Wanderers pulled off a remarkable victory to win the inaugural Festival of Tennis at BTC last weekend.
The handicap doubles event featured teams from MCC RTS, Hobart RTC, Wanderers as well as host BTC.
The final scores were Wanderers 10, BTC 9, MCC 7 and gallant Hobart somewhat less.
Played over three days the event featured each of the four teams playing 15 matches (first to 8 games on Friday and Saturday and first to 6 games on Sunday) with 18 players competing.
After Friday night the scores were heavily in favour of BTC when they led 5 wins, Hobart were on the board, Wanderers drew a blank and MCC did not make the evening due to Intro Night in Richmond and other duties elsewhere.
David Hay was the standout player for the evening with startling good form from Stuart Strange and Jo Edwards. Sav Cremona was remarkable, Baker patchy and Jolly unremarkable.
Saturday saw a turnaround in some fortunes with uber pairing of Ian Bull and Peter Dunn, for MCC, misfiring, a strong showing by Cora Trevarthen to support Jo E and Sav for Hobart, and an advance by both Wanderers and MCC who won four matches each to get back in the hunt. McAllen and Woods and Greg Reid boosted the MCC. While Cremona was getting even better, the Edwards knee was flagging. Notwithstanding, the standout player was Greg Reid for the day.
At the end of the second day BTC was still out in front with 6 wins followed neck and neck by MCC and Wanderers on 4 wins each and Hobart recording 2 wins by now.
Supper had been served on Friday night but despite its familiar comfort food it did not provoke a late night: seemingly a mutual consensual attitude to saving oneself for the remainder of the weekend.
The dinner feast on Saturday was another affair altogether. Inspired by North Asia, the repast of four courses featured elements from Japan, China, Korea and The Bund in Shanghai.
The evening’s down fall for most of the dozen diners, beyond the usual suspects of beer and Bests, was the untimely idea of sake toasts.
And so to a shaky start for some on Sunday.
Bright eyed Chris Nobes stepped up and demolished all in front of him, Greg Reid struggled to overcome his handicap, Chambers and Unmack stepped in for the hospitalised Wendy Whitehead and SS (some sort of unwelcome record, but glad to report both recovering well), Sav got better still, Jo E kept form despite that knee, and incredibly 5 matches went to 5-all, deuce advantage all.
Bragging rights in the Baker household goes to young Mitch (who partnered with Ian Chambers) beat his father Nathan (and Robin McAllen) when dad Nathan plopped one into the net on the 6th match ball. And still managed a smile: what a guy.
Tough-talking Chambo missed being crowned the king of the penthouse in this match as Nathan stole that unfortunate accolade, but it was a close run thing. It turned the whole weekend with BTC missing a chance, in this 5-6 closest of all losses, to at least secure a share of the weekend winner’s spoils. It was then left to Nobes and Jolly to secure the Wanderer win at last turn.
Great to have the event graced by Sav Cremona down from Sydney to play for Hobart, Ian Bull, Tim Raw, The Robins, Greg Reid and Chris Nobes up from Melbourne, Peter Dunn getting back into the swing of action, Chambo, Rod Unmack and Mitch Baker stepping in at short notice for the injured soldiers, Wendy for dropping by to say hello and mark a few matches, Andrew Reeves – he of dodgy knee – and Graeme Fowler dropping by and, of course, Tanya Baker whose support over three days was torn on Sunday between son and hubby opposed across the net for the first time in combat!
The Festival of Tennis has launched with a bang. Don’t miss it next year for a new batch of spills and thrills.
Match 1: 5.40pm Hay + Baker (B) v Jolly + Cremona (W) Ballart 8/2
Match 2: 6.20pm Edwards + Cremona (H) v S Strange + Hay (B) Ballarat 2/8
Match 3: 7.00pm Baker + Jolly (W) v Edwards + S Strange (B) Ballarat 4/8
Match 4: 7.40pm A Strange + Edwards (H) v Hay + Baker (B) Ballarat 7/8
Match 5: 8.20pm Jolly + S Strange (W) v Edwards + Cremona (H) Hobart 6/8
Match 6: 9.00pm Hay + Baker (B) v Cremona + A Strange (H) Ballarat 8/4
Match 7: 10.00am Trevarthen + Cremona (H) v McAllen + Woods (M) 8/4 Hobart
Match 8: 10.40am Bull + Dunn (M) v Jolly + S Strange (W) 5/8 Wanderers
Match 9: 11.20am Chambers + Baker (B) v A Strange + Trevarthen (H) 8/1 Ballarat
Match 10:12noon Bull + Dunn (M) v S Strange + Baker (W) 3/8 Wanderers
Match 11:12.40pm McAllen + Woods (M) v A Strange + Edwards (H) 8/1 MCC
Match 12: 1.20pm McAllen + Woods (M) v Trevathen + A Strange (H) 6/8 Hobart
Match 13: 2.00pm Bull + Reid (M) v Edwards + Cremona (H) 8/3 MCC
Match 14: 2.40pm McAllen + Woods (M) v Trevarthen + A Strange (H) 8/3 MCC
Match 15: 3.20pm Bull + Dunn (M) v S Strange + Reid (W) 1/8 Wanderers
Match 16: 4.00pm Cremona + Edwards (H) v Baker + Reid (W) 3/8 Wanderers
Match 17: 10.00am Ian Chambers + T Raw (B!) v Woods + R McAllen (M) 6/3 Ballarat
Match 18: 10.30am Dunn + R Unmack (B) v Reid + Nobes (W) 2/6 Wanderers
Match 19: 11.00am Chambers + Raw (B) v Cremona + M Baker (H) 6/5 Ballarat
Match 20: 11.30am Cremona + Nobes (W) v N Baker + Reid (B) 6/4 Wanderes
Match 21: 12noon Dunn + Jolly (M) v Reid + Nobes (W) 1/6 Wanderers
Match 22: 12.30pm Cremona + Nobes (W) v Reid v R Unmack (W) 6/0 Wanderers
Match 23: 1.00pm McAllen + Woods (M) v Chambers + Raw (B!) 6/5 Ballarat
Match 24: 1.30pm Dunn + N Baker (B) v Cremona + Edwards (H) 5/6 Hobart
Match 25: 2.00pm Edwards + Cremona (H) v Chambers + Raw (M) 6/4 Hobart
Match 26: 2.30pm Nobes + Jolly (W) v Reid v R Unmack (B) 6/3 Wanderes
Match 27: 3.00pm Baker + R Unmack (W) v Raw + Edwards (M) 5/6 MCC
Match 28: 3.30pm McAllen + Woods (M) v Edwards + M Baker (H) 6/4 MCC
Match 29: 4.00pm Chambers + M Baker (M) v N Baker + McAllen (B) 6/5 MCC
Match 30: 4.30pm N Baker + R Unmack (B) v Jolly + Nobes (W) 2/6 Wanderers