Brodie Cup v Leamington
In the last ten years, MMTCC wins in the Brodie Cup have been as rare as swallows in winter so it was with some trepidation that we faced a Leamington team armed with an extra 2 handicap points on a ‘foreign’ court. Jon Lambdon and Kristof Kunzmann started slowly against Sam Gill and Ben Andrews but Lambdon bamboozled his opponents regularly with his complete lack of orthodoxy and in conjunction with Kristof’s consistency, were able to pull through 6/5, 6/5.
The first singles was a two hour 20 minute marathon as Andrew Hamilton (handicap 36) and Robert Allsop (31 and owe half fifteen) locked horns, both refusing to give any ground. Hamilton cruised into a 4/0 lead but Allsop dragged the scoreline back to 4/4 only to lose the next two games and the set. Allsop was serving better in the second set which he took 6/3. The final set seesawed its way to 5/5 at which point it was generally agreed, himself included, Robert had two strokes of fortune which helped him to an excellent win 6/5 in the final set!
Jonny Miller never got into his match with Mat Fattorini who played some fine tennis, serving well and discovering some superb winners from his wealthy bank of experience, cantering to a 6/3, 6/2 win. So ‘cometh the hour, cometh the man’ in the guise of Norman Hyde who started slowly against Hans Billson losing the first set 3/6. Things didn’t look too rosy but in the second set, Norman, as cunning as they come, kept varying his serves to good effect and allowed his opponent only one game. The final set was a tense affair, but Norman’s cerebral play and excellent serving came to the fore and he triumphed 6/4 to square the match at an exciting 2 all. Norman was obviously ‘born to serve’ even if his alter ego, Edward VII was not!
Mercifully Mark Maclure and Andrew Pick were on top of their game, particularly Andrew, who scarcely missed a volley until the dying embers of the match, which they won decisively 6/2, 6/1.
We now take on Seacourt at home on Sunday 9th December (the Pol Roger team play the day before) when we hope that our loyal supporter Keith Beechener will be willing us on again! In my motivational email to the team I tentatively suggested that ‘a few practice games beforehand would be appreciated. A tip ... I had a lesson with Tom on Friday which probably improved my game by 2/3 points – he might say more of course, and a new grip made a massive difference but, yes, not quite enough of one!’ The team and I were most grateful to Jon Lambdon for his orthodox reply: ‘I agree Andrew, a couple of lessons would be a great idea. I can offer a very competitive rate for members of the Brodie Cup team if anyone would like some tips and advice?’ Ye Gods, the uncoachable chasing business from the coachable!