Sunday 30th October saw BTC host an exciting mixed-doubles tournament, the 2022 Faull-Sunter Cup.
Now in it’s third iteration (after last being held in 2020), this year it was renamed to reflect the contributions to Real Tennis of two families involved with BTC since its early days both on and off the court – pioneering club members Brian Sunter and John & Peter Faull, and now many players from the following generation in these families.
The switch to a mixed doubles format also reflects the wonderful efforts of the GReaT (Get Real Tennis) women’s tennis group at BTC which meets each weekend to inspire the next crop of female tennis players. Many of the female players in the tournament were those that just took up the game within the last 12 months, but who have made great strides since.
The format was based on two qualifying groups playing round robin matches, and then a final between the winners of each group. The lower handicap group was jovially named the Dutch Masters, while the higher handicappers were the New Order.
In the Dutch Masters group, Cath Faull and Ian Chambers were the team to beat, playing some great tennis to win all three of their group matches, resisting strong pressure from all the other evenly matched teams, who all picked up a set each. A highlight match was the morning’s game between Cath & Chambo and Cora Trevarthan and Pat Sunter in front of a full dedans of spectators, where in the early stages several shots into the dedans and winning gallery were traded, before Cath & Ian’s classy tennis saw them clinch it 7-3.
In the New Order group, Lucinda Horrocks and Anthony Faure also conquered all comers, with Penny Corser-Hatten and Keir Reeves also getting a set under their belts, and Brendan Thomas and Deb Bordignon also playing with great spirit.
So after a fine lunch and lively conversation including lamb slow-roasted in the BTC BBQ (and enjoying some rare Ballarat sunshine this spring on the outdoor terrace), the on-court action progressed to a late afternoon final played between the group winners.
The final match involved navigating quite a large handicap difference – really the first for the day due to the group scheduling. Cath and Chambo owed half 40, had one serve and tambour banned, whilst Lucinda and Anthony simply had to withstand the tricks these two were occasionally able to serve up and use their receive 30 handicap to push forwards. They did so with gusto, reaching an 8-1 lead, before Cath and Chambo rallied valiantly, coming back to 9-5 down when the 45-minute match bell tolled. So, Lucinda and Anthony were undisputed winners of the Faull Sunter Cup and we look forward to many more of their cracking and cunning strokes on court for years to come!
But off the court, everyone agreed the tennis club was the real winner, with a great deal of conviviality shared, as well as excellent food and drink arranged by Keir Reeves as guest chef and sommellier on the day.
Thanks also to Penny Corser Hatten, Cath Faull, Patrick & Julian Sunter for organising efforts, everyone who helped with preparation and smooth running on the day, as well as Andrew Fowler and friend of BTC Paul Tabley for marking.
— Report by Julian Sunter.