COVID-19 VIRUS PANDEMIC
Unfortunately all of our matches up to and including 24th April 2021 have now been cancelled.
Please stay safe and well
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)
Dedanists v Wellington@ Wellington Saturday 7th December 2019
We arranged 6 doubles matches, each lasting 60 minutes and played to handicap, with the winning pair judged on games won on the hour, which is by far the best format otherwise it would prove to be a very long day. We played 3 matches in the morning, starting at 10.00am, followed by an hour for lunch then 3 more games in the afternoon, ending pretty much on the dot of 5.00pm. As it happened there was a match at 8.30am between Simon Roundell & Francis Moore (both Dedanists!) but in this instance playing the final of the WRTC handicap level 30-39 Singles Tournament - it was narrowly won 2-1 by Francis. Danny Jones day of marking started at 8.30 and ended at 5.00pm. A long day but many thanks Danny for that and for organising an excellent lunch and overseeing Wellington hospitality as usual. It proved to be a great day of tennis and sociability much enjoyed by everybody.
Now for a bit of detail. As I have said we had 6 matches and on the basis of games won, within the 60 minute time frame of each match, Wellington won 56 to the Dedanist’s 44 but, on the usual basis matches won and lost, we were the gallant losers 4 matches to 2. Probably a fairly typical Dedanist result!
See a selection of photographs, including a photo of a 2 very weary looking players (before lunch) and one showing an open mouthed rather grumpy looking Dedanist after losing his doubles match.
Our team, as per the match pairings, comprised the following:-
Michael Llewelyn-Jones & John Beatty
Simon Webster & David Dickson
Giles Pemberton & Julian Sheraton-Davis
Julian Sheraton-Davis & David Bevan-Thomas
Charlotta Ginman-Horrell & Guy Egerton-Smith
Valerie O’Donnell & Carl Snitcher
We collected £180 on the day from our players towards the Academy programme so thanks to all our team for their generosity.
Dedanist Match Manager
Dedanists v MURTC @ Middlesex Saturday 23rd November 2019
This was a contest involving four doubles matches, and though we lost the match overall 3 - 1, every one of the games was, by general consent, very keenly fought with three of the four going to a third deciding set.
Carl Snitcher and David Mitchell-Innes started impeccably but eventually went down in three sets (6/4, 1/6, 4/6). The redoubtable Leamington duo of Miles Buckinghamshire and Alastair Robson then came even closer to victory, going to 5 all and 40 all in the final set (6/4, 1/6, 5/6). Valerie O'Donnell and I then contrived to lose 4/6, 5/6 (though, by way of mitigation, owing the opposition what turned out to be a very severe 15 in every game).
But the Deds finally triumphed, and avoided what would've been a cruel whitewash, when John McVittie and Jonathan Ellis-Miller took their match to 5 all and 40 all in the third set and... won the final point. I may say their achievement was all the sweeter to behold in view of the age difference between the sides (the Dedanists being by my calculation rather more than twice the age of the opposition) and the fact that their opponents, with much high-fiving, had been exhibiting signs of being just that little bit too confident of victory. Touché.
It was a good day of tennis, and the eight of us raised £120 for Dedanism.
I put together a team of 10 Dedanists to play in 5 doubles but was thwarted by Holyport, the home team, who could only muster 6 players, which was disappointing, but what with half term and the Rugby World Cup semi final I suppose that it was just about an acceptable excuse! It was agreed that 2 of our players, both Holyport members, Yuri Kugler and Guy Egerton-Smith (Dedanist Match Manager) would swop sides and play for Holyport to even things out to enable 4 doubles matches.
Checking our website I was pleased to see that the Dedanists won their recent match against Hamsters, following a 5-0 drubbing in the end October weekend match against Manchester (cant remember who the MM was), so it was important for us to put up a good performance against Holyport. We did.
