The Dedanists West Country Weekend
The Hyde & Canford - May 2022
This was a lovely late spring weekend in Dorset. The team stayed and dined in Dorchester – and drove through sunny hills to play at The Hyde on Saturday and Canford on Sunday. This was our first ever fixture at Canford. The welcome and hospitality from both clubs matched the weather. Their performance on court was rather more severe. Their deployment of youngsters (under 25s) was often crucial. They startled us by the extent to which they ran and retrieved, forcing us to win points twice over.
The junior real tennis at both clubs has benefited from Dedanist grants and we took the opportunity to catch up on progress.
The Club & Its Juniors
Dedanist grants have helped the club to buy and refurbish its facilities – and run 4 coaching sessions a week for youngsters from local state schools. The best young players from the Hyde have won entry to the Dedanist Academy and become top players at national and international level – for example Ben Matthews, Levi Gale and Mark Matthias
We lost 3-1 to The Hyde but made them play to their best. Peter Mason and John Tacchi were undone by young Oscar Newall who ran and ran. David Phillips and Josh Farrall were undone by hubris on Josh’s part as they forewent handicap after winning the first set 6-1 and then lost the next two sets 6-3 6-3. Jonathan Ellis-Miller and Bruce Hogarth-Jones pushed husband and wife team Alistair and Ros Clark to 6-5 6-5. Kim Walker and James Squier were our only winners. Kim Walker’s backhand smash / volley was our coaching manual shot of the day.
The Hyde - Saturday 21 May
The Dedanists V The Hyde Result
Peter Mason & John Tacchi Chris Newall & Oscar Newall Hyde 6-3 6–2
David Phillips & Josh Farrall Rob Holloway & John Pearson Hyde 1-6 6–3 6-3
Jonathan Ellis-Miller & Bruce Hogarth- Jones Alistair Clark & Ros Clark Hyde 6-5 6-5
James Squier & Kim Walker Bob Waterhouse & Mandie Holloway Dedanists 6 -2 6 -0
HYDE WON 3 - 1
The Club & Its Juniors
Canford is under new management this season. James Ryan, the new head pro, and Vaughan Hamilton, his assistant and a graduate of the Dedanists’ Academy, are keen to
develop junior real tennis and make the club the local centre for junior tennis and squash. Currently, 12 youngsters attend Saturday morning coaching and one pupil, Albert Blackburn, is in the Dedanists’ Academy. The Dedanists hope to increase their grant to the club as the new team develops its plans.
We lost 3–2 to Canford - but the overall result could so easily have gone the other way. David Phillips played in two matches of three sets each and won both – the first with Bruce Hogarth-Jones and the second with John Tacchi, when he came on as a substitute for Josh Farrell. Giles Stogden and James Squier came so close to winning a third match but were pipped at the post 6-4 3-6 6-5. Peter Mason and Kim Walker were undone by youth. Yuri Kugler and Jonathan Ellis-Miller were uncharacteristically diplomatic in conceding to the Canford pair led by the club chairman, David Dickson.
Canford - Sunday 22 May
The Dedanists V Canford Result
Peter Mason & Kim Walker Ian Glen & Merlin Cork Canford 6-4 6-4
Giles Stogdon & James Squier Mark Robson & Ian Glen Canford 6-4 3-6 6-5
Yuri Kugler & Jonathan Ellis-Miller David Dickson & Tom Clark Canford 6-3 6-1
David Phillips & Bruce Hogarth-Jones Clive Jeffery & Louis Potts Dedanists 3-6 6-4 6-1
John Tacchi & Josh Farrall / David Phillips Philip Chissell & Ethan Bikhazi-Green Dedanists 1-6 6-5 6-5
CANFORD WON 3 - 2
Many thanks to our match manager, David Phillips, for organising such an excellent weekend of tennis and conviviality – and raising a surplus of £410 for the Dedanists’ Society fund for junior real tennis (including a £50 donation from The Hyde).
Walker, backhand volley at Hyde
The Dedans at Hyde
Tacchi & Phillips at Canford
Annual Tournament & Dinner
The annual tennis tournament and dinner of the Dedanists’ Society was held at the Queen’s Club on Wednesday 11 May 2022. Cancelled for Covid in the previous two years, it was a special pleasure to hold it this year.
The tournament for the Lowenthal Trophy was a handicap doubles competition for 16 pairs with individual handicaps in the range 29 to 70. Doubles pairs played three round-robin league matches to qualify for knockout semi-finals and the final. Game-to-game sliding handicaps made the tennis more competitive. They moderated the impact of inaccurate handicaps. They helped those who were losing to recover. They nipped complacency in the bud among those who were winning. The finalists were from both ends of the handicap range.
Note: The trophy is named after Laurie Lowenthal who was a founder of the Dedanists and its first treasurer.
Ian Harris & Sebastian Wood beat Nick Browne & Yuri Kugler 4 - 2
Semi-Finalists / League Winners
Nick Browne & Yuri Kugler beat Jonny Saunders & Martin Village 4 - 3
Ian Harris & Sebastian Wood beat John Mortimer & Peter McDonald 4 – 1
The finalists with Carl, Josh & the marker
The tournament prizes presented at the dinner were designed to reflect as wide a range of human endeavour as possible:
for a main wall boast from the service end into the winning gallery that was intended and did just that.
Lowenthal Trophy Winners
Ian Harris & Sebastian Wood
Watchers, Dedans 1
for heading the ball in defence of the grille.
Full marks for commitment. No marks for strokeplay.
Watchers, Dedans 2
Pipped at the Post
Pam Tomalin & Paul Rivlin
for losing 3 consecutive match points & hitting lights, not winners.
This is a Carl Snitcher award for those who most strikingly pluck defeat from the jaws of victory. It recognises the power of fate and the fickleness of fortune. It celebrates the grace with which the best losers contain their disappointment.
Thirty-one Dedanists attended the dinner. Josh Farrall presided. Carl Snitcher moderated. The assembled company thanked Carl and Josh for organising an afternoon and evening of such excellent entertainment.
The Dedanists’ visit to Bordeaux, May 2022 – match report
Six Dedanists assembled in Bordeaux on the weekend of 7/8th May for a weekend of tennis on the new court, now situated adjacent to the Merignac airport; so close, in fact, it seemed only a matter of time before a Boeing suddenly burst through the netting of the dedans, to embed its fuselage at ‘chase second gallery…’; the court had had an inauspicious start, opening in 2020 (after eight years of no court at all in Bordeaux), then having virtually no play during the Covid pandemic, so it was reassuring to be told that it has some 60 playing members, and that the club is holding a series of international fixtures this summer: the popular Kressmann Trophy for players age 50+, (after eight years in Fontainebleau); us (most importantly); the World Masters (age 60+) Championships, followed by the World Championship Doubles Tournament and finally, in July, the ‘Championnat de France Féminin’: all of which should replenish the club’s coffers, after two financially perilous years.
Bordeaux’s elegant buildings were sparkling during our visit; the trams glided almost silently around the city while we dined splendidly each evening ‘en terrasse’, and the sunshine appeared to have brought out all the pretty girls – but I digress; to return to the tennis…
On Saturday we played an afternoon of informal games with club members, sometimes partnering a Bordeaux player to maintain a balanced handicap difference. The home players included Henri Blanchot, the architect of the new court, so there was much discussion over lunch regarding the complexities of building a new court. It plays well, although none of my serves proved very effective, frustratingly, (hardly the court’s fault).
On Sunday we had the court to ourselves for a mini-tournament each of us playing three 8-game sets, with points scored for games won and bonus points for hitting winning openings. I hoped this would, with luck, produce a clear winner.
It did. Tony Branfield won his first set with ‘2 grilles, 2 winning galleries, followed by another grille. Then you arrived and said Dedans were counted too, so I got one of those’…there was thus little doubt who would be awarded the congratulatory bottle of champagne, especially as Tony went on add four more winners to his maximum of 24 game points… Formidable!
We eagerly await another Bordeaux fixture for the Dedanists in 2023.
Dedanists were: Tony Branfield, Chris Marguerie, Simon & Rachel Martin (who took the photos), Graham Meek, David Phillips and Alastair Robson (match manager).
Left: The Visitors
Right: Dedanists' 'en terrasse'
Bottom Left: On court at Bordeaux
The Dedanists' spent three evenings in Bordeaux.
