet you all!" Mark
Match of the group:
Mark Treviss-bell bt Peter Livesey (Oct 5) 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
"Well played, Peter, well fought and very close. It could have been anyone's match. Good luck in your future matches and keep up the progression. Hope to play again soon!" -- Mark
"Good to meet you, Mark, and thanks for what turned out to be a closely fought but enjoyable match. All the best in your remaining games and I hope we get the chance to play again in the not too distant future," -- Peter
Ben Howell bt Hugh Richards (Oct 9) 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
Ben Howell bt Sam Furr (Oct 24) 6-2, 6-7, 6-4
Comment of the group:
Sam Furr bt Peter Livesey (Oct 21) 6-1, 6-1
"Thanks for an enjoyable late afternoon match today Peter, not only did I get a tennis match but I also got an education on wooden tennis rackets and the role of a 'skirt lifter' which is not an occupation but an accessory that women tennis players used in bygone years. Enjoy the rest of the league Peter." -- Sam
"Good to meet you Sam and well played. Despite the scoreline, I enjoyed our match very much; not to mention our post-game chat about old tennis rackets and the like(!) I wish you all the best in your remaining games," -- Peter