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Colston Mens A v Wantage B , Sunday 9th February

Once again the weather tried to defeat us but we got it played- and in the end had some sunshine!!

Things started badly with Mr Foreshew withdrawing due to injury and so I spend a couple of worried days before finding a suitable replacement in Sunny. He and Paul began really well against the very reasonable 1st  pair from Wantage and took the first set with a great mix of powerful hitting and subtle shots.

Meanwhile on the other court Miles and I had a false start (first 8 points to us) and it felt so easy we didn’t really wake up as the warm up had been rather short due to rain on arrival. We slipped to 3-2 down before we got into gear through chasing down some good shots- as the adrenaline started to flow we took 10 of the next 12 games to run out comfortable winners 4-6, 1-6.

This allowed us to watch the emerging drama on the other court. Sunny and Paul had 5 match points, but couldn’t close them out and the opposition got back to 6-6 and the tiebreak commenced. The momentum was now with Wantage and they went 4-0 up before S&P brought it back to 4-4!! Alas it was not to be and Wantage took it.

So 1-3 at the half way point and we should have been on for 1-7- but as is the Colston way (Gavin and I have done it too many times to count) the 1st pair brought the best out of S&P and they couldn’t maintain it against the weaker pair losing both sets.

Miles and I closed out both our sets despite the odd wobble and some miraculous reflex  volleys from one of the Wantage players that left me scratching my head as to what more I needed to do- but I suspect that “One volley” Foreshew wouldn’t have given him the opportunity to amaze us. Still we can settle for an away win (3-5)- and thanks to Sunny for turning out at short notice to help Paul earn the vital point!

We now have 4 weeks until the next match for Chris F to get fit again- Keep us informed mate.

Colston Ladies v Oxford Sports, Saturday February 1st

Today’s match against Oxford Sports was a gusty one… It was difficult keeping the ball on court, let alone getting it over the net!

Warming up we tried to get used to the huge difference between each end of the court, but decided after too long to get started before the imminent rain.

Anna and I took on their second pair first and quickly sussed out the weaker player.. The better of the two was the only person to brave bare legs today, and even I thought she was crazy. Although she had a brilliant driving forehand, fortunately for us she kept making mistakes and we beat them 6-2, 6-2. On the other court Carol and Heidili were getting to grips with the wind, and by this point rain too, and after some great rallies unfortunately lost both sets to their first pair who had a very strong player on their team.

Thankfully the rain ceased and the sun reappeared revealing a beautiful rainbow which although slightly distracting, was a beautiful setting for the next match. Anna and I struggled initially as the court we moved to on the 2 pair was more exposed than our previous court and it was almost impossible to serve! The other pair had the slight advantage of having got used to this already but although they took the first set 3-6, we didn’t quite give up and with tea calling finally managed to get the second 6-4 after a very long run of deuces. Carol and Heidili didn’t have any better luck this time.. The stronger player had found her forehand and her partner performed some well placed lobs (difficult unless the wind dropped slightly), so after a well fought battle they were sadly defeated.

Overall the opposition won five sets to two, but there were some great players and we really enjoyed the match!

Emily

 

 

Colston Mens A v Banbury West End A, Sunday 26th January

The big  news is that we played at all- we delayed the start to 1.30 and with one ten minute rain break completed the match!!

 

Big Al stepped into the shoes vacated by Miles to pair with Mr Foreshew- Combined age 141years- think we should have a bonus point awarded for that>

Alas all their experience couldn’t bring home a victory against a good 1st pair and very competent 2nd pair.  They pushed the second pair to 6-4 in the final set playing some very good tennis, but couldn’t quite “win the points that mattered” (How often have we heard Al say that over the years!!)

Olly and I got off to a slow start against the 2nd pair and it went to a tiebreak before we closed it out- the second set was easier as we found our form and worked out their weaknesses. We carried this into the 1st set against the 1st pair and took it 6-3 with solid serving and volleying, although it has to be said that they did miss a lot of shots. In the second set they started to fire better and we slipped 4-0 down before finding a response to get back to 4-2 which progressed to 6-3 loss.

So 5-3 overall, and a very enjoyable afternoon which even finished in sunshine!

 

League updated yesterday afternoon and Wychwoods carry on their march with Appleton and Abingdon close behind- when the result from our match is added BWE will still be in with a shout if they can win their games in hand.

 

Like Murray we will probably not be finishing in the top four this year L

But Miles returns for the remaining three matches so we’re expecting great things champ!!

 

http://leagues.horizonsolutions.tv/thames-valley-winter-tennis-leagues-201314?view=league&league=L00003

Childrens Coaching begins again on Saturday 18th January

Happy New Year !

Weather permitting I am hoping to restart the kids Saturday morning tennis next week on the 18th at Colston.

Sessions running at 11am for the red ball players and 12 noon for green and yellow ball players.