Saturday 12th March
Dedanists v Hatfield
Wellington on 6th March:
Dedanists v Hurlingham
On Sunday 6 March four Dedanist pairs enjoyed a competitive and convivial day with the Hurlingham club at Wellington College RTC. Congratulations to James McDermott for managing things so successfully while simultaneously running and playing in another match at Hardwick, and many thanks to Wellington’s Head Professional Danny Jones for looking after us all so well both on and off court. In the latter he was ably assisted by the Cumin Garden, Crowthorne, who provided an excellent lunch. A civilised 2-2 draw seemed an entirely appropriate way to finish one of those great days of real tennis in which most players could have happily represented either side, and indeed occasionally seemed to have forgotten on which team they actually were playing.
It was a delight to welcome William Maltby for his first match for the Ds!
Carl Snitcher and Charles Oliphant-Callum lost to John Deere and Matthew Page 4-6, 5-6
Josh Farrell and Trudi Machin beat Guy Egerton-Smith and Valerie O’Donnell 6-1, 1-6, 6-5
Jonathan Ellis-Miller and Graeme Marks beat Matthew Page and Patrick Jenkins 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
Sue Haswell and Simon Talbot-Williams lost to William Maltby and Alex Machin 4-6, 6-5, 6-3
I'm delighted to report that a very enjoyable day was had by all and that the Dedanists recorded a fine victory @ Hatfield House by three rubbers to two. The full match result as follows (Deds first) :
Nick Brodie bt Mark Rayner 6/2, 6/1
Richard Wyse & Anton Eisdell bt Robin Aley & John Longhurst 6/5, 6/4
Yuri Kugler lost to Minty Oldham 6/2, 3/6, 5/6
Adrian Akers & James Leeper bt Minty Oldham & Tom McNeilis 6/5, 5/6, 6/4
James Leeper lost to Sarah Sullivan 4/6
Saturday 19th February 2022
Dedanists' v Oratory
Ian Hawkey & David Mills v Fergus Brownlee & Peter Buckley 6/4 5/6 6/4 - Won
Guy Egerton-Smith & Charlotta Ginman v Richard Boughton & Mark Keogh - 4/6 2/6 - Lost
Tony Branfield & Chris Hancock v David Weston & Tim Tomalin 3/6 6/2 6/4 - Won
Giles Stogdon & Maggie Gibbs v Katy Weston & Sarah McGivern 6/2 6/2 - Won
Anton Eisdell & Carl Snitcher v Pam Tomalin & Valerie O’Donnell 0/6 4/6 - Lost
Petworth House 6th February
PHTC v Dedanists
Charlotta Ginman & Yuri Kugler v Robert Muir & Martin Fox 6-1 6-5 - Won
Julian Sheraton Davis & Sebastian Lyon v Julian Wilkinson & Mark Stevenson 5-6 6-5 6-4 - Won
Robert Dolman & Linda Sheraton Davis v Richard Stables & Tim Fooks 5-6 3-6- Lost
Mike Cotton & Steve Steadman v David Bevan-Thomas & Alastair Williams 3-6 6-1 6-4 - Won
Josh Farrall & Giles Stogdon v Stuart Ritchie & Helen Linfield 6-5 6-2 - Won
Match Result Dedanists' won 4-1
A good match result for the Dedanists..
The Dedanists v Queen's Club Match
Friday 4th February 2022
Click on pdf button to view all the results of The Dedanists v Queen's Club match
MCC v The Dedanists, Lords, Saturday 5th February
In reality the Dedanists were the winners!! Of the 20 players on court, during the match 17 were members and they all generously paid the £20 match fee which meant that the amount raised was £340.,ALL of which goes towards supporting our junior programs . A big thank you to them all
It was a fun day which everyone enjoyed and the tennis was of the highest order (ahem !), which the results show . As was the expert and accurate marking of the highest order by the incomparable Chris Swallow ,
Probably the most dramatic result was in the 4th match when at 5 all , 40 all in the 3rd set, new member, Paul Rivlin playing in his first match match for the Deds, with Josh ,thumped the ball back from my serve straight into the Dedans for the winner!! Well done that man !
MCC First Best Of three sets off handicap - 3 all in the third
10.30 am Tony Friend / Paul Cattermull v Yuri Kugler /Johnny Saunders 2-6,2-6 Dedanists win
11.15am Peter Dean / Guy Egerton Smith v Richard Wyse / Oliver Wise 6-5 6-5 MCC win 12.30 pm Dominic Flint / Gareth Zundel v Martin Village / Peter Brunner 6-2 6-0 MCC win
12.45pm Lunch all together
1.45pm Jonathan Ellis-Miller /Carl Snitcher v John Farrall /Paul Rivlin 6-4 4-6 5-6 Dedanists win
3pm Anton Eisdell/ John Thirlwell v Sebastian Wood/ James McDermott 4-6 6-5 6-5 MCC win
MCC won 3-2
A selection of photos from the match at Lords
Great Run for Academy player in the Seacourt Silver Racquet tournament
Academy senior squad player, 17 year old Max Trueman (16 h/c) had a great tournament down at Seacourt on February 3rd-6th. To qualify to get into the main drawer Max defeated Nick Harris (23 h/c) 6/0 6/1 and fellow Academy player James Medlow (18 h/c) 6/4 6/4.
Having qualified for the main drawer Max now had to play off 7 h/c under the tournament rules. His first challenge was against World No.6, Nick Howell (+2 h/c). Max won this match 6/2 6/4 despite only receiving owe15 – receive 15 handicap!
His quarter-final match was against former Seacourt professional Adam Player (9 h/c). Despite having to give Adam a very small handicap he still managed to win 6/4 6/3.
He had now reached the semi-final of this prestigious event without dropping a set. He played Petworth professional Louis Gordon (5 h/c) and despite playing at his very best finally lost 6/1 0/6 5/6 in a thrilling match.
It was great to see this young Academy player going head to head with some of game’s top professional players, and they are certainly now very aware of this rising star.
Max & Adam Player
Louis Gordon & Max
Max &James Medlow
Max & Nick Howell
British U21/24 Singles Championships
Played at MURTC 17th/19th December
Clean sweep for William Flynn!
At just 19 years of age, Academy squad member, William Flynn won all three events at last weekend’s U21/U24 Championships. It was a great tournament for other Academy squad members too with Max Trueman, Ben Yorston, and Ollie Taylor all reaching finals.
W Flynn v M Trueman
W Flynn v B Yorston
U 24 Doubles
W Flynn & M Trueman v R Giddins & O Taylor
U24 Doubles champions, Max & Will
U21 Champion, Will
U24 Champion, Will
Benedict, Max & Will in action!
Please click on the pdf button to view the Match Report from Sunday 16th January. Dedanists' v Newmarket RTC
DEDANISTS AT HARDWICK 8th JANUARY 2022
By: John McVittie
Match Result: Hardwick 3 Dedanists 2
No match took place in 2021 owing to Covid-19. So it was doubly pleasurable to be able to hold a match in 2022 at the wonderful Hardwick Court. Wonderful not only for the court itself but also for the welcome provide by Ian Whittaker, the Match Manager, and his fellow members. We did miss Sarah, Ian’s wife, who was looking after Ian’s mother (true dedication that).
The first match Andy and Johnny started slowly and very soon the first set was over. In the second set the Dedanists showed true determination, cutting down on errors and volleying strongly. The final set played from 3-3 moved to 4-4 and then quickly to 6-4 in favour of the Dedanists.
In the second match the Dedanists were up against the formidable pair of Ian and Fergus. The locals showed their knowledge of the court by winning a succession of grilles The all round play of the home pair were – on this occasion – too much for the visitors who subsided into a loss by 3-6 and 2-6.
Kim and John showed a fighting spirt in the third match winning the first set but letting their concentration falter in the second set which they quickly lost. However, nothing ventured, nothing gained they started playing well again and won the third set 6-5 from the 3-3 start.
Carl and Jonathan were specifically picked to play together. Jonathan running like a stag around the court with Carl finishing off any ball that came within his reach. Despite Jonathan’s best efforts the first set was lost 4-6. The second set was very close with many games going to 40-40. Then a ball bounced into the dedans at a key point to dim the hopes of the visitors – home court advantage!
The last match was another fluctuating situation with the first two sets going one each. In the final set, Anton who was suffering from a flu like illness (not Covid -19), was gradually overwhelmed despite the best efforts of his partner.
£220 was raised for the Dedanists’ Academies.......
