Curry Tournament 17th May 2014

Saturday tournament was a great success and played in tremendous weather and in great spirit.
We had 16 players, so 8 pairs. Matches were playing 7 games, with or without beer on the court !
Although pairings were pretty evenly matched in terms of ability and experience, some were a little more competitive than others and keener to gain victory !
Dick, Hamish and myself had played for 3 and half hours in a match beforehand and so were fading quickly, with yours truly the first to wilt. Thankfully the young ladies partnering Hamish (carol) and Dick (Jules) managed to carry them over the line and complete their games.
Q the crying moment …. a certain person sitting on a plastic chair leans back as he shouts across all 3 courts to start a line of encouraging abuse to the ex-chairman, when crack !!! …… the chair disintegrates underneath him ! The tears of laughter all around allAtook some time to fade as I wondered when will i ever learn ?
The final in fading light was between the top two scoring pairs of Ben/Al C and Hamish/Carol. Both these pairs had won 6 or their 7 matches. Sadly with Carol’s back nearly broken from carrying the ex-chairman and lure of more beer, they went down fighting a very spirited Ben and Al.
So victors Ben and Al duly received their Champagne and we all retired to the curry house in Lechlade for supper and beer.
Thanks to everyone for supporting a another successful fun event and in the process contributing after costs, £90 to club funds. This was capped off the next day by the ladies winning their first summer league match of the year with the Mens B having won on Saturday before the tournament.
Top tennis at Colston !


Colston Ladies v Blewbury, Sunday May 19th 2014

Today we had our first summer match of the season. This was a home match against Blewbury and proved an eventful match! The visiting team looked very professional as they side stepped and skipped around the court to begin their warm up but as we started to knock up the famous Colston breeze joined us and ruffled them slightly. Charlotte and Helen looked full of energy as they played the second pair and swiftly closed the first set at 6:1. Helen was ‘very strong from behind’ (Charlotte’s words! ) and her ground strokes powered past the opposition. Charlotte adopted a  non text book ball toss for her serve which although unorthodox proved extremely effective and soon the second set was firmly within Colston’s grasp at 6:2.
Meanwhile on our court Karen and I were holding our own against their first pair. Although we lost the first set 1:6 there was a lot of grumbling from the other side of the net and ‘we are making hard work of this ‘ comments so we were fairly pleased we were being irritating enough to have played ok! The second set started with Karen and I very positive and playing well together. We decided that we were thinking to much about what the coach would say about our shots so decided to play ‘ugly tennis’ and just get the ball back! We doggedly persevered with Karen executing some fantastic lobs and consistent serves. Her ball placing got us out of some tricky moments and I did a lot of calling ‘great shot Karen!’  We were pulling ahead and had settled down when I returned a ball as a short cross court forehand into their service box. My opponent launched herself forward and then stopped immediately (uttering language you will not hear at Wimbledon!), she had ‘pinged’ something in her foot. She was in great pain and unfortunately that pair had to withdraw.
So Helen and Charlotte could sit with a cup of tea and cake in hand having comfortably taken all 4 of their games( albeit two of them from the comfort of the club house) and watch as Karen and I battled away in the heat of the sun.  We won the first set 6:4 with a lot of scampering about court returning some seemingly impossible shots. We realised the importance of communication as we ended up in a hug on court as we both went for the same ball! Highly amusing to the spectators though!
The next set saw an increase in spectators and a drop in sugar levels and having been in a strong position to take the set we lost 5:7. As previously agreed if we had a set each, we entered into the champions tie break rather than a third set. The experience of the pair at match play showed through and they secured the tie break 4:10.
We retired for tea very exercised. Charlotte’s homemade courgette, asparagus, feta and lemon filo quiche was as effective as her serve and hit the spot, followed by jam, cream scones and carrot cake from Helen and Karen…..mmmm! Calories don’t count after all that running I am sure!
Overall a win for Colston but more importantly a great afternoon of tennis all round.
A great start to the summer season.

Colston Mens A v Hanney A, Saturday 3rd May 2014

A battle of Blewburyesque proportions

 The much longed for reuniting of  Tridgell and Stevens did not begin well. Double faults, muffed volleys and ground stokes pushed wide of the tram lines meant that the first set disappeared rather to quickly, 6-2. It was half way through the second set that we finally woke up and brought it back to a tiebreak. They were a competent 1st pair but having got back into the match we really should have closed out the set but alas no.

Meanwhile Miles and Chris were dealing with a 2nd pair that were pretty much the same standard as the first- in particular they had a leftie who hit his huge forehand with enormous top spin. We took the first set with ease (1-6) but then they played better (Or Miles and Chris slipped??) and they too found themselves in a tiebreak, which they too- Lost.

Hence it was 1.5 to 0.5 rubbers at the halfway point.