A few of us arrived early at Holyport to watch the England v All Blacks semi-final. What a match and what a win. On the face of it it looks like the gods will favour an England win against the Springboks on Saturday. Let’s hope so. With England’s win it set us up well for the 4 doubles against Holyport, played off handicap. The Dedanists won the 1st, 2nd & 3rd matches 2-0, 3-1, 3-1 respectively and lost the 4th 0-2 to come out match winners 3-1. The Dedanist players, in order of the matches played, were Phil Devlin & Bruce Hogarth- Jones (his first match for the Dedanists), John Beatty & John McVittie, Carl Snitcher & James McDermott, Richard East & Liz Fisher. Extra congratulations must go out to our team as this was Holyport’s first defeat of the season!
Nick Parkinson provided an excellent lunch provided by his Gastropub, The Royal Oak, appreciated by all.
The players were camera shy, including Carl, so unfortunately we drew a blank here. The good news is that we raised £232.00 for our Academy programme.
We all look forward to the Dedanists Society AGM, the Lowenthal Trophy tournament and the dinner tomorrow Wednesday at Queen’s Club.
Dedanists v Holyport @ Holyport Saturday 26th October 2019
The Dedanists Society - Annual Dinner and Handicap Doubles Tournament
Queens Club Wednesday 30th October 2019
REPORT CREATED BY IAN HARRIS
(WITH THANKS ALSO TO FREDERIKA ADAM www.frederikaadam.com FOR THE PROFESSIONAL-LOOKING PHOTOGRAPHS AND TO CARL SNITCHER FOR THE OTHER PHOTOS)
I was told ahead of time that this annual event is one of the most popular in The Dedanists’ Society calendar; by the end of the day I could fully understand why.
Several of us were newbies this year; apart from me, Robin Faux, Bruce Hogarth Jones, Melvyn Plum and Giles Stogdon, the latter of whom will no doubt be amazed to see his name spelt correctly. Apologies if I have missed the names of any other newbies.
Friend Or Faux?
The details of the doubles competition was published in preview on this site, just below the Holyport match report, so it needs no repeating here. The use of the sliding handicap system made most of the matches tight. Your intrepid reporter watched two round robin matches before getting sucked into the competition himself; both of those were determined 4-4, 40-30 – it really doesn’t get closer than that.
The round robin play seemed quite fast and furious to me – possibly because most of the players are well above my “pay grade” in handicap terms. But also, I think, because pairs all felt they needed to come out all guns blazing in these short, sliding handicap matches.
My partner for the day was Tony Friend; we found ourselves pitched against Michael Shellim and Robin Faux in our first bout, which yielded the obvious pun in the above section heading. One wag suggested that most of us play real tennis but Robin plays Faux tennis. It didn’t seem Faux to me when Shellim & Faux beat us, but not before I returned a Robin Faux serve in a rather tentative, lobby fashion which somehow found the perfect length to beat a chase of half-a-yard on the floor.
Strange Case of P Cattermull and Mr Hyde
The semi-final line ups were:
Luke Readman & David Mitchell-Innes v Paul Cattermull & Norman Hyde
Johnny Saunders & Iain Harvey v Michael Shellim & Robin Faux
The first of those semi-finals, on East Court, was a rather one-sided affair; the sliding handicap failing to rein in Messrs Cattermull and Hyde, who got off to a rollicking start and just kept going. 4-0 was the score. The second semi-final, simultaneously taking place on West Court, was a much tighter affair, which could have gone either way, with Messrs Shellim & Faux prevailing 4-3; everyone loves a match that needs a deciding game.
The final was differently exciting. Once again Messrs Cattermull and Hyde got off to a flying start, metaphorically faster than even Norman Hyde himself on a Triumph motorcycle & side car. 3-0 they led, but then the sliding handicap started to take its toll, while Messrs Shellim and Faux upped their game. From 3-0 to 3-3 and once again a deciding, level game was needed to determine the outcome. In the end, it was Paul Cattermull and Norman Hyde who prevailed as worthy champions and winners of the coveted Lowenthal Trophy.
Go On, Ian, Try To Make An AGM Sound Interesting
Before the AGM, there was plenty of time for the libations and convivialities to begin. Your intrepid reporter held back from the libations at this stage, but certainly joined in the genial conversations. Valerie O’Donnell quipped that her white wine spritzer tasted like wine after brushing one’s teeth…but isn’t that what tonic water always does to wine? Fever-Tree might want that as a marketing strapline.