The final results were:
Johnny Saunders & Andy Bishop v Michael Seymour & Robin Fountain 3/6 6/4 6/4 Won
Charlotta Ginman & Richard Wyse v Ian Whittaker & Fergus Brownlee 3/6 2/6 Lost
Kim Walker & John Harrington v Fiona Fountain & Tim Tomlin 6/5 1/6 6/5 Won
Jonathan Ellis-Miller &Carl Snitcher v Brain Lambert & Chantelle Harding 4/6 5/6 Lost
Anton Eisdell & Sarah McGivern v Sarah Brownlee & Pam Tomlin 4/6 6/2 4/6 Lost
Winners & Losers
Dedanists’s Society v Wellington @ Wellington
Saturday 4th December 2021
By Guy Egerton-Smith, Match manager
This was an excellent day of tennis at Wellington, coupled with the hospitality of the home team and much enjoyed by all. Thanks, Danny Jones and Drew Dowie, the Wellington MM. Drew and I agreed to play 7 Doubles starting at 9.00 am running through to the end of the match at 6.00 pm. So 128 players in all and the 7 matches played were the most I have put together in my time as a Dedanists’ Society MM.
The most exciting match was played between Drew Dowie/Clive Watson & Simon Roundell/David Dickson. It was a nail-biting affair with some great tennis played by all 4 players. Simon/David won 7 games in a row having been 4-0 down in the 2nd set to win the set 6-1, and to go on to lead the decider third set and then win their match 2-1. The Dedans was full of cries of “put the boot in Welly” and “re-boot Welly re-boot” all said in the spirit of the great match atmosphere.
A very good curry lunch was laid on by Danny with all the extras to go with it. Post lunch we lost a couple of matches probably due to lunch “heat” issues! There was a slight distraction for Wellington players post-lunch in that there was a Wellington College 1st 15 inter-school match which the home team won much to the delight of their school and tennis supporters.
£300 was collected for The Dedanists’ Junior tennis programme which was very pleasing.
We all look very much look forward to our next Dedanist v Wellington match in December 2022.
The Match result was a win for Wellington 4-3. Individual results as below with Wellington players first.
Simon Greenley/Tim Shaw v Guy Egerton-Smith/John Harrington 6-3, 6-5 L
Graeme Marks/ Phil Wilson v Fergus Brownlee/Oliver Wise 3-6, 4-6 W
Bill Sproul/Jeremy Pennant v Bruce Hogarth-Jones/Iain Harvey 6-2,6-2 L
Drew Dowie/Clive Watson v Simon Roundell/David Dickson 6-1, 4-6, 5-6 W
George Scott/John Amor v Yuri Kugler/David Bevan-Thomas 6-4,6-1 L
Giles Stogdon/Rosie Monk v James McDermott/Kim Walker 6-2, 6-3 L
David Enticknap/George Scott v Yuri Kugler/Michael Llewelyn-Jones 6-3, 3-6, 4-6 W
A very good curry lunch was laid on by Danny with all the extras to go with it.
Dedanists’ Society v MURTC
MURTC 20th November 202112021
By Martin Village
The Dedanists match against MURTC on Saturday November 20 was drawn with two games apiece. Yuri Kugler won his singles game narrowly (ten games to nine) with a dogged display of returning everything that was thrown at him by an occasionally brilliant opponent prone to unforced errors. Then, with a classy mixture of proper real tennis strokes and experience, Julian Sheraton-Davis prevailed in his singles game by the same narrow margin against a good player twenty years his junior. At that point, with lunch very much in the offing and perhaps relaxed in the knowledge that a draw was in the bag, the rest of the Dedanists generously conspired to lose the next two doubles games to their hosts, by a stunning two games to ten in the case of Martin Village and Linda Sheraton-Davis, and in the final game Alastair Robson and Chris Marguerie went down by a slightly better six games to ten. Nevertheless, a good lunch and a very congenial afternoon's tennis was had by all on this lively court.
Dedanists’ v Holyport at Holyport
Holyport Saturday 23rd October 2021
By Guy Egerton-Smith
Match result Holyport 3 Dedanists’ 2
This was the first match at Holyport with Josh Smith as the Head Professional. We all wish him well in his new RT role and I am sure that he will be a great success with the Club and will receive the support he deserves from the Club members going forward.
I, as the Match Manager, was unfortunately unable to play on the day, and despite requests for photos of the proceedings and anecdotes from the team they somehow failed to adhere to the MM’s pre match instructions! Never mind I gather it was a very good day enjoyed by all despite the Dedanists’ going down 3 matches to 2. Three of the matches were closely fought affairs running to 3 sets. Results with Dedanists’ first were as follows:-
David Enticknap & Andy Bishop v Andy Parkinson & Nick Parkinson 1-6 6-4 5-6 Lost
Kim Walker & Miles Buckinghamshire v Andy Lightfoot & Steve Bowler 0-6 1-6 Lost
Yuri Kugler & Bruce Hogarth-Jones v George Fowler & Mark Piper 5-6 6-5 6-4 Won
Linda Sheraton Davis & John Harrington v George Fowler & Martyn Rowlands 0-6 5-6 Lost
James McDermott & Jenny Jones v Gill Goddard & Robert Thorogood 4-6 6-5 6-3 Won
£200 was collected for the Dedanists’ Society.
Match Report - Dedanist's v Hamsters
Hampton Court Palace, 21st October 2021
By Ian Harris
Early in the morning, on this crisp, sunny October day, there was a sound of slumbering creatures stirring in urban and suburban settings across the South-East of England. While many species were preparing to hibernate for the 2021/22 winter, the lesser spotted Dedanists and Hamsters are starting to emerge after more than 18 months of pandemic-induced hibernation.
This was not the first Dedanists fixture since the resumption, but it was the first for many of us individuals, as it must have been for many of The Hamsters.
Ten intrepid Dedanists ventured to Hampton Court Palace. Me, plus:
Tony Friend (match manager)
On arrival, Tony Friend took a beautiful picture of Hampton Court Palace in the sunshine. Tony also managed this splendid action shot of Carl Snitcher handing the ball to Jonny Saunders while the two of them were in the heat of battle with Hamsters Michael Banks and Simon Cripps.
Nick Carew Hunt was the non-playing “mega mind” for The Hamsters, pulling the strings plus, most importantly, cooking the pies. What pies they were too:
Chicken Ham & Leek simply oozing with rich gooey flavour;
Steak & Ale, with an onion-rich gravy.
An assortment of vegetables accompanied those mouth-watering mains. Naturally, there was also bread, cheese and two species of yummy desert. Plenty of Sauvignon Blanc and/or Beaujolais for the brave, apple juice for motorist wimps like me.
We even spent a little bit of our time at Hampton Court playing tennis. In my case, I got to mark a couple of matches as well as playing one of my own. Carl Snitcher captured on camera one of my marking moments. Note to self for next time – the netting in the Hampton Court dedans has many more inches of give, when struck, than the netting at most courts. Wearing one in the mouth while marking in the dedans is a mistake I’ll only make once.
Both teams could clearly claim victory in two rubbers each, while a small panel of judges and jurists met late in the day to try and determine the result of the deciding rubber. A lot of Latin phrases flew around, until they decreed, “animus revertendi”, an intention to return, which surely would be agreed unanimously by all who had attended this most enjoyable fixture. The judges also decreed, “ceteris paribus, consensus facit legem”; that both teams had a legitimate claim to victory and therefore that both teams had won.
In a way, of course, The Dedanists’ Society always wins its matches, financially. Thanks almost equally to the generosity of The Hamsters and The Dedanists, this fixture raised over £400 this year.
Following some initial polite enquiries by your investigative reporter (me), Mr Tony Friend has kindly agreed to account for and explain in full how such an unusual sum as £402.98 was reached, should anyone be crazy enough to ask him to do that. Until such time, Tuppencegate, as I am naming the affair, shall remain a mystery.
Hampton Court Palace looks truly splendid in the evening light. I took a couple of parting shots while wishing that my tennis shots could be as clean and elegant as my photographic ones.
It really was a splendid, invigorating and convivial way to spend a day.
Splendid, Hampton Court Palace in the early evening light.
1. Alan Dallamore & Ian Wimbush WON against Ian Harris & James McDermott 6-1 6-3
2. (EXHIBITION MATCH) Michael Banks & Simon Cripps played Johnny Saunders & Carl Snitcher/Tony Friend 2-6 5-6
3. RIchard Wear & Maurice Beardsley LOST to Tony Friend & Yuri Kugler 0-6 1-6
4. David Remington & Charlie Kearl LOST to Giles Stogdon & Iain Harvey 5-6 2-6
5. Robert Frost (w/h) & Oliver Buckley WON against Graeme Marks & Christie Marrian 6-2 6-1.
Match Result: TIED 2-2.
