Tony & Vince (capt.) Peter & Paul
David Lloyd won by 8 sets to 0 and 48 games to 4
With Graham suffering a broken arm and Ian choosing Flushing Meadows over Doxford Park it left Phil and the Bish to become "unavailable" for the match against all conquering David Lloyd.
Step forward four of Shotley's Over 55 Men's team to take up the challenge.
Peter had arrived early and by the time his teamates got there he had watched the opposition knock up for 20mins which had left him thinking he was back at the Australian Open in January. Once joined by Paul, Tony & Vince the Shotley team were warmly greeted by the home side and after a 15min hit the match got under way.
Shotley got off to a flyer with Paul & Peter taking the first game against Steven, county colleague of our missing players and Justin, just returned from 5wks in France where the only thing he hit was several dozen bottles of red wine. It was like poking a bear with a stick as the home pair romped through the next 12 games to win 6-1, 6-0 Over on the other court Tony & Vince got a taste for donuts as they were hammered 6-0, 6-0 without managing more than 2 points in a game. Their opposition were David, a pocket dynamo of a player who many, many years ago graced the ash courts of The Spa and Mick, he of the firm handshake and blistering groundstrokes.
The second round started with Peter & Paul again taking the first game before again losing 6-1 and they secured the top pair ranking on the night by taking another single game in their last set. Meanwhile Tony & Vince were building up a head of steam against Steven & Justin as they wound up to taking their only game of the night. It came in the fifth game of the first set on Tony's serve as he held to 15 with the help of two "worldies" from Vince. First he intercepted a viciously dipping shot from Justin to play a backhand volley off his toes past a bewildered Steven into the trams for a winner. The very next point saw Steven crack a Tony first serve at Vince at the net who managed to send a backhand volley back to the sender with interest and saw the ball land inside the baseline just as he opened his eyes. Tony, now rightly chuffed with holding serve, made sure Vince didn't match it as at twice on deuce on Vince's serve he twice intercepted to send the ball farther than many people get on their holidays.
So it's well done to Peter & Paul as with 3 games versus Tony & Vince's 1 game they take bragging rights on a night when the team actually spent longer over supper than they did playing 4 sets of tennis each. Must be a record.
Many thanks to the David Lloyd boys for the lesson and their encouragement - it was much appreciated.