Last night the final of the Alan Hamer Club Doubles Championship was played by reigning title holders Mike Happell and Bret Richardson and the challengers Julian Snow and Chris Sievers. The first set was a tussle with the 6th game taking more than 10 minutes. Happell and Richardson started strongly going to a 4-1 lead with Happell returning well and playing the forehand corner at the service end with guile allowing the ever ominous Bret Richardson to dominate the net – and true to type, Bret could be found anywhere at the net from the Door Gallery to the main wall. Julian was as ever always competitive; in particular, his backhand proved to be a significant weapon as the match progressed. However, despite Snow and Sievers being able to win the long game and take the score to 4-2 Happell and Richardson’s superior team play allowed them to close out the set 6/3.
The second set progressed in similar vein to the first and ended in the same score line, 6/3 to Happell and Richardson. In both sets Sievers began serving to Happell which left Snow to serve to Richardson. Needless to say, all four players had many moments in which they showcased their superior abilities, all four have won club doubles titles and in Julian Snow’s case a World Doubles Championship, but if one player stood out on the night as having made the difference it was Bret Richardson. His aggressive returning of serve, railroads and volleying often brought a swift end to a point.
Still, at two sets to love down Snow and Sievers made it clear that they were in for the long haul if given the opportunity. And sure enough, as the players tightened just a little, the third set proved to be the closest of the lot. Snow seemed to find a little bit extra as he took every ball at the receivers end that was not destined to find its way into the Grille – unlike most poachers he made every shot count for the betterment of his team. For a while it seemed as though every reste went backwards and forwards from Snow’s backhand to Happell’s forehand with the end result being a Snow bound Dedan either direct or via the main wall. In taking the set 6/4 the match now threatened to keep those watching up later than expected, ah well, it was better than watching Wimbledon anyway.
Despite Snow’s backhand prowess and Richardson’s menace, and Siever’s excellent bobble serving and protection of the Grille, shot of the night as acknowledged by Snow after the match had to go to Happell. From deep in the backhand corner at the service end Happell, despite heavy cut from a Snow forehand, managed to lob a ball into the Grille notwithstanding Sievers appearing to be almost sitting inside the Grille in his attempt to stop the errant grenade.
The fourth and what proved to be the final set was still tight but all the big points were being won by Happell and Richardson. Happell and Snow were both showing a few signs of fatigue and under these circumstances the team work of Happell and Richardson proved the better fit than the Snow driven combination. Final set score 6/1.
Result for Alan Hamer Cup Doubles Final:
Happell/Richardson def. Sievers/Snow
6/3 6/3 4/6 6/1
The club’s newsletter for May 2011 is now available.
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Bloomsday Tournament and Dinner
On Friday 17 June – 107 years and 1 day after the first Bloomsday, Michael Macaleavey hosted a wonderful party at RMTC. There was some gentle doubles tennis in the late afternoon – was there supposed to be a winner? – followed by a dinner, or craic, as he put it. Twenty-two people attended for the commemoration and celebration of the life of James Joyce, whose novel Ulysses, inspired loosely by the Odyssey, follows Leopold Bloom around Dublin on one day in June.
The evening was started by drinks, taken to the enjoyable accompaniment of an Irish harpist. Over the salmon, Michael started by pointing out that not only was Joyce an unexpectedly devoted husband, he immortalised the day on which he met his wife – 16 June 1904. Richard Travers then discussed Joyce as a lapsed medical student (as Joyce’s father had been), and read a passage from Ulysses dealing with Buck Milligan as a medical student in Paris. It may have been autobiographical, but the ‘stream of consciousness’ for which Joyce is noted was going just fine. Michael said that the point of a craic is that everyone contributes to the entertainment, as he challenged everyone to answer the question “Why are you here?” Overlooking the fact that philosophers have not produced a satisfactory answer in thousands of years, people came forward with a remarkable selection of stories, jokes and poems, which considerably broadened of the cultural spectrum,.
It was fortunate indeed that the guests included Annie Holden, because she stepped into the breach when Michael’s kitchen helpers failed to materialise. She did a great job in getting the meal in order, and we all thank her warmly, as we do Michael Macaleavey for organising the evening.