Miles and Chris started well against the 1st pair (4-6) but then they fought back to take the 2nd  set and level it.

Gavin and I struggled to work out the leftie and frankly were still not playing well and lost the first 6-3 and then slid to 5-2 down in the second- this was the Blewbury moment!! We took the next 3 with some great serving and by playing the shots that annoyed them- Little dinks to the backhand of the leftie that he just lifted up for Gavin to smash. At 5-5 they got one and we got the next to set up the tiebreak-  but we were in the ascendency now. We raced to a 0-5 lead but then managed to lose the next 5 points before taking a 5-6 lead that set up the point of the match. Many good shots were exchanged before they placed a very good drop shot in Gavin’s tramline when he was well back behind the base line. Enough to level it you might think but Lord Stevens rolled back the years and sprinted (I kid you not!!) and not only got there but hit a cross court winner when the ball was only 2 inches of the ground!  This should have broken their spirit but it didn’t and we found ourselves 4-2 and 40-15 down in the third set before returning to our “dink it and wait for the kill” strategy- we took that game and the next 3 to win the rubber and since Miles and Chris had comfortably taken the third set, we begin the season with a win  2.5 rubbers to 1.5.

I think they’ll be kicking themselves having won 5 of the first 8 sets, but as Gavin always says “It’s a long way from 5 to 6”.  This bodes well as the Colston tradition (with the exception of the battle of Blewbury) is to fade at the end so bring on Wheatley on the 24th !!


Colston Bears Take League Title

The Colston Mens B Team – “The Bears” won the 2013/14 Division 5 winter league last week having not lost a match all season !

Captained by Dick Collins the Bears have been unbeatable all year and look set to climb higher in both summer and winter leagues with a strong squad.

Well done to one and all and good luck for Summer 2014.

Gibson takes 2013 Mens Matchplay title, April 18th 2014

Miles Gibson and Olly Morris-Adams finally played their long awaited 2013 Mens Matchplay Final during the Easter weekend with Gibson running out a 6-1, 6-3 winner.

A rusty Morris-Adams threatened in the second set but it was too little too late as Lord Stevens watched on.

The 2014 event is now up and running and both finalists will be hoping for a rematch later in the year.

Colston Mens A v Shipton Under Wychwood, Saturday April 5th

A rather disappointing end to a rather disappointing season last Saturday vs Shipton-under-Wychwood.  With nothing to play for in terms of promotion or relegation we still fancied a crack at the runaway leaders of the division and had a decent team out with Olly and Miles as 1st pair (controversially in Lord Stevens eyes, of course) and Gavin and Jonnie as second pair.

The astro courts are fast and they had some big serving big lads (two of whom were professional coaches).  Me and Olly took a while to adjust to the court not winning a single point on the oppo’s serve for their first 2 service games.  This was perhaps a masterstroke, lulling them into a false sense of security as we went on to take the first set.  Unfortunately this was to prove the high point.  In the second set they raised their game by 5% and ours dropped by about the same amount and this proved fatal.
On the next door court Giles the friendly giant and his partner ‘Fish Face’ (Morris-Adams, O 2014) were convincing winners against Jonnie + Gavin, though ‘not that good’ according to our boys!
After the swap over Jonnie + Gavin troubled the scorer more effectively against the second pair, and were up in both sets but in the end went down 4 and 4.  Meanwhile there was a titanic struggle in the first set between the two first pairs.  Gibson served for it but was broken, then ‘I cannot say it but I can write it’ (Mourinho, J 2014) Olly ‘the Balls’ Morris-Adams held his serve to take us into the tiebreak.  We had a set point in the tiebreak but in the end went down something like 13-11.  It was hard to get our heads up after that and the second set was a more comfortable 6-4 for them.
A final rather unflattering score of 7-1
It was good to play against really decent oppo who hit the ball hard, but the rarity of this type of play in our league made it a struggle to adjust to.  Promotion next year is the answer!

Junior Competition Morning, Saturday 29th March

We were blessed with great sunshine as we ran the competition morning on Saturday for the juniors.
We had 25 youngsters taking part in 3 separate mini tournaments on all courts from 9.30 until midday.
The standard of tennis was high to say the least with 6 older juniors fighting out the yellow ball matches in the first to 5 games. All 6 will no doubt be challenging some of the adults this summer as the pace they can hit the ball at now will be competitive for all.
The eventual winner was Lucas Nicholas who beat Jack Romanek, well done Lucas.
The 7 – 9 yr olds fought out a very competitive group in the red ball matches. Some of the lengthy rallies were incredibly long and were giving stiff necks to the parent umpires !
The eventual winner in the final was Oliver Baldry who pipped Oliver Morley 15-12. Well done boys.
The 5-7yr olds took part in their first ever competitive matches. With help from parent umpires the 8 little ones played 7 matches of first to 7 points. The top 4 then played two semi finals and a final between Nathan and Elliot, with Nathan winning through. Well done to you all.
All in all a very successful morning and a great display of the talented juniors we now have at Colston.
Well played everyone and thanks to the parents for their help and refreshments provided.


