It was always going to be an uphill struggle taking on an Oxford team of comparative youngsters, armed with, in general, lower handicaps. Mike Henman, however, doesn't fit into that age category and his experience and variations proved difficult for our one genuinely young player Vaughan Hamilton who found the alien court tricky to adapt to and despite forging into an early lead couldn't keep up the momentum, going down 2/6, 3/6. The doubles pairing of Simon Hobson and Lloyd Pettiford were constantly pressurised by two excellent attacking volleyers and they found it a problem gaining the upper hand.
At 2-0 down Tom Bomford had to beat Rob Walker to keep the match alive. He was in dynamic form in the first set winning it comfortably but in the second he succumbed, unusually, to cramp and his play lost some of its earlier incisiveness. The third set was a wonderful display of tennis by both players with nothing to separate them. At 4-4 Tom lost the next game and was looking down the barrel of defeat but he dusted himself down, discarded his 'Mister Nice Guy' image and dug deep, playing crisp and determined tennis to squeeze through at the death for a fantastic win, much enjoyed and appreciated by the impressive MMTCC band of supporters.
Patrick Sutton was always going to struggle against a lower handicapper, a descendant apparently of the original Mr Morse, so despite sending out a ...---... message, the Gods failed to come to Patrick's rescue going down 1/6, 1/6. So often the No 1 doubles match is a dead rubber which was as well as Philip Shaw-Hamilton and Martin Rogers made little impression on a significantly lower handicapped pair but there were plenty of dynamic rests.
Congratulations to the team for getting to the Final but life in the top division next year will be tough.
RTC laid on an excellent lunch and Pol Roger's chairman provided us with plenty of his best champagne and bottles of fine wine.