As usual, in an attempt to provide every competitor with an equal opportunity of being successful in the tournament, there will be a 'Drawn Doubles' competition where partners' names are literally produced via a 'draw' (played over 1 set), together with a 'Handicap Singles' where each player is given a scoring handicap based on their current level of performance eg -9 or +3, with the winning target score being +21.
The 2011 tournament was held over the weekend of 8-9 October. Unfortunately, following the heatwave conditions of the previous weekend (which coincided with the start of the Winter League), the weather was cool with an occasional light drizzle and very windy.
Despite these unfavourable conditions - especially on the Sunday - which made the courts' surfaces treacherous at times (there were quite a few falls) and made serving a lottery, the quality of the tennis was remarkable. Everyone who took part should be congratulated for their tenacity, fortitude and patience. Well done everyone!
It was good to see a couple of Juniors take part - Callum Searle and Lewis Morgan both played in the 'Handicap Singles' with Lewis making the Final - where he lost to Cathy Rees. In fact Cathy made it a habit over the weekend, of either winning or being runner-up in just about every competition ie winning the Ladies' Singles and Ladies' Doubles (with Alison John), but lost in the final of the Drawn Doubles (with Paul Davies) to Bethan Meredith and Andy Howells. The Mixed Doubles was won, yet again, by Bethan Meredith and Paul Davies. Luckily, Cathy wasn't eligible for the Men's Singles (won by Kieran Lewis), or Men's Doubles (won by Club Coach Marc Davies and Kieran Lewis)!
Something remarkable happened at the end of the Men's
Doubles Final. Immediately after the winning shot, there must have been a
mini tornado (the conditions had been very squally). Suddenly, Ian Coles'
racket flew into the air, went over the court boundary fence and landed in the
undergrowth on the railway embankment. Luckily, brother and doubles
partner Neil was on hand to rescue the situation by fighting uncomplainingly
through nettles and brambles to retrieve the flying instrument - as can be seen
The Coles boys have suffered from this phenomenon in the past - previously, one of Neil's rackets ended-up in a tree - but in his case the racket somehow got smashed - on its journey into the tree. How this happened, is a complete mystery and you have to say that Ian is a lucky guy - his racket didn't even break a string!