Brodie Cup 2017/18
MURTC v Hardwick
Sunday 22nd October 2017
Lennox Johnston & Asher Ward (MURTC) v Katie Leppard & David Fox (Hardwick)
The day kicked off with our two Brodie Cup debutants playing in the 45 doubles. The first set was nip-and-tuck all the way, with neither pair really dominating the service end, but at 5-5 Lennox and Ash regained the serve to close out the set and calm the nerves of the MURTC supporters in the dedans. The second set was a completely different affair as, from the start, Katie decided to employ an unusual combination of lobs and drop-shots which had the students floundering. At 1-5 down a third set looked inevitable (particularly to George Lewis), but an astute change of tactics saw Lennox volleying solidly from in front of the galleries and Ash covering the back of the court. Thus the comeback began..1-5 became 2-5, 3-5 and ultimately 5-5. The momentum was now with MURTC and after a couple of match points, it was first blood in the fixture to MURTC.
Rob Dickinson (MURTC) v Simon Constantine (Hardwick)
This was a high-quality match which featured some really top-class tennis. Unfortunately most of it came from Simon. Rob was the first to admit that he didnâ€™t play to his usual high standard, but he was put under relentless pressure by an opponent who served well and retrieved even better. Simon dominated the serving end and Rob struggled to lay chases. Simon raced into an early lead and, despite Robâ€™s best efforts, kept the pressure on. 6-2 6-2 to Hardwick and the fixture was now tied at 1-1.
Mark Heffernan (MURTC) v Richard Oldham (Hardwick)
The less said about this match the better. Richard was struggling with a bad back and had driven 3 hours to get from Somerset to Hendon to take part in the fixture. Huge credit to him, but I suspect he wishes he had stayed in the West Country. The journey had left him somewhat immobile and the result was 6-0 6-1 to MURTC. At least he enjoyed the lunch!
Yuri Kugler (MURTC) v Candida Nicholls (Hardwick)
This was an interesting contrast of styles (and sizes). Despite losing his focus for a few games in the second set, Yuri was never really in any difficulty. He eased through the first set, despite Candidaâ€™s best efforts to move him around the court, closing it out 6-2. The second set was proceeding in similar fashion until Yuriâ€™s mind began to wander and Candida picked up three quick games. At 5-4 up in the second, Yuri regained his composure to take it 6-4.
George Lewis & Mark Gillespie (MURTC) v Colin Butler & Tim Tomalin (Hardwick)
The final match of the fixture was a bit of a mismatch, not just in terms of handicap but also of age. The Hardwick pair were playing off a combined handicap just below 100 (and a combined age well above it) and were no match for George and Mark. With Mark deftly lobbing into the grille at will, and George adopting a more forceful approach, the only doubt was whether the Hardwick pairing would register on the scoreboard. They did, but just once. 6-0 6-1 to MURTC.
So a 4-1 victory for MURTC. The next round is away to Radley on 19th November.
A big thank you to Chris Bray for his faultless marking and to Mary for a wonderful lunch.
45 doubles: Lennox Johnston & Asher Ward (MURTC) v Katie Leppard & David Fox (Hardwick) 6-5 6-5
30 singles: Rob Dickinson (MURTC) v Simon Constantine (Hardwick) 2-6 2-6
40 singles: Mark Heffernan (MURTC) v Richard Oldham (Hardwick) 6-0 6-1
50 singles: Yuri Kugler (MURTC) v Candida Nicholls (Hardwick) 6-2 6-4
35 doubles: George Lewis & Mark Gillespie (MURTC) v Colin Butler & Tim Tomalin (Hardwick) 6-0 6-1