Anyway, the AGM, once it arrived, was unlike most AGMs that I attend. Sadly, there was very little room for rancor or debate, as Josh Farrall announced that membership was up, turnover was up, activity levels were up, the financial surplus was up and the academy results were improving year on year. I did feel like heckling out, “we can’t tolerate this! I demand failure, chaos, musing and debate”, just to liven matters up. But as a newbie I thought better of it; perhaps I’ll try some heckling next year.
Simon Roundell was the only new person to be nominated for the committee. He was sitting near to me, trying hard to damage his own chances by reposing in a Jacob Rees-Mogg style and bad-mouthing himself. He signally failed to put us off from electing him unopposed. Serves him right.
Then Graham Tomkinson explained what the academy is doing and why, which actually was very interesting and rounded off the business aspect of the evening in a very upbeat fashion.
Winners, Winners & Chicken Dinners
The Queen’s Club knows how to put on a good dinner and this dinner was no exception. Some forty of us dined and the atmosphere was very jolly, ably assisted by plentiful wines and good company. To be honest, the pictures tell this part of the story better than words.
Josh Farrall & Andrew Lowenthal awarded the main trophy to Paul Cattermull & Norman Hyde, with Josh alone doing the honours on the subsidiary prizes. I was most grateful for my “shot of the day” bottle of bubbly. By the end of the evening, when that award was made, most of the assembled Dedanists swore that they had witnessed the shot and that it was surely one of the finest shots ever played on a tennis court anywhere. That small dedans gallery on the West Court must have been absolutely ram-packed with people.
I have written an idiosyncratic account of the day on my own blog – click here if you want to read that. I have also uploaded all 33 pictures (including those shown on this page) to a Flickr album – click here – once again many thanks to Frederika Adam www.frederikaadam.com and to Carl Snitcher for those.
But my final words must be words of thanks to all who were involved in organising this superb day but in particular to Josh Farrall and Carl Snitcher who clearly did an enormous amount of work for the event and didn’t even get to play in the tournament this year. It was a truly memorable day and I shall be sure to try and be available next year and indeed whenever I am able.
The real tennis tournament starts at 12 noon. Practice courts are available from 11 am. The final is at 5.25 pm. It is a handicap doubles tournament, played for the Lowenthal Trophy ( current holders Richard East and John Mcvittie) - Please note carefully the rules of play, especially those relating to ‘sliding handicaps’ and times
The AGM starts at 6.45 pm.
The dinner starts at 7.45 pm in the Members’ Bar. It is expected to end at 9.45 pm. Dress is smart casual
The Round Robin Mini-Leagues
Radley College v The Dedanists Juniors
Radley College 18th October 2019
Match Result: Radley College won 5 – 3.
The Dedanist team were all British Academy juniors. The Radley team were all College pupils. Radley College teams are always very competitive, especially when playing at home. And so it proved today.
The Hamsters v The Dedanists
Hampton Court Palace 10th October 2019
On this auspicious day, two new Dedanists debuted for the club: Ian Harris (that’s me!) and Simon Constantine. Coincidentally, it transpired that both of us had enjoyed playing fives at Alleyn’s School ‘back in the day’; in my case as a pupil in the 1970’s and in Simon’s case as the husband of one of the teachers in the early to mid 1980s.
Today’s match started as it meant to go on, with a nail-biting battle between Hamsters Charlie Kearl & Nick Carew Hunt and Dedanists Yuri Kugler and Robert Muir. The Dedanists prevailed 6-4, 6-5 with the handicapping system doing its job splendidly.
There was a “call of out” incident at one high-pressure stage in that first rubber, which looked close to bubbling over. I asked Carl Snitcher if it was the done thing for the fellow team-mates of the combatants to run onto the court and start fighting each other with their rackets, in the manner of ice hockey teams. “Most certainly”, said Snitch, but the opportunity did not arise again in this match. Perhaps next time.
