Colston Mens A v Oxford City B, Saturday 9th May 2015

After 30minutes this looked like a very tight match with revenge for the defeat looking a tough ask.

Olly and I had lost the first set against a solid first pair who made very few mistakes and took their chances without ever really taking control  and the 2nd pair were giving Miles and Chris a run for their money.

Thankfully Chris was frustrating them by getting everything back (often with a deep lob) and despite their heavy top spin hitting and powerful serving we ground out a 6-3 win. Olly and I regrouped for the second set and realised we couldn’t be more consistent than them so we had to attack more- hit harder and deeper and get to the net. Olly also found his serve and we took control to gain the half. Chris and Miles were having just as much difficulty in the second set and Chris served for the rubber at 5-4 up but lost. We broke back and Miles just had to serve it out- 4 big serves later it was all over.

So 1.5 to 0.5 rubbers at the half way point and we should have been able to wrap it up easily. Except having watched their 2nd pair in the last 4 games the real question was why they weren’t the first pair. Chris and Miles had beaten them with dogged consistency and good defence that was beyond Olly and me so we had to try and attack them and nullify their top spin by getting to net. This worked to some extend but they were just too good and we lost both sets.

Miles and Chris should always have been too good for the 1st pair and so it proved winning fairly comfortably to seal the win 2.5 to 1.5.

If Olly and I had our time again we could beat the 1st pair also and so it should have been 3-1, but it needed Chris and Miles to be at their best to take the 2nd pair.

Great tennis and played in a great spirit.

The A team march on with 2 from 2.

We now have a long break until we have two matches six days apart- June 14th and 20th. Lord Stevens returns to partner me  and Paul steps in to partner Chris. Win both of those and we will be well set for promotion


Colston Ladies v Blewbury, Sunday 19th April 2015

Before I start the match report, our final position  for the winter league was 4th, just 2 points behind Faringdon in 3rd. So a great result and thanks to all who played throughout the winter , usually in less favourable conditions!
The next ladies social tennis night is Monday 27th April from 7.30pm, it is open to any club member so please ask other ladies who don’t necessarily play in the team to come along, for a relaxed couple of hours of tennis.
If anyone is free to play in an away match on Saturday 9th May, please let me know.
Now to todays match report:
Todays match was away at Blewbury, so another picturesque but long drive although easy to find…..
The weather was cloudy, with some light wind, so cooler great conditions  for tennis.
Today’s first pair were Amy and Teresa and they hadn’t played together before so the first set whizzed by 1-6 to a confident second pair. During the second set they stayed with the Blewbury pair and Amy was firing some great shots down the lines and Teresa was volleying well making it harder work for Blewbury, but they unfortunately lost the second set 3-6.
Meanwhile “Team Horner” were full of anticipation and eager to start play. ( Rosie stepped in at the last minute as I was struggling to get a 4th player for today!. It  was her first experience of ladies league tennis….)
We made a slow start and before we had even thought about it had lost the first set  to love. Their first pair were experienced , but steady so we tried to move them around to some success and with nearly every game going to Deuce had some great tennis. Unfortunately we were unable to convert these deuces and lost the second set 1-6.
 The second round started promptly , Teresa and Amy had a flying start and took the first set 6-3, their experienced first pair came back in the second set and took it 6-2. We had already decided to do a tie break instead of the third set and Amy and Teresa were unlucky to seal a win, but pushed the Blewbury pair to the end and made them work for the win in the tiebreak.
Rosie and I decided to try and improve on the first match and started strongly, my serves were now going in, which always helps and Rosie was whipping some great forehand returns deep into the corner, which were either outright winners or produced an easy volley for me to finish off. Team Horner were staying with the Blewbury second pair, but unfortunately succumbed to Blewbury losing the first set 3-6. The second set started similar to the first with some long games and lots of deuces, the long games were taking their toll on us and with a lack of concentration towards the end we lost the second set 2-6. So an unfortunate result of 0-4 overall, so we can only improve from here ladies! As ever the scores don’t reflect the quality of tennis produced today, there was some great shots and teamwork all afternoon. Well played everyone.