Dedanists’ Society v Manchester
MTRC Sunday 26th September 2021
By Guy Egerton-Smith
This match formed part of the Dedanists'/MCC weekend fixture away at MTRC. As with the away Dedanists’/MCC weekend fixture at Jesmond Dene a weekend earlier the respective weekend Match Managers had difficulty attracting a full team for both days. We blamed it on the uncertainties of travel due to the ongoing presence of the pandemic. Having said that our match on Sunday attracted 8 Dedanists’ (2 playing twice) which included 3 MTRC Dedanists’ which was excellent.
I am pleased to report that the match result on Sunday resulted in a 3-2 victory for the Dedanists'. 3 of the 5 doubles matches were very closely fought affairs running to 3 sets.
Mel Harding & Guy Egerton-Smith 5/6 6/5 6/5 won
Iain Harvey & James Leeper 2/6 2/6 lost
Giles Stogdon & James Leeper 6/1 6/2 won
Robin Barlow & Peter Dean 3/6 6/5 6/4 won
John Mortimer & Peter Dean 6/4 4/6 4/6 lost
It goes without saying that we were very well looked after by MTRC over the weekend which included an excellent dinner on Saturday evening in the Club dining room, with excellent wine and port from the club’s extensive seller. The evening was much enjoyed by all playing members of the MCC/Dedanists’/MTRC teams, including Iain’s wife Rose, who sat through 2 days of tennis watching overall wins over the 2 days for each team.
A special thanks on behalf of all Dedanists’ to Stella Heap for looking after us over the 2 days and to Darren Long for 2 days of impeccable marking from the Dedans and explaining to the assembled company the marker’s decision on the very occasional player’s quizzical call.
The British Real Tennis Academy v MCC at Lords September 26th 2021
The opening match of the season for the Academy representative team took place at Lords on Sunday 26th September. In the absence of Paul Weaver due to illness, the Academy team was managed by Mike Henman who is also the manager of the Academy’s Development Squad.
Each of the MCC team captained by Nick Warner was matched by handicap to the Academy juniors. The first match was between James Denham and 10 year old Max Warner. This match could not possibly have been closer ending in a single point at 5-5 in the third set, 40-40all with match point to both players. The point was won by James and the MCC took a 1-0 lead.
The second match saw Magnus Garson representing the Academy playing George Bretton. A close match ended in a win for Magnus 6-2 6-4. It was all downhill for the Academy from then on with convincing wins for George Parsons and Henry Henman giving the Academy a 3-1 win in the match.
Many thanks go out to the team captains and of course to the Dedanists Society for sponsoring the event.
Full results:- (Academy players 1st)
Max Warner lost to James Denham 5-6 6-4 5-6
Magnus Garson beat George Bretton 6-2 6-4
George Parsons beat Fred Pilkington 6-1 6-1
Henry Henman beat Simon Talbott-Williams 6-1 6-0
Max and James Denham
Henry and Simon Talbott-Williams
George and Fred Pilkington
A few of the MCC team with Henry & George from the British Academy squad
Match Report - Dedanists v Radley Club
at Radley on Saturday 11 September 2021
Doubles - 1 x 8 game set - first to 8 wins
Dedanists v Radley Club Winner
David Phillips & Giles Stogdon Miles Donnelly & Nicholas Kaye Dedanists 8 – 4
James McDermott & Mark Savage Nicholas Kaye & Tim Lancaster Radley 8 – 4
David Phillips & David Weston M Henderson-Tew & Victor Till Dedanists 8 – 7
Giles Stogdon & Katy Weston Miles Donnelly & Julia Kent Radley 8 – 6
Josh Farrall & Mark Savage Nicholas Kaye & Victor Till Radley 8 – 6
James McDermott & Katy Weston Tim Lancaster & Julia Kent Radley 8 – 2
Andy Bishop & David Weston M Henderson-Tew & David Harris Dedanists 8 – 4
Josh Farrall & Derek Williams Mary Joyner & Victor Till Radley 8 – 4
Andy Bishop & Derek Williams Mary Joyner & David Harris Dedanists 8 – 4
Radley won 5 – 4
A sunny September day at Radley. Everyone was especially pleased to be playing at all. The Dedanists a little rusty but keen. Radley won 5 matches to 4. It could have gone either way. Dedanists who distinguished themselves by winning all their matches were Andy Bishop, David Phillips and David Weston.
Thank you CJR for organising the play and doing much of the marking. Thank you Maggie for an excellent lunch, fit for the athletes that we aspire to be.
We raised £180 for the British Academy and junior real tennis.
Pleased to be playing!
A selection of players from the Match Day at Radley, 11th September 2021
The Dedanists Society invests in the UK's top juniors
Rob Fahey travelled down to Seacourt to give intensive Academy coaching to 3 of the countries brightest prospects. Will Flynn, Max Trueman & James Medlow are all currently ranked in the top 4 under 18’s in the world. The 3 juniors who all play at Seacourt still have lots to learn as they spent a total of 4 hours on court with the World Champion 2 days in a row.
The programme is structured such that, once a month, on consecutive days, the players receive 8 hours of intense on-court coaching from Rob. Andrew Lyons is there throughout as part of the coaching team, helping on the day and implementing the coaching during the rest of the month when Rob is away.
These one on one sessions with talented junior players were sponsored by the Society and will stand them in good stead as they head off to the Junior World Championships in Tuxedo this July.
Warwickshire weekend 4th and 5th Sept 2021
Enthusiasm in this the first fixture in the Dedanist’s calendar was high with 10% of the society’s membership putting themselves forward for selection! You would think a match manager’s dream but swiftly this turned into a nightmare with 5 withdrawals from non-covid illness, injury and unforeseen events. As they say on the stage it will all be fine on the night and so it turned out.
The day at Leamington started well with the Dedanists on time but the 167 emails to that time had inevitably brought some confusion and some of the opposition turned up late. No problem; the batting order changed and battle commenced. Two new society members, Liz Leach, Oxford, and Tony Branfield, MMTCC, who had got up at 6 and travelled up from London, opened the innings and valiantly fought against the well-seasoned pair of Sampson and Devis but unfortunately came second 5/6 : 1/6.
The match manager had cleverly chosen to play with the elegant Vaughan Williams and after the first set took a comfortable lead 6/2 but then the MM lost his length on serve and Vaughan, the gentleman he is did not even flutter an eyelid as he was bombarded on his forehand 5/6. The opposition who had the Rev James Holden, another Dedanist, sensed an opportunity and irreverently seized the moment to take the match 6/4. At least that pulled the assembled into the Dedans.
On stage step James McDermott and Giles Stogdon with a healthy combined handicap of 69.8 what could go wrong. A fierce entertaining and quality battle ensued with Giles giving his all. Spot the fast-moving blur at the receivers end. (copyright protected).
For those wishing to place the video on your desktop visit https://youtu.be/OpoilqweYqY . Giles’ shot went into the dedans but unfortunately lost the point for touching the net. As MM I feel that I must complete an incident form to complain on the smile on Ed Jessamine’s face at Giles’ plight. This fortified our resolve and the determined pair had the last laugh and took the closing match of the morning 6/5: 5/6: 5/6 keeping the Dedanists candle alight.
Owing to Covid precautions lunch was held seated in the bar area of the lounge which to the MM mind is more convivial owing to the natural light and reflections off the polished silverware. Missed photo opportunity.
To the afternoon and charged with some vino tinto Sebastian Wood and new member Chris Marguerie, MMTCC, confidently strode onto the court. Focus was the word and neither allowed the opposition, another Dedanist of note Alastair Robson and Caroline Dixon, wife of the LTCC president, to gain any traction. The match was taken 6/4: 6/1 to level the day.
What does every MM want to clinch victory …… a Dedanist trustee! I can hear you gasp…. After I had dusted him down, Andrew Hamilton racquet unsheathed stepped on court and after ably supported by Michael Llewelyn-Jones, who at this stage had stopped worrying about the national trade deficit, faced Matt Fattorini, yet another Dedanist, and Bill Slora. Well what a match.