It normally takes a few weeks to get everything going and enthusiasm to re-appear but with your help we aim to run a very early season competition session and tournament within a couple of weeks to kick start the competitive play for this year.

Further info from me but otherwise we hope to see the kids from next week

Chris Hand

LTA Coach

07970 481707

cd.hand@yahoo.co.uk

Colston Mens A v Faringdon A

We got another win

But probably not good enough to mount a challenge in the second half of the season unless we can get some high scoring wins against the top teams

Miles and Chris felt they were a little below par but still managed to take both sets against a very experienced 2nd pair from Faringdon (6-4, 6-3)- Alan Elbourn has coached and knew what he was doing as did his partner.

Dick and I lost the first set 6-4 before working them out a little- keep it away from the boy and remember he can run fast and still hit it when he arrives. We took the second set 6-2 for a 3-1 lead at the half way and this should have led to a 7-1 final score but again the Colston Curse kicked in.

Dick and I went to sleep and where 2-5 down before coming back to 5 all only to lose 5-7. Very frustrating- although as I said above they were no mugs and defended very well. But  we should have been playing better and alas our frustration with how we were playing didn’t spur us on and we were 1-4 down in the second before we decided on full out attack- serve volley and get to the net as much as possible- might as well go down in a blaze of glory. If only we’d done this before- we took the set 7-5 and were left to regret games thrown away.

Meanwhile Miles and Chris had gone behind and then shortly before they lost the 1st set Chris collapsed in a heap with a cry of agony that could be heard in Burford. He had folded his knee as he tried to turn. But after a wet tea towel had been applied and a few minutes breather he returned to the fray and played better than before. Key insight: To get the best out of Chris make sure he is in pain-  So Kelly has agreed to kick him hard before each match. The second  set was duly won for a 5-3 victory.

I have only just entered our result so it is not included in the updated table below. We will now return to second place but those around us will have matches in hand- If we beat them all convincingly in the new year then perhaps we can still sneak promotion but it is a tall ask from here.

http://www.horizonsolutions.tv/leagues/thames-valley-winter-tennis-leagues-201314?view=league&league=L00003

Colston Ladies v David Lloyd B, Saturday 30th November

Just a quick report from today, we travelled to the bright lights of Oxford to play David Lloyd B and were very impressed with the cafe, wide screen TV and beech clad changing rooms all very different to the cobwebs and draughts of our wooden changing rooms….
We were slightly disappointed to find we were on the outside courts, which again looked very smart, but had it’s own challenges. The surface was carpet which does provide some interesting bounces, so kept us on our toes. unlike the birdsong and odd plane at Colston the ring road which is only a stones throw away provided a constant drone all afternoon, we had to resort to sign language to check the scores! The low winter sun was as trying as ever and shiny metal cladding of the David Lloyd centre added a distinct glare even from the shaded end……
We started playing with good spirits and Charlotte’s slice serve was working well on this surface, skidding through at speed. The partnership from last week was working well and they were unlucky to lose the first set 5-7. On the back of being pipped to the post on that set, they stormed the next set 6-1 and headed inside to the warmth of the David Lloyd lounge.
Meanwhile Sarah who was stuck with me as Phyl was ill (Get well soon Phyl xx) headed into another tight first set. Sarah’s flying forehand was working well and deep baseline returns from me had them working hard, they just got their game together at the end of the first set and pipped us 5-7. My serve left me in the 2nd set ( I think it only works in the countryside!) and even with Sarah’s confident net work the set slipped away rather quickly to 1-6.
We started the next round of matches after dragging Tessa & Charlotte out from the warmth and by now the sun was beginning to go down behind the buildings improving the playing conditions.
Again a great start by both pairs, gaining in confidence and getting used to the surface both pairs took their 1st sets 6-3. The second sets were again tight and could have gone either way, I think their home advantage came through and we both lost our second sets , Tessa & Charlotte 3-6 and Sarah & I 4-6, even with Sarah rattling them with her forehands so much that they complained that they were being hit at them…….. (Then proceeded to hit me directly at the net at least 3 times in the following games)
The tea today had the addition of chips which were very welcome as the temperature outside had dropped, do you think the electrics at Colston will take a deep fat fryer?
We may have been dazzled by the bright lights of the city, but give me the peace & tranquility of Colston any day, but then I will always be a country girl at heart.
So sorry ladies our winning streak has come to an end and we lost 3-5 in sets. The next match is 4th January, so not too much turkey & wine over christmas.
At my last look, we were 2nd in the league table after last week’s win, although not all the teams results had been filed. So I would think we should be about 4th or 5th out of the 12 teams after half the matches played
So well played everybody, fantastic position to be in, enjoy the break!!
Emma

Colston Ladies v Farringdon C, Sunday 24th November

It was a bright chilly day on Sunday as we faced our home match against Faringdon C team.

Sarah and I faced their first pair to start and we seemed fairly well matched. We concentrated and gradually took the lead in the first set to win 6:4. The second set had slightly longer rallies but with Sarah’s great volleys at the net we won 6:2.

