This year’s format saw teams of three; one singles and two doubles players, competing for a new MMTCC Trophy the Dance Cup named in honour of after the MP/Major who kept the club going from 1949 until it emerged as the MMTCC we know today in 1963. The competition mimics the successful format of the National Team Competition and incorporates two existing MMTCC tournaments the Bryant Cup (singles) and the Prince's Cup (doubles).
The Prince's Cup
The doubles (or should we say ‘dobles’) had a distinctly ‘Mexican’ feel about it. Spratt/Wilson and CC-T/Parmiter both capped at 65 nonetheless stormed into the semi-final where they met each other. Spratt/Wilson ganaron el partido 6 juegos a 4. In the other semi-final Keith Beechener and David Harris always looked strong, the latter making few errors for a player of 50+ handicap. They played John Miller and Tony Harrison, the latter always a welcome visitor from Jesmond Dene. However Keith and David only occasionally looked in trouble and romped home 6/2.
Usually one doesn’t dwell on those eliminated at the group stage (certainly not Pettiford/Branfield) but Fattorini/Hamilton deserve a special mention. Having unluckily lost 6/5 in their opener they put themselves back in contention against CC-T/Parmiter. However facing one serve and banned the tambour, their disregard for these rules cost them dear.
The final was the first of Peter Wilson’s sporting career and having helped his team to the final with splendid forces (too good for me!) his good form continued. He was ably pushed about by Bernie Spratt but to no avail as the partnership of Beechener/Harris seemed to just get better and better. They were worthy winners.
The Bryant Cup
In the singles Alan Moug was undone by huge handicap differences against David Phillips and Mark Savage (also with a distinctly Central American feel and wide-brimmed straw hat). In the other group Paxton and Swallow played well but were surely fortunate to find Peter Lewis unusually error-strewn. In the semi-finals David Phillips looked like a man on a mission against Bruce Paxton and won 6/0. Swallow/Savage was much closer but having clawed back to 5-5, 40-40 Craig Swallow was unable to volley out of the dedans and Savage was through to a re-match with Phillips.
Phillips had won 6/2 v Savage in the group and looked set for a similar victory in the final, but a combination of luck, nerves and Mark’s steely resolve saw him fight back to 4/5. But David re-grouped for a deserved win.
Of course player behaviour was impeccable asmany thoughts returned to the days when Keyvan and David played in our summer tournament. Families of both men were with us to remember them and present the trophies. The Persian feast provided by Keyvan’s family was exceptional and the grand-children a reminder that life goes on. It was a tournament where the taking part and good humour were paramount; Keyvan and David would surely have been proud.
The Dance Cup
Despite taking the Bryant Cup any hopes David Phillips had of doubling up with Dance Cup were dashed when his teammates Hamilton & Fattorini failed to make it out of their box leaving the way for Prince's Cup winners and Bryant Cup runner up Beechener, Harris & Swallow to claim the first MMTCC Dance Cup team event..