The second rubber was between Hamsters Robert Frost & Tom Carew Hunt and Dedanists Giles Pemberton & Simon Constantine. The handicapping system did not do such a good job on this one; The Hamsters prevailing 6-0, 6-0. By all accounts both Hamsters exceeded their expectations, with Robert Frost in particular dominating proceedings. Well played.
The Hamsters also took the third rubber, with Michael Banks & Richard East prevailing over Alastair Robson & Carl Snitcher, 6-4, 6-3. This rubber must have been an ebb & flow affair, as your reporter retired from the dedans gallery with Messrs Robson & Snitcher leading in the first set and looking on course for the win, so many congratulations to Messrs Banks & East for turning the tables in that contest.
“Why did the reporter retire from the dedans gallery at a vital stage of the third rubber?” I hear you cry. In order to report on the luncheon, of course. What a splendid luncheon it was too. Magnificent pies with two mouth-watering choices (I tried both so can vouch for both):
chicken, ham & leek
steak & mushroom.
Lashings of peas, carrots and broad beans. A choice of two different sweet roulades for desert and bucket-fulls of bread to accompany the plentiful cheeses. Wine and beer aplenty also for those who were drinking (most, but not me today); apple juice for wimps like me.
Meanwhile there was a very tight first set in the fourth rubber (and I’m not talking about the waists of the players’ trousers after lunch), between Hamsters Maurice Beardsley & David Remington and Dedanists Christie Marrian & Norman Hyde. The Dedanists prevailed 6-4 in that tight set and then 6-1 in the second set, leaving the match beautifully poised at two rubbers each with two rubbers to play.
Enter your reporter, partnered by James McDermott; a gentleman I have played against occasionally but never previously partnered.
I had attempted to research our opponents, Elizabeth Woodthorpe & David Rowley, which sounds, when stated as “Woodthorpe & Rowley”, like a classic lawn tennis doubles pairing or a partnership of Jacobean playwrights.
Pursuing that line of fanciful thinking, I discovered that the Jacobean pair Middleton & Rowley wrote a tennis-themed play, “The World Tossed At Tennis”, almost exactly 400 years ago. That play was sponsored by the then Prince Charles who, five years later, became King Charles I and had the Hampton Court Tennis Court rebuilt on its current site. Things did not end well for Charles I and (at a more trivial level) nor did they end well for Woodthorpe & Rowley. Harris & McDermott prevailing for the Dedanists 6-1, 6-1. I think we did deserve our win but I feel bound to say that we had more than our fair share of luck, with many of my winners coming from the woodier parts of the racket. I did manage deliberately to land the shot that closed out the rubber on the facsimile of Henry VIII which graces the grille; I took childish pleasure in achieving that hit.
So with the Dedanists leading by three rubbers to two, the final set of combatants took to the court; Hamsters Alan Dallamore & Ian Mathers against Dedanists Iain Harvey and John Tacchi. By this stage of the day, most of the assembled party had either gone home or were enjoying the plentiful wines, so I was asked to mark the bout, which was a first for me.
But I digress. That final rubber went back and forth as frequently as a rubber band in an excitable schoolkid’s catapult. Messrs Dallamore & Mathers prevailed in the first set 6-4. Messrs Harvey & Tacchi went 4-2 up in the second set but the clock was ticking and the captains decided that the second set needed to be a “best of nine” rather than a “best of eleven” set. Dallamore & Mathers drew level at 4-4; if they were also to prevail in the deciding game, the rubber would be theirs and the fixture would be drawn. Instead, Messrs Harvey and Tacchi kept their cool and took the deciding game, rendering the final rubber a draw and the match the tightest of possible wins for The Dedanists, 3½ to 2½.
It was a splendid day in a glorious setting; many thanks to The Hamsters for their gracious and warm hospitality. Well done team for the (apparently rare) Dedanists win.
But of course, the future of real tennis always wins when the Dedanists play; this match raised £257 for good tennis causes. £180 from the Dedanist team, £57 from the Hamsters and £20 from an anonymous benefactor.