Colston Mens A v Banbury D, Saturday 18th April 2015

4-0 to the Colston LTC’ was the chant ringing from the terraces when as we left the courts yesterday afternoon…..It was a workmanlike performance from the team against oppo who weren’t too hotto.

 Chris was sporting a trendy cravat neck support, a back support and two knee supports but the two chaps from their second pair still made him look like a youthful Olympian.  Nevertheless they won the first game of the set against us with the captain for the day obviously feeling the pressure of the responsibility and playing like a drain.  After a word from Chris however and some steady play they didn’t win another game all set and only a couple in the second set.
On the next court the sound effects from John and Gavin had the acting skipper a bit worried but I was very pleased to discover that after a poor start they had come back to take the first set 6-4 and then took the second more easily.
Their first pair had clearly been demoralised by the loss to JandG and their only player under 90 was getting mighty peeved by the infamous Colston wind.  They provided no contest for Chris and I, only managing one consolation game in the second set.  The wily old crocks from their second pair gave John and Gavin a bit of the scare in the final set which went to a tiebreak, but the home team held their nerve and temper (just about) to claim the clean sweep.  Their guys will no doubt be comforted to know that despite not winning a set John has ‘NEVER PLAYED THIS BADLY IN MY LIFE!’.
They were a nice bunch and took their beating well.  I guess they are going to get a lot of practice at losing gracefully over the season

Colston Ladies v Woodstock, Saturday 28th March 2015

We arrived on a beautiful afternoon for our last match of the season against Woodstock.
The sun was shining, but we soon found we had an accompanying bitter northerly wind which meant that we kept our outer layers on (lots of them) and had had to play both the skills of the opposition and the wind curling the ball randomly.
It was good to play with Amy in her first match for Colston, we gelled quickly and took the first set in a jiffy.
Some reasonable serves from me, despatched brilliantly at the net with a succession of backhand cross-court volleys by Amy, and we soon found we had won the first set 6 – 0.
We settled into our stride and enjoyed some fun tennis in the second set and came out with another win at 6 – 1.
Meanwhile Carol and Teresa were slugging it out against their more experienced 1st pair, with longer rallies, much more running and lots of “yours” and other great calls.
At 7-6 they took the first set, then, well into their stride with great vollying and deep shots, they won their second set 6 – 1.
Amy and I had brewed tea for our opposition while waiting, got cold, and unfortunately took our time to get back into our game, but we had a chat, decided to attack more, and pulled the set back at 6 – 4.
Carol and Teresa rattled through the sets with lots of wonderful vollies from near the baseline and great shots, beating their pair 6 – 3  and 6 –  3.
We recovered our tennis, played lots of deep ground shots, and were pleased to win the last set 6 – 1.
So a great way to finish the winter season with another 8 –  0 result to Colston Ladies.
We then gave the visiting team our now renowned tea, with delicious sandwiches, dips, tarte and cakes.
Huge thanks to Emma for being our captain and organiser for the season and to Carol for deputising so well when Emma was not playing.
We have all enjoyed lots of great tennis, and learned a lot about match play, and now look forward to the summer season and warmer weather.
Anna Coull.

Colston Ladies v Kingston Bagpuize, Sunday March 1st 2015

It was a beautiful sunny Sunday morning, but the forecast spoke of heavy rain inbound; so it was with some pessimism that we set off to Kingston Bagpuize. Would we be able to get the match played in time or have the frustration of having to postpone halfway through?
Despite the urgency and the fact that it is one of our closest away matches,  we took the scenic route….. much to Ann’s (the world’s worst backseat driver) annoyance!

(Finally) arriving we checked out the loos, admired the plant pots (the two aren’t related) and had a quick knock up. Emily and Karen took on Kingston’s first pair and promptly lost the first set. However, heads didn’t go down and they played brilliantly in the second set, with some fantastic serves from Emily and amazing volleys from Karen, to take the set in a tie break.
Meanwhile, Ann and I were also taking our time to get into the match on the other court, with a combination of some frustrating ‘soft’ shots from the opponents and a roaring cross wind, we found it difficult to keep the ball in court. (Ok Ok, Ann played brilliantly and I was finding it difficult) Luckily, we improved and won 6:3 6:2.