Meanwhile Tessa and Charlotte had finished their 2 sets with some great rallies and won 6:3, 6:4. After a brief stop and in concern for the impending twilight we all returned to court.

Sarah and I were fully focused and had some great shots between us and took the next set 6:0. The fourth set saw a distinct drop in sugar levels ( where were the curly whirly’s!) and we found ourselves at 6:6 and a tie breaker! We found a sense of humour and enjoyed our tennis and secured the tie break to win 7:6.

Meanwhile Tessa and Charlotte were battling it out with tenacious baseline hitting and great volleying. Amazing lobs from all 4 players it seemed as we drank coffee  and watched from the club house.
Eventually after 2 tie breaks it was a set each at 6:7 and 7:6 and in the darkening evening we retired for a very welcome delicious tea in our now accustomed style!

A final result of 7:1 and some well exercised muscles! Great fun!

Carol

Indoor Tournament Saturday 16th November 2013

The second indoor tournament was a great success again on Saturday evening.

22 players battled it out over 4 hours of doubles play at the Delta indoor tennis centre in Swindon.

Pairings were aimed as best we could at a level ( ish) standard across the board.

The eventual worthy winners were Sunny and Ben who did not lose a match all evening and beat Hamish and Carol in an appropriately banter filled final.

From the tennis, the beer and curry beckoned as we were treated to a feast by the Khushi in Lechlade.

All in all another enjoyable and fun Colston evening. Well played everyone especially Sunny and Ben.
A request has already been made for another one around March so hopefully we can do that.

Chris

Colston Mens A v North Oxford D, 10th November 2013

Strawberries and Cream.

Love and Marriage.

Newcombe and Roche.

Whatever your personal favourite  partnerships- one more great one was reunited on Sunday afternoon as Foreshew and Coull showed us why they were once the Colston A team first pair- It wasn’t quite the epic encounter of the Battle of Blewbury, but playing as the second pair their nous, innate mutual understanding, and Hamish’s willingness to do as Chris tells him, left the North Oxford first pair reeling as the first set slipped away from them 3-6.  North Oxford managed to regroup for the second set and the young tall player in particular started to assert himself, realised that his only chance was to hit hard and take on every over head. North Oxford managed to get the second set 6-3.

Meanwhile Olly and I, in a pattern that was to dog our afternoon, were taking it in turns to play brilliantly and then awfully. On the odd occasion when we managed “brilliant”  at the same time we were invincible, but equally we were seldom both bad at the same time and against the 2nd pair this seesaw behaviour was enough to take us to 1-6 victory. But then 5 games of mediocrity saw them take a 4-1 lead before we kicked into gear again to bring it back to a tiebreak, which followed the same pattern- 4-2 down before taking it 5-7.

So 1-3 to the good guys at the half way point.

Foreshew and Coull made short work of the 2nd pair and Tridgell and Morris-Adams were doing well against the reasonable 1st pair- racing to a 2-5 lead before losing our way again and letting them get back to 4-5 before Olly served it out. Alas, they were improving and we were losing our mojo- Our hope of both playing well at the same time did not materialise and instead we both played badly at the same time and the 2nd set slipped away.

Still, another 6-2 win to add to last week’s leaves us back in positive territory- 17 points from a possible 32 (4 matches). Considering that after the first two matches we had 5 from 16, this is a solid recovery- Just need to see how the other teams do over the next month when we have no games.

Next match 8th Dec at home.

Colston Ladies A v Bicester C, Saturday October 19th

We set off to play against Bicester C with our fingers crossed, as the weather forecast was dreadful.

After being stuck in traffic in torrential rain we started to think that maybe we would get to the shopping village after all…..

However, (luckily!) the rain stopped and we were able to get our first matches played. Jane and I played well in the first set, winning 6-1. Jane playing beautiful wide angled cross court forehands and fantastic volleys. However, their team upped their game in the second set and came back at us with some hard ground strokes and serves, and they won the second set 5-7.
Meanwhile, Anna and Jules had a similar match on the next court, winning the first set 6-3,  with a combination of tactics and amazing volleying. Unfortunately, they also then lost an extremely close fought second set 5-7.
Oh, the frustration at not playing a 3rd set in the winter league!

After gleaning as many tactics as I could from Jules and Anna ( which I then forgot to pass on to Jane, who was politely talking to the other team!) we went into the second match with confidence and both our pairs were ahead in the first sets.  Unfortunately the weather gods were against us and the heavens opened. Torrential rain continued and the decision was made to stop play as the courts were becoming dangerously slippy. After a long wait with no sign of the weather improving, we had to decide to either declare the match a draw or replay it on another date. After a long discussion it was mutually agreed to call the match a draw and we could finally eat the delicious tea; definitely on par with a Colston one!

Overall, a soggy but lovely afternoon, with some great tennis played. We would definitely have won if it hadn’t rained……

Helen