The Peripatetic Tournament
Held at Hardwick House on 28th September
12 teams entered this doubles Tournament, organised by Brigands, at Hardwick on 28 September 2019. The Dedanist‘s Society were represented by Ronald Paterson and Nick Browne. The tournament comprised 4 Groups with 3 teams playing in each Group. The Dedanist pairing faced two 45 minute games against Jesters and Hurlingham Pigeons. All 3 games were closely fought with our pairing losing out from progressing to the semi-finals by one Group point. The eventual winners of the Tournament were LRTA who beat Jesters.
The Manchester September Weekend Double Header
MCC v Manchester Dedanists v Manchester
Saturday/Sunday 28th/29th September 2019
The teams were 8 Players for the MCC match and 10 for the Dedanist match, which included 2 Manchester Dedanist members. In my capacity as Match Manager, for both days, I suggested that it would be sensible to stay in (sic) an hotel less than 5 minutes walk from the club. Most did. No-one complained at the £200 per night cost, or did they I cannot recall!
On Saturday night the team dined at the best Chinese restaurant in town, Yang Sing. A few of us had been there before. The starter, had by all, was a mixed concoction of spicy king prawns, which went down well, followed by heaps of other dishes and in the time-honored way over ordered. A group of overeaten players made their way home. Manchester was in lock down for the Conservative Party Conference but we managed it back to the hotel in the early hours.
We had one singles match all weekend and it was the first on court for MCC on Saturday with James Denham, obviously fired up by the spicy king prawns the night before, took little time winning his game 2-0. Following that match the rest went backwards & forwards with MCC winning the match 3-2.
On Saturday evening we all dined, together with 2 other supportive halves (Rose & Sarah) and some Manchester players, in the Club dining room and I am sure many of you will have experienced their excellent dinners, with an ample supply of very good wine followed by brandy and port. We retired to our hotel(s) in the pouring rain to get ready for the Sunday match.
It was quite evident to me that the invigorating effects of the spicy prawns had worn off by the time the Dedanist team of 10 were on parade on court on Sunday morning. We lost the first 2 doubles, both in 3 sets. In the next 3 matches out of a possible 36 games we managed only 15 games won. An overall match loss of 5-0. Never mind real tennis was the winner! Having said that we were at a distinct disadvantage on Sunday in that the Manchester court is constructed on a substantial slope as witnessed by the photos taken by Carl Snitcher. A definite case of home advantage.
It was a great weekend all round with the Manchester club as hospitable as ever and, from feedback from both team players, Steve Brokenshaw and Darren Long, together with Stella Heap, who is the long stand-in General Manager of the Club, everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Next year the weekend of tennis will be at Lord’s.
A mention of the MCC & Dedanist players - James Denham, Iain Harvey, Norman Hyde, Simon Mansfield, Carl Snitcher, Anton Eisdell, Richard East, Guy Egerton-Smith, Tony Wedd & Mal Harding.
Weekend Match Manager
The Dedanists v Radley Club
Saturday 14th September at Radley 2019
The Dedanists won the match 6-1
From the Dedanists point of view, this match was remarkable for a number of reasons:
We won the match by the emphatic margin of 6 – 1.
The lunch and indeed the whole event was alcohol-free. New members playing for the Dedanists for the first time were surprised, too polite to comment and certainly concerned that this might be a Dedanist norm. Experienced members were shocked into playing out of their skins. Perhaps alcohol-free should become a Dedanist norm !? (ed: only joking).
Two of our players dropped out at the last minute in extraordinary circumstances. Clive Stone, who should know better, incapacitated himself tossing the caber in a mock highland games in the Borders - a toss too far! Jonathan Ellis-Miller was suddenly hospitalised with sepsis. He has, thank goodness, made a full recovery.
The Jesmond Weekend
Jesmond v MCC v Dedanists
Saturday & Sunday 21st/22nd September 2019
A super weekend of top class tennis was displayed at Jesmond Dene as a three-way match took place between the host club, MCC and the Dedanists. The match was well organised by the professional at Jesmond, Scott Blabber and Jonathan Ellis-Miller for both MCC and the Dedanists. Unfortunately, Jonathan was unable to attend at the last minute so the captainship of both MCC and Dedanists was taken over by Simon Martin. However, he had little to do due to the superb preparation carried out by Scott and Jonathan.