After a quick break, while Emily and Karen finished their epic second set, we swapped around and played the other pair. By this time we were well and truly in our stride and with some great drop shots, angles and slice from Ann, and decent serves and some running (take note Emma) from me, we won 6:2 6:2.

Emily and Karen continued to play brilliantly on their court. Their opponents were getting everything back and some long rallies ensued. Karen’s tenacity at the net with some great angled volleys and Emily’s ground strokes and powerful serves won through and they took the match 6:1 & 7:5.

The dark clouds had been gathering as the afternoon wore on, but we timed it to perfection; retiring victorious to the club house for a delicious tea just as the heavens opened. A lovely afternoon’s tennis with some very nice ladies and a tea, almost, but not quite, on par with our own.


Colston Mens A v Abingdon C, Saturday 28th February 2015

And so the season ends for Colson A.

Gibson and Tridgell were like Ireland- we just did everything better than our opposition. We had a momentary lapse against the 2nd pair where after establishing a 4-0 lead we let them get back to 4-3 but we then took the next 8 games and they looked pretty sad at the doughnut in the second set.- Almost as sad as England.

Unfortunately Paul and Olly were both rusty (Boys you have to spend more time on a court!!) and lost 1 and 2 to the first pair. The verdict of the chairman- Dire.

Gibson and Tridgell put the first pair way comfortably enough (2 and 2) and are now starting to anticipate each other and look like a pretty good pairing J

But now Paul and Olly, were starting to look like Italy and find a spark- they lost the first set 5-7 but were 2-2 in the second- could they stir themselves and find that killer blow to seal the victory? They lost the next game to go 2-3 down before taking 4 on the trot!

So 5-3 to the good guys and at least Miles has something to cheer about this weekend.

We finish the season with 4 wins, 4 draws and 3 losses. Not bad against some good opposition.

Thanks for another enjoyable season and looking  forward to playing with the sun on our backs.


Gareth Tridgell

Colston Ladies v Appelton, Saturday 21st February 2015

Looking very smart in our very professional tennis outfits, we gathered for our home match against Appleton.

The weather was dramatic with lots of everything but rain.
We had bright sun and even hail.
Four very experienced-looking ladies came onto court and had obviously played a lot over the years.
Carol and Anna had 2 great sets against their 2nd pair, with some demon net-play and lots of encouraging “RUN…(if you can)”, which Carol achieved with success.
Thank you to Chris Hand’s cardiotennis practices.
We had a good 6-2 and 6-1 score.
Karen and Teresa were working hard against their 1st pair, with some very long rallies and lots of running. They put up a great fight, but sadly were overcome 6-2 and 6-0.
The opposition were placing their shots very accurately from the baseline and never missed.
We moved swiftly onto the next games and Carol and Anna quickly got into our stride and took the first set 6-3, but had to work hard.
The 2nd set was a nail-biter, every game went to at least 1 duce, sometimes 4 or 6!
But then the sun turned against us and seemed to shine brightly in our eyes when we were looking into it, but went behind clouds when the ends were swapped.
Our opposition quickly took advantage with lots of loopy shots ,and we went down fighting 5-7.
Karen and Teresa were firing great shots and volleys, and there were lots of shouts of (encouragement until their husbands arrived!).
However their experienced opposition moved them round the court too much and the score was 1-6 and 1-6.
So the final score was a very creditable 3-5.
We were complemented on our Colston tea and the beautiful club house and courts, and look forward to the same team playing again in 4 weeks time.
Thanks, Anna.

Colston Mens A v Farringdon A, Sunday 14th February 2015

We didn’t spoil their party!

But losing to such a good team was no shame- not only were they very good they also played the game in great spirit: Friendly, no dodgy calls, compliments on good shots, and very sociable afterwards.

They are much improved from last year and deserve to be going up: Their star player is now 14- in previous years he showed potential but lacked the consistency and game management that he has now developed- It was clear to see who was in charge even though his partner was more than 3 times his age. The second pair also had a new recruit for this year.