Colston Ladies v Norham Gardens, Saturday March 29th

The last match of the winter league has been played under the sunshine at Colston, roll on the summer and more sunny afternoons….
We played against Norham Gardens who are competing for top of the league with Haddenham.
We started with full enthusiam brought on by the sun and Carol and Charlotte played their first pair who may have been of more mature years but had the match experience that goes with it…..
Carol and Charlotte did well to come back to 3-6 coming from 0-5 down in the first set, but lost the second set quickly to 0-6.
Meanwhile Anna & myself were having an epic first set after letting their second pair get back to a tie break when we were 4-1 up and I think we lost a bit of concentration. Disappointingly for us they sneaked the tie break so we lost the first set 6-7. After a little talk with ourselves and determined not to let the second set go the same way we found ourselves 4-1 up again and this time the combination of Anna’s deep forehands and my successful volleying we made sure we took the set 6-2.
The others had now had 30 minutes break so were straight up for the next round of matches.
Carol and Charlotte played some great tennis , but one of the ladies was very tall and managed to get back a lot of normally winning wide shots! They put up a good fight but lost 2-6, 2-6.
Anna and myself took on the experienced first pair and struggled to make an impact on them or find a winning tactic and the first set was over to quickly 1-6. We continued to try to make an impression on them with little success and the net cord was also against us on several occasions. So they finally took the second set 3-6.
So a disappointing 1-7 defeat overall.
The tea was usual Colston standard of very high( of course!!) and a lovely cheesecake from Carol with the help of Mary Berry seemed to ease the disappointment of losing.
One of their ladies was quite comfortable and didn’t want to go home!
As ever they were very complimentary of the courts and setting as their courts are situated in the middle of Summertown and owned but not very well maintained by the council. So we may of lost on court to day, but playing in the sunshine at Colston is always pleasure and talking to other clubs makes me realise how lucky we are to have a beautiful place to play, even if it is a bit rustic and we have to share the clubhouse with the local mice!!!
I think we will have finished 5th or 6th out of 13 teams so a very solid season and well played everyone win or lose I hope you have enjoyed playing.
Last note those who haven’t got back to me on the summer league dates, the deadline to be included is next weekend and we also have a friendly against Lechlade next Saturday 1.30pm start, so if you available to play let me know asap.
Hope to see you all on the courts very soon.

Colston Juniors beat Farringdon

Colstons first junior yellow ball match took place yesterday evening against Faringdon.

The 4 juniors of William Daft, Rosie Horner, Charlie Driver and Jack Romanek, who all started playing at the club as 5/6 year olds, played very well and won 7 – 6 at singles.

A great achievement I’m sure you will agree and the first batch of juniors to come through to proper ball tennis. Well played guys and great to see such sporting behaviour on and off court, you were a credit to Colston !

Colston Ladies A v Appleton A, Saturday March 1st 2014

We arrived at the compact rural courts of Appleton on the first glorious day of spring. It was perfect tennis weather for a change with the sun shining and no wind!

Our first pair, the solid reliable combination of Anna and Emily picked their court and we started our warm up. Anna and Emily soon got into their stride and took the first set 6:2. Anna’s strong forehand and consistent volleys were great to watch and with the peppering of aces from Emily (at least half a dozen throughout the afternoon!) they soon took the second set 6:2 as well.

Meanwhile Teresa and I were playing the Appleton first pair. We started well and held our serve against the young very fit girl and her steady match experienced partner. At one point we were 3 all and playing nicely. However a couple of clever shots with good use of the net(!!) from the opposition saw us down a game and we eventually lost the set 3:6. The Appleton team then had warmed up nicely and although we played some great shots with Teresa scrambling some impossible shots back, the experience told and we lost the second set 3:6 also.

A quick regroup and we were all back on court quickly as the black clouds started rolling in and the air got chilly…. Winter tennis after all! Anna and Emily were on a roll and communicating well….. lots of ‘yours if you can’ calls were politely being issued as they powered on and took the set 6:3. A few more aces and beautiful shots and the now tired opposition meant the last set was won by Anna and Emily.

Teresa and I were battling on. We had lots of fast rallies and close games, with comments from the spectators of ‘great shots’. We mixed up our shots which extended each game but unfortunately we lost the first set 1:6. Appleton’s second pair were masters of the cross court lob which they constantly directed at Teresa in the second set.
We were out played on match experience and lost our final set 1:6. We were unlucky not to take more games off them but had a great afternoon of some really good tennis that we should be proud of.

The tea was very welcome and we left Appleton well exercised, well fed and a draw of 4 sets each.