ARTA – LADIES HANICAP DOUBLES 2011
Lots of fun was had in the Ladies Handicap Doubles this Sunday (19th June).
It was a thoroughly enjoyable day with loads of laughs both on and off the court.
Sophie Johnstone & Anabelle Guest were the runners up in a tight final against Lizzie Brown and Fiona Hewson winning the final 6/4. It was a great match, well played by all.
Thank you to Lizzie for putting on yet another fantastic feast to cap the tournament off.
Queen’s Birthday Handicap Doubles 2011
When the cat’s away the mice will play and with the Kool Kats all away doing their serious stuff in Van Diemen’s Land there was much uninhibited and relaxed fun at a very nice party Her Majesty gave for her birthday on Monday 13th. In the end a couple of young bandits (possibly glad to be called young but there was a septuagenarian in the comp to give perspective) succumbed to the total lack of scruple of young women playing shots that no professional taught them. Diane Rennard and Brigitte Claney were the victors against Mike Carroll and Paul Scally after coming back from a first round beating (3/6) to win 6/2 in the final. From the dedans it looked as though some manual adjustments were in order before any of us have to play any of them again off handicap.
None of the dignified ladies and gentlemen on the Limb Court for preliminary rounds ended up with a prize but a decisive early blow was struck against an ancient but canny pair that looked as though they might have gone the whole way. In his first tournament back after many years not playing our 1988-1990 President Richard Hall was giving a very good account of himself, especially with an accurately pitched sidewall serve which hugged the back wall, when a sudden movement returning serve did in a monkey muscle. And that was despite all the good advice available as usual at the RMTC about warming up, stretching, yoga, pilates, deep breathing, heavy breathing…… A cold pack and Euahna’s laser acupuncture gave hope by the end of a day spectating that Richard will be back soon as a highly desirable partner before his handicap again reaches realistic levels.
In case there should be any fears of discontinuity it should be reported that Henry Turnbull and Andrew Gould got as far as a semi-final. It will probably be Henry who occupies the sad vacancy created by John Hewson as a presumptive finalist in doubles handicap tournaments. His volleying is at least as pugnacious, not to say reckless.
Jonathan Howell and Kate Leeming helped make the day and enjoyable success, and Jonathan, standing in for Richard Hall so his partner James Guest could keep on playing, didn’t find it necessary with that partner to do too many “professional” shots to avoid embarrassing victories.
Despite talent such as Simon Carr’s heading fast towards where his father Nick used to be it cannot be said that the tribute the RMTC paid to Royalty was rewarded with auguries of a World Champion to be. But it was fun.
The second Quarterly Medal for 2011 was held at RMTC on Saturday, 4th June. Julian Snow and Tim Threlfall were the winners from the morning groups, with three wins each from their four matches. The afternoon session saw Lesley O’Byrne and Vince Scopelliti emerge victorious, each winning all of their four matches.
Julian, Tim, Lesley and Vince join the winners from the February Quarterly Medal as qualifiers for the Medal of Medallists competition on Finals Day in December.
Saturday 16th July:
Dinner 7pm Catered for by Ed Dixon at RMTC.
Sunday 17th July:Mixed Doubles handicap Event
RSVP: Fiona Hewson
We have 12 lovely ladies now signed up for this festive event. Men are now invited to sign up for remaining spots in the dinner and the draw, particularly those of 40+ handicaps. We have several vacancies so please contact me.
Ladies will draw their gentleman partner (of a suitable handicap range) out of a hat at the dinner.
Food: A chef will provide us with a sumptuous a 3 course warm Christmassy meal, including a starter, Roast Turkey and traditional plum pudding.
Dietary Requirements: can anyone with special diet please let me know now.
There are other options available upon request.
- The dinner will be approx $75 per head (food & service) and we can do a separate drinks tab for the drinkers! We will need to serve our own drinks.
- There will be the usual court fees etc for the Sunday tournament fee
- Sunday we will have a help yourself ham, cheese and fruit buffet, arranged by myself at cost – approx $10-15
RSVP to Fiona Hewson ASAP.
0417 084 599