Chris F dropped out of the team almost immediately after I sent the note below- a recurrence of his back problem. Thankfully Hamish was able to step in and partner Lord Stevens so that I could play with the Champ.

But from the first set against the 2nd pair we knew we in for a tough afternoon’s work. Miles was struggling to find his range on serve and forehand (A morning working on his Raspberries!!) and we gave them a 3-0 start before getting going and matching them. Hence the set slipped away 6-3. In the second we had 4 set points but lost them all and then lost the tie break 7-4 (Not helped by the Captain’s double fault!!).

Gavin and Hamish has been brushed aside by the 1st pair and had to sit and watch most of our second set. Their first set against the 2nd pair was 6-0 before they rallied and only lost the last 6-4.

Miles and I had our chances against the 1st pair and most games went to deuce with some very long points (so that Gavin and Hamish were again left watching most of the second set) but as Big Al always says- there are some points you just have to win- and they won them with calm and clever as well as skilful play from the afore mentioned 14 year old. Miles was playing near his best at this stage with some great defence,   but I fear the Captain was fading L.

Good tennis and good banter throughout but the score line at the end read 0-8.


One last chance in two weeks time to even up the tally of matches won/lost.

Colston Ladies v Oxford Sports D, Saturday 7th February

Our match against Oxford Sports D was played at home in dull and chilly conditions. We all walked out on court looking like Michelin men with many layers which we promised each other we would definitely shed as we got going….Mmmmmm….took a while!
We knocked up in our four getting our eye in and gradually loosening cold muscles up. The opposition turned up and we were pleased to see they were as wrapped up as us! However we also recognised 3 out of the four from previous matches and knew we were going to have to play good tennis to keep in the game.
Anna and Emily M were our strong first pair and they took on the visiting second pair. Anna was directing her ground shots with accuracy and making gaps for Emily to place her trademark volleys into. The visiting second pair however were fast around the court and a few battles ensued. Anna and Emily are a formidable pair and were on form so after a while the two sets were in Colston’s bag at 6:3, 6:2.
Meanwhile Emillie D and I were fighting hard against the first pair. As a new pairing we were playing well together and Emillie’s tactical volleys were a pleasure to watch from my baseline position. Their first pair were canny players and very precise with their down the line shots. After a while I managed to intercept one (having observed a few whistle by my twitching racket!) and smack a feel good volley into the open court… cheers from all four of us as it had been so long coming! It was Emillie’s first outing as one of the ‘Colston Ladies’ but no one would have noticed by her tennis. Unfortunately we were outplayed and the two sets went to the persistent Oxford team 1:6, 2:6. So a draw at ‘half time’.
We changed opponents and all carried straight on to avoid seizing up. Anna and Emily M were well into their stride by now and although there were some good cross court rallies their combined height and Emily’s youthful long legs (even with bare ankles!) soon took the first set 6:2. This set the tone for the next set and with the smell of tea and cake spurring them on Anna and Emily took the last set 6:3.
Emillie D and I  were taking most of our games to deuce on our court and both sides were making good use of the tape on the net. Again Emillie was very efficient at the net with me racing along the baseline when needed. Unfortunately after some good ground shots and some demon volleys from all the players the sets went to the Oxford Sport ladies, 6:1, 6:3. It was good tennis though and I think we all enjoyed it without actually turning blue!
So, in the end, a draw after a couple of hours of very fresh air and we retired to the club house for curried parsnip soup piping hot from flasks, sausage rolls and homemade cakes…. We all decided that calories don’t count on cold days like today! Well played Colston Ladies!

Event Planners are ACE!

Colston Ladies have a lot to smile about, not only do they produce the best teas in their division they also look great with some fantastic new team kit.

The ladies are now looking very professional in pink polo shirts and navy sweat tops both sporting the club logo on the back. The opposing teams will be on the back foot before Colston even steps on court as we look so smart.

The first outing of the new kit produced an 8-0 win over Benson Tennis Club, the perfect result, the new shirts are bringing us luck already!!

The new kit was very kindly sponsored by Eventplanners (www.eventplanners.co.uk) a local based business with over 25 years’ experience of organising corporate and private events.

Emma Horner

Ladies captain