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Garland Cup 2019

A Tale of 2 Bisques

The bisque, a point that can be taken at any time in a set, is a wonderfully obscure element of the handicapping system – outlawed at one time but mercifully re-introduced, and always a topic of conversation: everybody has a view as to when it should have been taken; the opponent is fearful of when it might be taken perhaps at four all forty all and the beneficiary is in a quandary throughout- should I take it now or later? And it’s not unusual for it to be forgotten it in the heat of battle!

The bisques’s first outing was in one of the box of games on Friday morning. Having been wiped off the court by Mark Leefe, the Chairman needed to beat Martin Trees, the smug holder of a bisque and determined to take it as late as possible in the set. However that moment never came as he went down 4/0 and had to take it at 40 to go to 1-4. But it was too late. Leefe v Trees what a wordsmith’s delight! It was a case of defoliation as Trees chopped down an out of sorts autumnal Leefe. As it happened Martin had to represent MMTCC in the Chetwood Trophy at the Hyde in Dorset on Sunday. Deafening silence suggests he may not have been successful! (Breaking news … he lost 3  6 game sets and drew one. Our Brodie Cup team will be interested to hear he lost 1/6 to a young boy playing off 43 who 2 months ago in the deciding Brodie Cup match v Seacourt playing off 50 defeated Norman Hyde 6/1.)

The usual suspects crawled out of the boxes – John Franklin dealt with Martin Harris speedily, Jon Lambdon was in fine form to rout the Chairman 5/0, Mark Savage’s thanks for George K’s excellent lunch was to ease through 5/2. A similar outcome for Tony Branfield against Mat Fattorini, Mark Leefe had to fight hard to beat Peter Lewis 5/4, David Harris made short work of Lloyd Pettiford 5/2, unusually Professor John Murphy succumbed early in the competition 2/5 to Harry Walsh, and Norman Hyde out thought Professor Steve Watson to the tune of 5/2.

In the quarters, Lambdon was too strong for last year’s winner John Franklin, the dangerous Mark Savage, despite having won his box matches without hearing a single score line and having been whisked off to Warwick Hospital for an industrial type wax removal by David ‘Sawbones’ Phillips, heard the score of  2/5 only too clearly against Tony Branfield. Mark Leefe played consistent tennis against the dangerous David Harris, and the experience of Norman Hyde who peppered Harry Walsh’s serve and backhand, proved decisive.

In the first semi, in front of a well-populated dedans, Lambdon recovered from 3-4 to squeak through against Mark Savage. Leefe served well against Hyde, his railroad proving particularly effective, winning 5/4. 

Leefe was the recipient of a bisque in the final. The Dedans was agog as to when it would be taken. Should it have been taken in the first game? Had he forgotten? At 3-2 to Lambdo, the match was well poised but thereafter Jon continued to retrieve well, concentrated on the Leefe backhand and was decisive at crucial moments, going on to win comfortably 6/2. And the bisque? Silence was golden- the word never passed the Leefe lip! So Jon Lambdon was a worthy inner of the 2019 Garland Cup … Thanks as ever to Tom for organizing 28 players, and to Nick and Tom for marking and producing the usual excellent set of tennis balls.

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