An experienced yet remarkably sprightly looking Newmarket team made the long journey ‘Up North’ to fulfil a highly entertaining fixture in Manchester. Each match was played in a spirit of excellent sportsmanship assisted by eerily asccurate marking by the older of our two professionals, SB.
The opening exchange involved Julian Stafford giving Mountain something of a tennis lesson. Defying away court disadvantage Julian had spectators checking his Handicap ranking as he raced to a 6/0 first set whitewash.Our local hero struggled to gain a foothold in the match only troubling the scorer by winning a first game in the middle stages of the second set.How Manchester went on to record a win in that match defies rational explanation. It turned out to be the toughest of the four Rubbers. In the second game Waddelow delighted the home crowd with a forehand that proved iresistable.His volleys in particular put one in mind of Fahy and drew gasps of admiration from a growing dedan throng. Ken Smith was left in the most sportsmanlike of manners to recognise that this was not to be his day. Ian ran out winning 3 &2.
Lunch then punctuated proceedings and our new member of staff,James cam into his own and performed brilliantly.
The afternoon session began with the Manchester juggernaut continuing in similar vein to the morning.Mossford showed characteristic determination and no little skill to overcome a talented Antipodean in the shape of Tim Poolman.The early exchanges hinted at a cliffhanger. Despite enduring resolve Tim succumbed 3 & 2.
A clean sweep was being dreamt of by the Manchester followers.The President along with assorted other senior members of the club offered enthusiastic support.Amidst the frenzy generated by a partisan crowd John Mortimer strode on to the Hazard end. He was not to be denied the service end for long. John may not have been at his most vocal however it must surely have been at its best. Derrick Wells with characteristic good humour and gentlemanly disposition struggled to keep the Newmarket hopes alive. An inspired Mortimer,despite irregular black stocking warming a diminutive calf drew comparison with the great former professional Frank WILLIS.Whilst admittedly sporting a somewhat different approach to the ancient art of Real Tennis the physical comparison and chirpy demeanour when allied to a winning mentality made the comparison more than apposite. A 1 & 2 success for our vertically challenged hero was thoroughly deserved.
In a friendly doubles that followed Mortimers form continued as he partnered Mountain to a thrilling three set victory over Julian and Derrick.
A match win for Manchester hardly did justice to the skill and delightful company that Newmarket brought to this fixture. They are a team always welcome in Manchester and we look forward to the return encounter in Newmarket.