Left to right: Bill Slora, Matt Fattorini,
Chris Aley assistant Professional, Michael Llewelyn Jones
and Andrew Hamilton
The first set went to 3/6 with a tightening of Andrew jawline and a bead of perspiration on Michael’s forehead the second was clawed back 6/3. To the deciding set of the day could the Dedanists beat LTCC? You have guessed 5 all in the final game. Andrew has this uncanny knack of swinging the odds in his favour and to fulfil my trust in his selection, the trustee proved himself safe as houses and brought the Dedanists a well-earned Victory against the oldest club in the world (1846). Most will already know that.
Result Dedanists 3 LTCC 2. A win for the Dedanists.
A celebratory dinner took place in the Cote Brasserie in Leamington. Nine players, two lady partners and non-playing Norman Hyde, carrying a scalpel induced wound, were present to share in fellowship with good food, wine and banter.
To Moreton Morrell on the Sunday and a bright sunny day with windows open and cheerful Tom Granville, Head Professional to greet us. All members arrived with no flicker of a hangover or not that I could perceive when compared with my own state. Originally, we were offered a maximum of 16 players and given the enthusiasm for the weekend I managed to balance 8 MMTCC Dedanists v 8 Visiting Dedanists but best laid plans of mice and men and all that… there were 3 withdrawals. Thanks to local interest 3 equivalent handicap MMTCC players seized the opportunity to get on court. The day would prove a great opportunity for those who had not yet played on the new floor which has had much acclaim.
The first match of Tony Branfield who had only to travel 20 minutes that morning and grateful of the lie in, played with streamed lined Terence Drane for the home Dedanists v Michael Llewelyn-Jones and George Krusznskyi, visiting Deds. It must be said the visitors had a bad start 5/0 and Michael went into overdrive and the two pulled back to 6/4. The next set was nip and tuck and yet they were clinging on; sadly victory eluded them. 4/6: 4/6.
The second match was Mark Savage M.W. and Chris Marguerie playing for the home Deds v Sebastian Wood and Giles Stogdon for visiting Deds. Sebastian’s back was not as it should have been so we witnessed some rather unusual floor exercises in the bar which made me think his physio had a sense of humour. Given Giles’ love affair with the net great acrobatics were expected. Their choreography brought them to the final game of 5 all but the judge (marker) could not give them a score of 10. 5/6: 6/5: 5/6. Hard luck and at lunch the visiting Deds were two down.
A splendid lunch was had in the dining room and provided by George K. With the need to keep out alcohol levels up for the afternoon some excellent Savage wine was sampled. The MMTCC house wine gets better with each tasting. Thank you, Mark. I think every club should have a Master of Wine. I was dumbstruck to see said MW holding a pint of ale and when I pointed this out, the repost was “well you would not expect me to quench my thirst with wine.” Wise advice. I must remember that next time.
To the third match ….would the M.M orchestrate a much needed victory for the visitors. Bring on secret weapon James Coley.
In the warm up and first set James and Vaughan Williams looked too much for the Home Dedanists, Andrew Hamilton and Rev James Holden, the visiting Deds, playing elegant tennis and the two gelling well looked like they might be too much for the home team, even the marker asked who is this ringer, James Coley. Well, this was a match for all who love to watch tennis. First set 4/6. Being a Sunday one might expect James’ game to be good and as the match progressed the home side pulled one set back 6/5. To the final set….never underestimate a trustee and man of the cloth, there was certainly no rest day here. 5 all. What a match with long rests and Andrew and James with home court confidence took the last set to win an exciting encounter.
The visitors being 3 down had to gain a victory for respect. James McDermott and MM, Deds visitors, played Alastair Robson and Stuart Hodges, Home Deds. James, clear of all cobwebs, played like a demon and after the MM joints started to ease, they broke the opposition down 6/4 : 6/1.
Result MMTCC Deds 3 Visiting Deds 1.
I call that a win-win for the Dedanists. I think I might become a spin doctor in retirement.
Our thanks to Alastair Robson who match managed the LTCC side, Tom Granville and Chris Aley for marking. From the post-match emails, taking total communications to just over 200, a great weekend was had by all. Remember to register early for 2022!!!
David Phillips - Match Manager.
Dedanists v LTCC 4th September
L Leach & T Branfield v C Sampson &J Devis 5/6 : 1/6
J McDermott &G Stogdon v E. Jessamine & M. Powell Brett 5/6 : 6/5 : 6/5
D Phillips & V Williams v J Holden & B Compton 6/2 : 3/6 : 4/6
S Wood & C Marguerie v A Robson & C Dixon 6/4 : 6/1
A Hamilton &M Llewelyn -Jones v M Fattorini & B Slora 3/6 : 6/3 : 6/5
MMTCC Dedanists v Visiting Dedanists 5th September
T Branfield v T Drane v M Llewelyn Jones & G Krusznskyi 6/4 : 6/4
M Savage & C Marguerie v S Wood & G Stogdon 6/5: 5/6 : 6/5
A Hamilton & J Holden v Jj. Coley & V Williams 4/6 : 6/5 : 6/5
A Robson & S Hodges v D Phillips & J McDermott 4/6 : 1/6
The Dedanists Society - Annual Report & Accounts 2019/20
To download a copy of the Dedanists Society Annual Report & Accounts for 2019/20 please click on the Word Document below.
The Dedanists Society - Annual Report & Accounts 2018/19
To download a copy of the Dedanists Society Annual Report & Accounts for 2018/19 please click on the Word Document below.
The U21/U24 British Open
Sponsored by the Dedanists Society
Middlesex University 2nd -6th January 2020
U21 Singles Freddie Bristowe bt Ned Batstone
U24 Singles Robert Shenkman bt Levi Gale
U24 Doubles Shenkman & Bristowe bt Gale & Smart
The Dedanists’ Society is dedicated to identifying and supporting the best in junior real tennis. It sponsors this championship. It funds and runs the British Real Tennis Academy. It is the T&RA’s lead partner in the development of junior tennis. The quality of tennis played in the championship this year was higher than seen for some time. This is a credit to club and Academy coaches.
The tournament was organised and marked by the Middlesex University Club professionals, Chris Bray and Will Burns. Here is their report:
In the U21 singles, the playoff match to qualify for the final was between Ned Batstone and Zack Smart. The winner would play no 1 seed Freddie Bristowe in the final. Batstone had spent several months in the US honing his skills in preparation for the tournament. Would all this court time stand him in good stead for a successful tournament or could Smart under the tutelage of Nick Wood at Hampton court spring a surprise? It was a strong performance from Batstone using his effective railroad and powerful forehand to take the match 6/1 6/3. This victory set up another showdown between old foes, Bristowe and Batstone. They did not disappoint with stunning rallies and incredible points throughout the match. Bristowe started the stronger of the two by taking the first set with his silky skills and accurate target hitting. However, Batstone battled back strongly in the next set, digging in and making the points longer. He was finally able to get control of the serving end and take the set convincingly. We were down to the decider. Bristowe regained his composure and rhythm. Although Batstone kept pushing and battling away, it was Bristowe who played the more accurate tennis at the crucial moments and hit the grille with regularity to take a deserved 6/2 2/6 6/3 victory. Well played to both finalists. We’ll be hearing plenty from these two in the years to come.
In the U24 singles, we had two very intriguing semi-finals. Firstly, Ned Batstone was taking on number 2 seed Levi Gale. Gale, the newly appointed assistant at Radley, had been taking advice and practice from former world champion Chris Ronaldson in the lead up to the event. As a result, he looked in fine fettle and was confident going into his matches. This was an excellent encounter with plenty of toing and froing. Gale played in his clinical style using his excellent floor game and good movement to pressure Batstone into errors. He took the first 6/0 in quick time. Batstone finally got himself in to the match and the second set was brilliant to watch. It lasted well over an hour with Gale ahead all the way but Batstone refusing to give way. At 5 games all, Batstone chose to make his move and took the set 6/5 with effective defence of the serving end and well-placed shots under the grille. Into the decider. Gale managed to regain control, again grinding out point after point. All the games were close. However, Gale was not to be denied and he was in no mood to give anything away again taking the set 6/0.
The second Semi-Final saw defending champion Rob Shenkman taking on the talented Freddie Bristowe. This was one of the best matches in recent years at the tournament. Both players played outstanding tennis. The retrieving was mesmerising, the shot making breath-taking. It was an incredible battle which could have gone either way. At 6/5 5/3 up, Bristowe looked like causing one of the biggest upsets in tournament history. Shenkman had thrown in everything he had but it did not look to be enough. However, using all his experience, he managed to stay in the points and slowly get to 5 games all. A couple of mistakes crept in to the Bristowe game and this was enough for Shenkman to take the set. Shenkman, now full of confidence, got off to a great start in the next and was able to seal a 5/6 6/5 6/2 win. A relieved Shenkman was still alive to fight another day and perhaps take another U24 title.
