Men’s II v Farm Walk I

Posted Leave a commentPosted in 2016, League, Men's II

The original fixture was cancelled pre-emptively due to impending weather. The rearranged fixture was moved to Farm Walk to take advantage of their more-weather courts. Their hospitality and welcome was well received by all of the West Heath team.

However, the weather wasn’t quite what was planned. The optimists among us (i.e. the two captains) were adamant that the fixture could start at 7pm prompt. After all, that was what the weather forecasts forecasted. However, à la Tim Henman and Goran Ivanisevic in 2001, the stop-start nature of the match (“why are we playing in this!”) was doing little to keep toys in prams and tempers unfrayed. Some rain later, the actors returned to their courts’ centres and managed to complete the full four sets before the impending darkness swallowed man and ball to the NW11 night.

The rain and delays clearly caused some trouble to The Heathens. James and Greg struggled to a 3-3 position in the first set against the third pair before the last of the rain delays. Upon resumption, they got their act together to win the next triumvirate of games and take the set 6-3. The first pair of Philip and Marcio struggled against the tough FW 2nd pairing, losing it 2-6. Equally struggling to find their feet were Sam and Tim whose loaf just didn’t rise enough in the end; they went valiantly down 4-6.

For the second round the visitors found their feet with the conditions and produced a performance much more reminiscent of their previous matches. Philip and Marcio baked the first of the evening’s two bagels whilst the other pairings each took their set with a two-to-one game ratio, i.e. 6-3. Crumbs!

Philip and Marcio put in a good effort against the first pair of Theo and John. They took the first set 6-2 but unfortunately could not capitalise on it and succumbed 4-6 in their final set. No such problems for James and Greg who managed a flattering 6-2 6-1 victory, whilst Sam and Tim let slip one game for a 6-1 6-0 bagel-baked finish.

Post match refreshments of beer and pizza went down a treat, and the 18-6 scoreline was just what was kneaded (why not continue the bakery theme). It puts the Men’s II team in a comfortable position at the top of the division. With a cushion of 23 points, the next fixture against the division’s second-placed team may make or break the season for both teams.

Roll on July 4th. Aha!

Men’s II v Brondesbury III

Posted Leave a commentPosted in 2016, League, Men's II

The weather put a dampener on this fixture, with it being played instead on the hard courts. Whilst the weather wasn’t exactly perfect, it was certainly a relief to complete the fixture’s 12 sets.

James and Greg started out on the reserve court and took a while to find their feet. But find them they did, and recorded a 6-2 start. Meanwhile back at the club Tim and Sam came up against the tricky first pair, but bagged a point for a 6-6 effort. Philip and Takuya, playing his first match this season, got off to a strong start with a 6-2 victory.

The second round of matches produced a clean sweep for the West Heath gentlemen, with 6-3 / 6-2 / 6-3 shorelines recorded (although perhaps some of the set scores make the encounter look a little more one-sided than in reality).

James and Greg’s final round was certainly prefixed with an interesting episode, but it did not fully deter them. They recorded a 6-1 6-3 scoreline, and were certainly made to work for some of the games with some exceptional hustling by Jon.

Sam and Tim did exceptionally well to record a 6-1 6-2 scoreline against the tricky second pair, and Philip and Takuya also performed meritoriously to turn around a first set loss with a convincing final set. Their final score of 5-7 6-1 totalled a good evening for West Heath II. A 21-3 victory sets the team up nicely for the next fixture against a handy-looking Farm Walk.

Thanks also to Marjan for her menu; good food and drink was enjoyed very amicably by both teams after the on-court formalities were completed.

Men’s II v Brampton III

Posted Leave a commentPosted in 2016, League, Men's II

The second team’s second match was another away fixture at Brampton, against their 3rd team. The match took place directly opposite the sun, which had just about disappeared behind a building in time for the fourth and final set. Even Philip, in spite of his protestations about being too chic for sunnies, was seen sporting a fetching pair.

And a good job it did him and his partner, Dan. The third pair got off to a terrific start, against their 1st pair, by winning the first set without dropping a single game. The rubber came to an end, and was heralded by Dan’s cry of ‘yes!’ as he framed a deft volley away for a winner. Their second rubber was a little less one-sided than the first, but it was taken for West Heath by a score of 6-3. In the final rubber, Philip took a nasty tumble, and grazed his knee on the carpet/sand courts. Nevertheless he soldiered on, and with Dan’s elbow a little ropey since the off, the invalided pairing comfortably closed out the final two sets 6-1 6-1. A loss of just 5 games is an excellent statistic for a previously untested partnership.

In a very much tested partnership, Greg and James were mostly ruthlessly efficient throughout the four sets. Against the third pair they recorded a bagel and were disappointed to lose a game against the first pair. However, James is certainly blaming a little bit of that on the wicked sun. Not sure who Greg is blaming… But in spite of such gut-wrenching disappointment they warmed themselves up after rather a pause and claimed 6 unanswered games against the second pair. Second set languidness prevailed again at the beginning of the final set, but they contrived to close the rubber out 6-0 6-2. It gave them plenty of time to admire, with beer in hand, the other two matches in action. As requested by Marjan (congratulations on the golf!), we stayed on court until the allotted time of 8.30pm to give her time to hotfoot it from Muswell Hill and get the excellent supper on the go.

