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Real Tennis Tournament, Sunday 27th October at Newmarket Real Tennis Club

Whilst Wales were sadly exiting the world cup following an ugly game of rugby with South Africa in Yokohama the really beautiful game was being played in Newmarket, by the ten stalwart Philanderers who were prepared to put their bodies on the line at the second club real tennis day.

Well not quite ten, following an evil evening in London Henry found the journey back to Newmarket too great a trial, and of the remaining nine a couple were absent and various nameless members left as body parts became as useless as George North’s hamstring and sadly only four had the necessary grit, determination and use of most of their faculties to be there until the bitter end.

The day was brilliantly organised by Burnett J who booked the courts, organised the food, devised a fiendishly complex, but fair, handicap system and may well have swept the courts as well for all we know, before we arrived; despite one or two difficult logistical problems all appeared to proceed like well oiled clockwork – look, if they have to make the changeover from British summer time to Greenwich mean time on the evening before our tournament, what can one expect?

Ed Pearson and Charles d’Oyly kicked us off with an exhibition of tennis as it should be played (it was also a tightly fought contest as Ed prevailed over Charlie for the first time), before the remainder were allowed on court, being John Burnett, Christie Marrian, Gerald Coteman, Gabriele Bailey (looking hauntingly beautiful), Lawrence Bailey and Rob Gill. There were a couple of others on the list to play but they were obviously suffering from Henry’s syndrome.

What can be said to describe the scintillating tennis that was played by the enthusiastic participants; skill of such breathtaking ability best described as Faheyesque (believed to be a reference to the current and long serving world champion). Hard fought and intense as it was, competing for the magical golden cockerel award the day drew to its inevitable conclusion with one outstanding candidate, who’s scant knowledge of the rules was matched only by a total disregard for the safety of any other person on court or off, our worthy champion on the day was of course Rob Gill, who managed to stay undefeated throughout – congratulations Rob

The final awards were as follows:

The golden cockerel award for the most points scored - Rob Gill

The Harvey award for the most improved player on the day - Gill R

The academy award for the hardest hits of the day - R Gill

Thank you to John for all your hard work and organisation, next year’s tournament is awaited with keen anticipation.

Lawrence Bailey

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