The final was an intriguing encounter between two-time winner Rob Shenkman and the up and coming Levi Gale. Could Gale avenge the losses from previous years or would Shenkman continue to grow in stature and take another title? Could Gale add pace and power to complement his excellent floor game or would Shenkman be too good with his exceptional movement and fluid style? It was clear from the start that Shenkman had gone up to another level. His confidence and rhythm were at their best. There were good hard-fought rallies throughout the match. However, Shenkman was on the winning side of most of them. Gale realised that he had to take his game up a couple of gears and tried his hardest. He started hitting loose balls with fearsome power, sending a clear message that he was still in the match. Shenkman however was not to be stopped and played consistent tennis when needed and dispatched any missed forces with clinical accuracy. He secured a famous 6/1 6/2 victory and with it a hatrick of U24 titles. In the U24 doubles final, the U21 and U24 singles champions, Bristowe and Batstone, combined to achieve a convincing 6/0 6/2 victory over Levi Gale and Zack Smart. There were some exciting, hard hitting rallies to be seen in this match which pleased the crowd in attendance.
MURTC wishes to thank the Dedanists’ Society for their continuing support of junior tennis and for sponsoring the championship again this year. We look forward to next year.
Will Burns & Chris Bray
Dedanists v Hatfield @ Hatfield House 14th March 2020
Adrian Akers & Mike Asplin lost to Yuri Kugler & Peter Dean 6/10
Hugh Pemberton beat Nick Brodie 10/8
James Barlow & Stuart Rose beat Jonathan Ellis-Miller & Yuri Kugler 10/2
David Wells & Carl Snitcher lost to Melvyn Plum & Michael Cotton 2/10
Liz Fisher & Sarah Sullivan beat Richard East & Valerie O'Donnell 10/5
Miles Buckinghamshire & David Wells beat Anton Eisdell & Valerie O'Donnell 10/8
Dedanists players in Bold Hatfield win 4/2
Dedanists v Hurlingham Pigeons @Wellington 8th March 2020
Wellington RTC was pleased to welcome two travelling tennis teams to our court on Sunday: the Dedanists and the Hurlingham Pigeons, two teams with a long history of friendly rivalry. Matters were managed under the careful marksmanship of Andy Chinneck who brought an amount of control to the more excitable players.
There was hardly any unpleasantness. The HP captain, Simon Talbot-Williams, had some harsh words to say about his doubles' partner, but it transpired that he was referring to his partner at Lord's yesterday, not the goddess of tennis, Sue Haswell.
An excellent roast lunch and copious quantities of wine helped to smooth the day.
For the record, James McDermott and Charlie Enticknap, deputising for his father, lost to Matthew Page and John Deere. Peter Dean and Jonathan Ellis-Miller won narrowly on a count back of games against Richard Pettit and Nick Pellew. David Mills and Peter Dean lost to Patrick Jenkins and Nick Pellew. Graeme Marks and Simon Webster really raised their game to beat the seasoned combination of Simon Talbot-Williams and Sue Haswell. Giles Stogdon and Charles Oliphant-Callum also played well to beat Matthew Page and Richard Dalzell. Overall, a victory to the Dedanists, three rubbers to two.
It was good to see several new members of the Dedanists' Society taking part and contributing so much to the success of the day.
A sum of £165 will be collected through the Go Cardless scheme for the Dedanists' objectives in junior tennis.
Dedanists v Oratory @ Oratory 22nd February 2020
The Dedanists had an excellent day at the Oratory. A team of 10 doughty players arrived to do battle against the Oratory team. Play started at 10 am and we had eleven matches of one 6-game set, each player having at least two games. We started in grand style winning the first two matches and had great hopes of vanquishing the Oratory players hands down but thereafter our fortunes were more mixed and we ended the day losing by one match. Nevertheless, the standard of tennis was good and we had the pleasure of watching some close games played with great style and panache.
The Oratory made us exceedingly welcome and provided us with an excellent lunch and wine – so we did what the Dedanists are particularly good at - enjoying the generous hospitality and imbibing a considerable amount of wine.
Our thanks to Nino and Levi for organising the day so well and for doing all the marking. An excellent and enjoyable day which raised £150 or our junior programmes.
Dedanists v Petworth @ Petworth 9th February 2020
It was a great day for the Dedanists. We beat Petworth and as Graeme Marks so aptly put it we also beat the weather.
On a very windy and rainy day a crack team of Dedanists, which included three from Prested , one from Canford ( the chairman) , one from Oxford ( the president), two from Queens, one from the MCC, one from Wellington and one from MURTC we made our way safely to Petworth. It was good to have members from so many different clubs playing
It was foul day and the rain was so severe at times that the roof leaked and play had to stop for a short while. Despite the short stoppages and the constant use of towels to dry the floor we comprehensively won the contest, as the results below indicate
The home team were exceedingly hospitable and Rob Southwell provided a magnificent lunch in the very comfortable dining area in the Dedans accompanied with some very agreeable wine. Many thanks to Rob for organising the day so efficiently and seamlessly. It was also good to see David Godfray, who joined us for lunch and to watch some top-notch tennis. By common consent, everyone enjoyed the day and to cap it all £165 was raised for our junior programs
Also many thanks to Louis Gordon for marking so efficiently and for handling the water penetration so professionally
Dedanists v MCC @ Lord's Cricket Ground 8th February 2020
Reporter: Ian Harris
Let’s get the really important business out of the way first. This fixture was awash with Dedanists on both sides, resulting in £255 being raised for the future of our game. Carl suggests that this might be a record for a single match and who am I, a mere cub reporter, to disagree?
While still dealing with the really important business first, readers will want to know what we had to eat. There was a signature Lord’s soup (very tasty, thick with vegetables), with a choice of shepherd’s pie or mushroom strudel as the main course, served with a healthy supply of multi-coloured vegetables. Lord’s does good cheese, which sealed the deal. My comprehensive market research, involving in-depth interviews and sampling some of the food myself, reveals that all the fare was delicious and well received.
Host captain Sam Leigh ensured that the wine was plentiful and of a fine quality. Dedanist captain Carl Snitcher might be forgiven for occasionally slipping into the host rather than visiting captaincy role, given his vast experience of being both. Indeed a great many of the players might be forgiven for getting confused as to whether they were representing the MCC or the Dedanists, especially those who had found themselves being switched twixt the teams on a number of occasions between selection and the match day itself.
Suffice it to say that I ensured that I had an MCC shirt and a Dedanists shirt in my kit bag for the day, just in case there was a further, late switch.
But this report is about a hard-fought tennis match. Such matches deserve a crowd and this match had a crowd. Brian Sharp, Peter Luck-Hille and Janie. Three’s a crowd; everyone knows that. So many thanks to the entire crowd.
I’m going to report the tennis itself in reverse order, for reasons of my own. I played in the last rubber, partnering Martin Village against the slightly nobbled pairing of Sebastian Wood & John Thirlwell. Our opponents’ idiosyncratic formation took a bit of working out, but once we worked it out, I thought Martin & I did rather well as a novel pair who had never even seen each other play before. 6-3, 6-2 to the Dedanists.
Some say the most watchable tennis of the day came in the fourth rubber, in which Peter Dean & Giles Pemberton representing the MCC took on Dedanists Johnny Saunders & Linda Sheraton Davis. The latter pair prevailed for the Dedanists 6/4, 6/4 and I must say that, having observed the conclusion of that rubber, I concur that the play was fine quality and very exciting to watch.
Giles Stogdon & Carl Snitcher representing the MCC prevailed over Dedanists James McDermott & David Enticknap 6/2 6/4. Eagle-eyed readers of this report might wonder why the Captain of the Dedanists was representing the MCC in this match. Grill Carl on that point, if you dare. I’m moving on swiftly to the second rubber.
Sam Leigh & Simon Martin for the MCC defeated Dedanists Simon Webster & Rodger Davis 6/4 6/3 in a hard-fought contest, as indeed were all of the rubbers I observed.
So, working backwards, we have MCC 2, Dedanists 2, with only the result of the first rubber yet to be reported.
This is where matters get a bit difficult, because Janie and I arrived during the second rubber, having left strict instructions for other capable folk to keep careful notes for me on the first rubber.
