In the first semi-final John Lillie and Mark Maclure had an excellent tussle with Jonny Miller and Mat Fattorini. The former won the first set relatively easily but Jonny came into his own in the second set but couldn’t maintain his consistency in the third set which Lille and Maclure won 6/4.
In the other semi Tom Bomford, not so fresh from an afternoon of Rackets for the Cheltenham Gold Cup (wasn’t that on Friday?) and Lloyd Pettiford cruised to a 6/3 first set win against the Chairman and John Miller. They were 5/2 up in the second set and like Scotland at half time against England things looked ominous. But digging deep into their Scottish ancestry Hamilton and Miller clawed back to 5/5 and a second set win. Bomford and Pettiford took the first game of the deciding set but inexplicably thereafter Tom seemed to be at odds with the plot, possibly due to a rackets surfeit, allowing the ‘Scots’ to go to 5/1 and a highly improbable 6/2 third set win at which point Tom Granville popped his head into the winning gallery to announce that Scotland had won the second half by a mile and had nearly snatched a victory but for a last ditch English try and on a day when the Hon. Sec. John Miller admitted that an ancestor of his was none other than the celebrated golf course designer and five times Open champion Scotsman James Braid. Sadly most golfing genes petered out before John’s receipt of them.
The final was a closely fought affair with Hamilton and Miller having to grant their opponents an owe half 15 handicap which they used to good effect in the first set which they won comfortably with Mark serving a fine version of the Miller sidewall and John playing positive tennis. The Chairman and Hon. Sec. dug deep in a nip and tuck second set which they just won … The third set was also a tense affair and when 5/3 up Maclure and Lillie had their hands on the Cup but once again the Club’s admin. boys clawed back to 5/5. Social media hides nothing, self-censorship is a waste of effort so I have to admit to serving a double fault to set a disastrous final game inmotion from which there was no escape with Mark and John triumphing as worthy winners of the Ponsonby Cup.