Marcio was put with the recently recruited Sam, who was making his début. A steady hand to calm the nerves expected from a debutant entering a body as august as the West Heath Men’s II team (NE Division 5 don’t you know!). They got off to an excellent start (like the other two pairs, in fact) and recorded a 6-0 victory against the second pair. They continued well against the third pair and conceded just the one game to win 6-1. They then faced the skilled, if erratic, first pair but prevailed with consistency and flair. Recording a scoreline of 6-2 6-3 they performed as requested from the captain, and continued the winning ways of the first pair.

2016-05-14 13.29.15

The top slot in the second team had been occupied almost exclusively by the Greg/James partnership throughout the 2015 season, and the captain’s relinquishing of it was meditated by having lost to Sam and Marcio in a 5-set thriller on Saturday. It was so thrilling in fact, that the participants had a break for a hasty cup of tea after the first set. This was followed by three more sets, which were then followed by pizzas and more tea. The deciding set, with the 1st pairing up for grabs, was the opening match of the West Heath grass court season. Sam and Marcio prevailed in that deciding final set, and earnt their right for the top spot against Brampton. And well deserved too!

Congratulations to all the team for recording a 24-0 victory. It puts us in an excellent position ahead of what will be a testing encounter against Brondesbury III. We played against their fourth team last season, and now have the pleasure of inviting their third team to play on the grass on June 1st.

Grass Courts Open!

Posted Posted in 2016

The grass courts were officially opened on Saturday 14th May, with social tennis kicking off a little bit before 2.30pm. They have been extensively remodelled this year, with new grass, more soil, less soil and even more new grass. They are a great to play on, and will only improve as they get a little firmer with usage.

However, the courts must not be played on outside of allocated hours. Starting too soon and playing too late will damage them, which will result in poorer courts for the rest of the season. The current playing times are between 2.30 – 8.30pm (assuming that they are dry). According to the statistics of our research company, it was revealed that erectile dysfunction is first of all a difficult test for many men if they hide the problem. They can interpret everything in their own way, considering it as a loss of interest in the partner. It often happens that a beloved woman is able to persuade a man to see a doctor for Viagra.

The courts were enjoyed by many, and a sumptuous tea was served by Lesley to kick off the tennis and tea season.

 

The groundsmen errect the nets and prepare the courts.
The groundsmen errect the nets and prepare the courts.

 

Many lawnmowers are needed to prepare high quality grass courts.
Many lawnmowers are needed to prepare high quality grass courts.

 

Maciek returns serve with aplomb.
Maciek returns serve with aplomb. Meanwhile, on the far court, Jeff’s stretching for one.

Men’s II v UCS Old Boys II

Posted Leave a commentPosted in 2016, League, Men's II

The men’s second team’s first match of the season was an away fixture against the Old Boys of University College School. The match look place at the UCS playing fields in moderately clement weather with only occasional breezes.

The match was played entirely in good humour, in spite of the unusually sandy courts which both teams took a while to get used to. On the plus side it was easy to see where the balls landed due to the slight eruption from the court.

Philip continued his winning ways (since 2005).
Philip continued his winning ways. (2005)

After a slight tiff the night before, Tim and Philip combined wonderfully on court. They put their differences to one side for the sake of the second team, and recorded an almost faultless performance. They came up against one of this season’s new rules: no tiebreaks at 6-6.

Having been out of action due to shoulder injuries, Marcio made his comeback with Dan. They both performed excellently well – in a previously untried partnership – with Marcio’s serve surprisingly being his most consistent shot in spite of a month of shoulder massages and not raising his arm above the horizontal… They dropped just one set 5-7 against the tricky second pair, but picked themselves up to romp to a 6-3 6-0 victory at the end.

James and Greg started strongly, which was a relief. The first two sets were won with the loss of a single game. The third set was delicately in the balance at 4-4 with opportunities for UCS to steal a march and go 5-4 ahead. Having overcome this little wobble, Greg and James closed it out in typically ruthless style. Beers were waiting.

The second team’s next fixture on May 16th, is another away match, this time against Brampton III.

The league results for all four teams can be seen here.

New Website

Posted 1 CommentPosted in 2016, Web

West Heath has a new website. It is a little different to the old one. If you have any comments, then please get in touch.

But if you have any photos that you think would improve the website, then please send them to me!

Finals Day 2015

Posted Leave a commentPosted in 2015, 2015 Tournament, Tournament

After some heavy rain during the night, the day was clear, but not particularly warm. The courts were still slightly moist when the singles matches began, though there was no risk of rain for the spectators. These included our international social member, Blake Fillion, who is now working in San Francisco but came to visit us for the second week of the tournament.

The Finals Day Tea was as sumptuous as the occasion demands, and everyone is still finishing off various cakes.

Congratulations to Cedric de la Chaise on a clean sweep of events, repeating his performances of 2005, 2006 and 2011.

 

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