Unfortunately, everyone I interviewed, not least the players themselves, had subtly different stories about what exactly had passed in the first rubber. Everyone agreed that it was a very close match. Everyone agreed that Tony Friend & Paul Cattermull representing the MCC had narrowly defeated Dedanists Yuri Kugler & Julian Sheraton Davis, winning the deciding set 6/5. Everyone agreed that the MCC had started the match well, winning the first three games, while then losing the first set 6/4.
But beyond that, the details of the match were subtly different from each person I interviewed. I was told that the Dedanists had match points in both the second and third sets. But I was also told that the MCC won the second set 6/4.
Now, call me old-fashioned, but I can’t be having with the idea that a pair who won only four games in a set of tennis, had a match point in that set. “Ah yes”, said one witness vaguely, “the second set must have been 6/5 then”. “Perhaps there were match points in two different games of the third set,” said another eye-witness, with the sort of vacant look that only a third glass of Ned Pinot Grigio can induce. But the only blush visible was that juicy-looking glass of Ned, not the face of the vague witness.
There was nothing else for it. If I was to prove myself as an incisive reporter for the Dedanists, I would need to resort to high-tech investigative journalism techniques. Here is a link to the CCTV footage of the conclusion of the first rubber, joining the match in the second set at 4-4. Silent witness but good viewing. Proof positive that the MCC won the rubber 4/6, 6/4, 6/5 and thus the MCC won the fixture, narrowly, by three rubbers to two.
If there is anyone left out there who still wants to know more about this fixture, I have reported the day from a personal perspective on my own blog, Ogblog, where you can also find links to some more photos and CCTV evidence from each of the five rubbers.
It really was a most enjoyable day at Lord’s. Many thanks to all who attended, especially Sam Leigh and Carl Snitcher for organising the day.
Dedanists v Club de Jeu de Paume @ Paris 24th-26th January 2020
On Friday afternoon the Dedanists team of Alastair Robson , John Farrall ,John McVittie ,Adam Lawrence , Martin Village , Carl Snitcher, Jonathan Ellis miller and David Philipps made their way together by Eurostar to Paris sitting in different parts of the train and eventually arrived at our hotel opposite the club in rue Lauriston where it was generally agreed that the hotel Pastel was a massive improvement on where we stayed year - this was the first of many improvements and innovations.
Secondly our first and only French member François Manage’ was part of the our team but was unable to play as he was injured . But he came to support us and was at the dinner On Saturday .
The third improvement was the extraordinary performance on Sunday of the ever youthful Adam Lawrence who was the joint winner of the Dedanists' Paris trophy ( a bottle of champagne ) shared with Rémy Salmon from Paris . The consensus was that the standout performance of the weekend belonged to Adam. Not only did he miss his first match ( which was rejigged) as he had overslept but he still scored 18 points as did Remy. Adams' victory followed swiftly on from his success in winning the Racquet d'or in Paris some 56 years ago in 1963/ 1964 when he lived there while training as a medic .And at the age of 87 still going strong - " too damn strong " were the words muttered sotto voce by some members of the team some 30 years his junior. Well done Adam.
A great dinner at the Petit Retro a local restaurant with wonderful art nouveau decor on the Friday night. On Saturday we were all up bright and early for the match against the locals starting at 9am.. There were 8 rubbers with each Dedanists playing twice with different partners against 16 locals. The Dedanists characteristically and generously allowed the home team to won by 6 rubbers to 2 .With 1 set of the first to 10. Paris won by 71 games to 51 overall!!
On Saturday evening 28 of us including members of the Paris club and their very fragrant other halves went to another local restaurant recommended by Francois . We had a terrific meal in a private room all on round one large table . Excellent service with everyone getting precisely what was ordered on time with many bottles of very good value wine , ensured we were all well fed and watered in the most agreeable of circumstances.
After dinner ,as it was Burns night, good looking Rod McNaughtan, a Scot, and his better looking partner Lucy Friday who were our guests at dinner . ( Lucy was very busy on the Friday with some complex aeronautical problem so was unable to make Friday ) took some of us to a bar miles away where more then half the team drank blended scotch and then some very expensive Laphroiag ( courtesy of Alastair whose father was born in Aberdeen, as was Adam ). With the Scottish connection established and well oiled many glasses were consumed into the very early hours !!
And then to the Sunday match amongst ourselves with some French members participating (Remy , Jean Paul and Gil ) which was jointly won by Adam and Rémy , It was all about the medical profession it seemed ,as a photograph shows (Dr) Robson presenting the coveted prize to (Dr )Remy Salmon and (Dr) Adam Lawrence with (Dr)David Phillips just missing the cut ( too many docs ... ed)- after that to the Gare du Nord, a quick bitette and a soporific trip back to Blighty , again on the same train but not sitting together
A great weekend in great company and some great tennis - and the final improvement . According to those who had been in all three trips, this one was the best so far
A Massive thanks to Dr Robson for doing a lot of the spade work and his oh so long speech at the dinner on Saturday night but he said it all , to our Paris Colleagues for making it all work so well and finally to good looking Rod McNaughtan who marked so professionally and accurately and good humouredly for nearly two days without a break
A terrific weekend ..... yet another successful Dedanists gig !!
Photos in part by Patricia Gallagher to whom also many thanks
Dedanists v Newmarket @ Newmarket 19th January 2020
Match Result: Newmarket won 5 - 2
Match Surplus: £125
Match Managers: Charles Granville & Josh Farrall
Well played Ruadrhi Duncan, Steve Milton and John Savile for winning all their matches for Newmarket - and Jonathan Ellis-Miller for doing the same for the Dedanists. Thank you to Andrew Knibbs for marking and clearing the on-court droplets of melting frost. Altogether a bracing experience for the Dedanists. On a cold and sunny January day, Newmarket were just too good.
Dedanists v Hardwick House @ Hardwick House 11th January 2020
Dedanists 3 1/2 - Hardwick 1 1/2
The match was played on a warm (for January) day. As always the court was in lovely condition, the balls were first class, and lunch provided by our hosts, Sarah and Ian Whittaker was superb.
One of the best aspects of the Match was to see Colin Butler playing after his trauma in the Match last year. He looked in fine form and his play produced a good draw as you will see later in this Report.
The first match pitched Valarie O’Donnell and Giles Stogdon against the fearsome ladies from Hardwick, Caroline Fox and Chantelle Harding. Giles apparently pleased to be on court with three ladies. The Dedanists pair were receiving R15/O15 and used their large handicap to good effect in the first set, winning 6-4. Caroline served brilliantly from the right hand side of the court finding a way for the serves to die on the back wall (I never knew you could do that at Hardwick). After winning the first set the Dedanists tired and lost the second set 3-6 possibly because Hardwick switched the receiver of serve. This cunning plan did not work in the third (short) set and the Dedanists ran out 6-5 victors. A very close match!
In the second match Robin Faux – a newish Dedanist - and your scribe were up against the well-known pair of Ian Whittaker and Colin Butler. The Dedanists started slowly (not unusual) and were soon 2-5 down but fought back to 5-5 all at which point Ian suddenly woke up and delivered two winning shots. Hardwick 6-5. In the second set the Dedanists started hitting the ball closer to the centre of the racket and with Robin playing inspired tennis won the set 6-3. The spectators then pointed out that the match had gone on forever and lunch would have to be delayed. This threat news galvanised the players into agreeing to an honourable draw.
Michael Llewelyn-Jones and Ian Hawkey (another newish Dedanist) came up against Michael Seymour (a Dedanist preferring to play for Hardwick!) and David Fox. Both extremely elegant players. The handicap was O15 in favour of the Dedanists. With Michael’s unique serving action and Ian’s steady play the Dedanists shaved the first set 6-5. The second set showed the youngsters (the Dedanists in case you were wondering) at their best and they ran out 6-3 for a two set win. The highlight of the match was Hardwick showing the youngsters how to lay short chases – much admired from the dedans.
The fourth match between Peter Harding and Sarah Whittaker for Hardwick against Linda Sheraton-Davis and Jonathan Ellis-Miller (a well matched pair in the length of their surnames but not in height), The Dedanist scraped the first set 6-5 after a well fought battle. The second set reached 3-3 then 4-3 to the Dedanists. Hardwick fought back to 4-4, the Dedanist got to 5-4. In the final game the Dedanist had a piece of outrageous luck at a critical point with a shot just hitting and toppling over the night. Obviously due to clean living.
