The Ogilby Cup
After holding a couple of tournaments since that became possible, we have now managed to hold one at the time it was supposed to be played. Worries about potential crowding were allayed by a small but perfectly formed entry.
The three teams in Group 1 all beat each other leaving Branfield/Paxton eliminated. Group 2 had four teams. Three narrow wins took the experience of Slora and the debuting exuberance of Rucker through and in a close battle for second the ex-Chairman Hamilton (with Matt Fattorini) edged out ex-Pro Jury (with Maclure). Watson and Harris were as narrow losers as Slora/Rucker were winners. In the final group Moug and Swallow went out with 2 wins, which is a shame as they played some fine tennis and concentrated well. Walsh/Bowler and Franklin/Gambles edged them on points difference. Although eliminated Lemaistre/Hodges provided – for me – the moment of the tournament. Receiving a slow Franklin serve which arced around the back penthouse, non-receiving player Lemaistre was quick to see he needed to get out of the way and stepped backwards towards the main wall under the grill. Hodges having decided to play the ball also had to back off as the ball landed on the floor inches short of the fault line. He bent to play the ball cross court, with his shot heading in the direction of the second gallery. However, by the time he finished his shot he was almost upon Oliver. In fact the two of them looked like they were engaged in a game of sardines under the grille, peeping out like tennis playing meerkats. I will never forget both players occupying such a tiny space together on the huge open court. No photographer that day if a stetch artist exists among our ranks!
The qualifiers from Group 1 (Smith/Drane & Phillips/Richardson) lost the two play-off matches which led to semi-finals where both Group 2 qualifiers beat Group 3 qualifiers to leave us with a final of Slora/Rucker v Hamilton/Fats. In the group, Slora/Rucker had taken this 6/4, but the final is another thing altogether. Both Hamilton and Fattorini were looking to make this their 3rd Ogilby success, whereas Slora had won just once before and his partner was making a competitive debut. You might suppose at 5/5 that experience would triumph. But it didn’t. Congratulations to Gerry Slora and William Rucker.
Thanks to Lloyd Pettiford for the tournament report.