The last match had Carl Snitcher playing for Hardwick. He was warned by the MM to make sure that he engineered the right result. He was partnered by with Sarah Brownlee who kindly played at short notice. They were up against the fast moving pair of doctors Alastair Robson and Adam Lawrence. Your scribe was marking so can’t remember a huge amount about the match except that Carl ignored the instructions about how he should play and Hardwick triumphed 6-4, 6-3 for a two sets to none win.
So the result was Hardwick 1 ½ and the Dedanists 3 ½. For a second year in a row a win for the Dedanists. Wonders will never cease! Your scribe is far too modest to tell you who was the only player to hit two winning galleries...........
The Surplus for Junior Tennis
On the day, we raised £210 for the Dedanist fund for Junior and Academy real tennis. Many thanks to all Dedanists and Hardwick members who donated.
Match Managers for the day
Ian Whittaker for Hardwick House. John McVittie for the Dedanists.
Results (Hardwick players shown first).
Caroline Fox & Chantelle Harding lost to Val O’Donnell & Giles Stogdon 4-6, 6-3, 5-6 (D)
Ian Whittaker & Colin Butler drew with John McVittie & Robin Faux 6-5, 3-6 (Draw)
Michael Seymour & David Fox lost to Ian Hawkey and Michael Llewelyn-Jones 5-6 3-6 (D)
Pete Harding & Sarah Whittaker lost to Jonathan Ellis-Miller & Linda Sheraton-Davis 5-6, 4-6 (D)
Carl Snitcher & Sarah Brownlee beat Alastair Robson & Adam Lawrence 6-4, 6-3 (H)
GAP Year Apprentices working at Seacourt
The Dedanists' Society together with the Dedanists Foundation and the T&RA are supporting an important new initiative taking place at the Cambridge club. The objective is to support 2 youngsters whilst they are given a 6 month insight into life as a Real Tennis professional with a view to them choosing this as a career. Currently the game is suffering a shortfall in the number of young players seeking to become professionals. It is hoped that if this initiative is successful it could become a blueprint for similar schemes at other clubs.
The 2 youngsters taking part in the scheme are Jim Ludekens and Andrew Barker. As part of the scheme and to widen their knowledge about Real Tennis clubs they have just spent a week at Seacourt where they worked alongside top professional Andrew Lyons.
Their week at Seacourt gave them an insight into how another club is run and gave them plenty of opportunity to see the Seacourt approach to coaching junior players. Seacourt were running their usual half term Sports Club which includes Lawn Tennis, Padel, Badminton and Squash as well as Real Tennis. As part of their workload, Jim & Andrew joined in with the management of this club which is open to all youngsters living on Hayling Island.
They both enjoyed their Seacourt experience and felt that they had learned many things that would be useful in possible future careers as a Real Tennis professional.
British Junior Championships 2019
We are delighted to announce that Dedanists Society performance programme attendees won the British Junior Championships titles at Under 14, Under 16 and Under 18 age groups. The Championships were held at The Queens Club over 3 days August 16th-18th.
Under 14: Bertie Vallat defeated Henry Henman
Under 16: James Medlow defeated Max Trueman
Under 18: William Flynn defeated Patrick Smart
British U21 & U24 Real Tennis Championships
Sponsored by The Dedanists' Society
Under 21 Singles
Semi-finals F Bristowe bt R Giddins 6/5 6/4, N Batstone bt E Hyde 6/5 6/2
Final F Bristowe bt N Batstone 6/3 6/4
Under 24 Singles
Semi-finals R Shenkman bt L Gale 6/2 6/3, Z Eadle bt R Giddins 6/5 6/5
Final R Shenkman bt Z Eadle 6/1 6/1
Under 24 Doubles
Semi-finals R Shenkman & E Hyde bt N Batstone & F Bristowe 6/4 6/3, Z Eadle & H Batstone bt R Giddins & C Defries 6/4 6/3
Final R Shenkman & E Hyde bt Z Eadle & H Batstone 6/2 6/0
National Schoolgirls Championships 2019
Sponsored by The Dedanists' Society and the LRTA
This was the second National Schoolgirls Tournament to be held and Sponsored jointly by the Dedanists’ Society and the LRTA. This year doubles events were added to both the U19 and U15 singles events.
Under 15 Level Singles
The U15 Singles had a wonderful 19 entrants. Three singles groups played on Friday evening and finished playing at 10.45pm and a further 2 groups on Saturday morning to feed players into the semi-finals. It was so exciting to see all the girls’ standard of play improve as they experienced more tennis.
In the first semi - finals Cesca Sweet bt Lucy Bryer (both Wellington College) and Olivia Boulton (Oaklands RC) bt Honor Hue–Williams (Wellington
Cesca v Olivia was an excellent final with some magnificent retrieving by both players. Cesca eventually went on to take the match and U 15’s title 6-2.
Under 15 Level Doubles
The U15 doubles had an entry of 9 pairs. The group matches saw lots of exciting rallies and again the rallies became longer as the girls gained more match experience.
In the semi–finals Katie Walker and Olivia Boulton (both Oaklands RC) bt Lucy Bryer and Marina Hammond (both Wellington) and Cesca Sweet and Honor Hue Williams bt Ottilie Perkins and Lily May Redshaw.
The final saw some cracking tennis with super shots hit by all four players and the level of play becoming stronger and stronger as the match progressed. Cesca and Honor proved too strong in a close final and won the title 6-3.
Under 19 Level Singles
The U19 events were played all day on Sunday. After some highly competitive group matches the semi-finals were Cesca Sweet v Lauren Gooding (both Wellington) and Olivia Boulton (Oaklands RC) v India Deakin (Cheltenham College).
India and Cesca made it through and took part in a magnificent final with the game see–sawing throughout. At 7-7all it was anyone’s match but good serving from Cesca saw her take the title 8-7. A fantastic match of superb quality and showing loads of talent from both players.
U19 Level Doubles
The U19 Doubles was an all Wellington affair with Cesca Sweet and Honor Cockcroft meeting Daisy Bristowe and Arabella Spraggs in the final. Cesca and Honor winning 8-4 to take the title and complete a memorable weekend for Cesca Sweet. Definitely one to watch for the future!
A huge thank you to Wellington College for allowing the tournament to be held on their court. A massive thanks to Dan Jones and Adam Player for all their marking throughout Friday, Saturday and Sunday plus creating such a fun tournament. In addition, thanks to Simon Roundell for various behind the scene administration, bouts of marking and making sure that we were all plied with copious cups of coffee, super sandwiches and cake throughout the weekend. Our thanks too to The Dedanists’ Society for their sponsorship and Josh Farrall for presenting the prizes on Sunday. What an exciting weekend of tennis!
The Sparks Dedanists Pro-Am
We held the 15th annual Sparks Dedanists Handicap Doubles Pro Am on 3rd July 2019 at Queen’s. It was a great success and raised nearly £3,000 to be shared by the Sparks medical charity for children and the Dedanists’ Society’s Academy coaching programme for the best young real tennis players in the country.
Sixteen amateur players, mainly Dedanists, paid £490 each to play and donate. With handicaps ranging from 24 to 64, they were representative of the amateur game as a whole. They each played three round robin matches against amateurs of similar handicap for a place in the semi-finals - and played with four or more different professionals in the process.
We are especially grateful to the pros for playing in this tournament. Their very presence persuades amateurs to enter and donate. They moderate their play to bring out the best in amateur partners and opponents. They entertain us with the quality of their play and banter. They encourage us with gems of good advice.
The players were as follow:
Professionals. Chris Bray, Chris Chapman, Claire Fahey, Rob Fahey, Ben Taylor-Matthews, Dan Jones, Neil Mackenzie, Ben Ronaldson,
Amateurs. Andrew Lowenthal, John McVittie, Francis Moore, Stuart Rose, Willie Wilks, Josh Farrall, Luke Readman, David Phillips, David Mills, Guy Egerton-Smith, Chris Vigrass, Graham Meek, Adrian Akers, Carl Snitcher, John Saunders, James McDermott.
Markers. Howard Angus & Simon Marshall
Chris Vigrass, Guy Egerton-Smith, Josh Farrall and Francis Moore won through to the semi-finals. Guy’s performance was particularly impressive as this was his first tennis after a fifteen month lay-off. Francis Moore beat Josh Farrall in the final to put his name on the trophy alongside that of his father who won in 2012. David Mills awarded the trophy and prizes with his own blend of sharp wit and racy humour.
Thank you to Josh and Carl for organising such a splendid day.