The format was such that each team played a total of 10 matches over the two days. Most of the matches were doubles being played as first to 10 games. All the matches were competitive and played in the true spirit of the game and all marked by Scott.
The MCC team consisted of the following players;
Simon Martin; James Coley; Carl Snitcher; Sebastian Wood
The Dedanists team consisted of the following players;
William Lewis; Michael Llewelyn-Jones; Giles Stogdon; and Chris Stanton.
Anton Eisdell and Peter Dean playing for MCC and Dedanists as required!
Highlights of the weekend are as follows;
Carl managing to miss the train from Kings X on Friday night as he is unable to read the twenty-four-hour clock!
Martin and Coley unable to win a forty all game
Snitcher excelling with his oversize banjo racket and producing the champagne moment of the weekend as he hit a bullet forehand volley straight into the dedans to the galleries amazement.
Anton managing to win two matches with a gammy hip making any movement non-existent.
Sebastian and Peter playing good steady tennis including Peter playing a singles followed by a doubles straight after and managing to remain upright afterwards.
A mention in despatches must go to Sinead Coley a student at Newcastle University and daughter of James, who has only been playing for a short time. She represented Jesmond playing off 60 handicap and won two out of her three matches. Hopefully she will be a future MCC full member and be able to represent them in years to come.
Undoubtedly the blue ribbon event of the weekend was the final match between Martin and Coley for MCC v Thompson and Spurling for Jesmond. MCC were receiving 15 in handicap but at 3-7 down this did not seem to be enough as the Jesmond pair played faultless aggressive tennis on their own court. However, after a tactical master stroke suggested by the MCC captain of abandoning the defence of the galleries, MCC gradually clawed their way back into the match to lead 9-7. After a calamitous 17th game whereby Martin managed to net 4 times from the service end the match was poised at 9-8 in favour of MCC. They gave up two hazard chases but no matter; they were easily beaten and final game won to love. 10-8 to MCC.
The final result confirmed Jesmond as winners winning 6 matches with MCC and Dedanists both winning 4.
A superb weekend was had by all, including an excellent dinner at a local restaurant attended by 14 participants. Scott and all the Jesmond members made us all feel very welcome as always and I would recommend this fixture to anyone who has not played at Jesmond. A superb court with great hospitality.
The Dedanists Warwickshire Weekend
Saturday & Sunday 7th/8th September 2019
A group of Dedanists ventured - tentatively perhaps - north of Hatfield for their annual Warwickshire weekend tour of the tennis courts at Leamington and Moreton Morrell last weekend.
Things went swimmingly initially, with local Dedanists John Yarnall and Alastair Robson seeing off the first Leamington pair, Caroline Dixon & John Devis, who both play the floor game - which is a delight to watch (and the style these days of a minority of players).
The pendulum then swung each way for successive rubbers, which included a stylish singles match between Paul Cattermull and Leamington captain, Will Carbutt-Todd, which went to three sets and eventually to Paul, despite trailing 1-4. Again, stylish floor game from both.
The final rubber of the day - at 2-2 - went to three sets and '5 games all' in the third. Norman Hyde, playing for Leamington, at 15-40 (to receivers), served two elegant faults, thus losing the game, the rubber and the match to the Dedanists. That he is a Committee member for the Dedanists is (presumably) of no relevance.
A dinner was held in the club on the Saturday evening for members of both teams: Leamington must have one of the best tennis kitchens outside London - it certainly has one of the best dining rooms.
Sunday saw six doubles matches being played on the Moreton Morrell court, which, being built two years before the (second) court at Hardwick House, is very similar in style and ambiance and floor surface. Here, the Dedanists fared not so well: the first rubber was lost, the second won, but thereafter it was downhill all the way to a 5-1 defeat…
At Leamington Sat 7 September
J Yarnall & A Robson v C Dixon & J Devis 6-0; 4-6; 6-4 W
A Eisdell & J McDermott v D Howells & B Cunningham Batt 4-6; 6-3; 3-6 L
P Cattermull v Will Carbutt-Todd 4-6; 6-5; 6-5 W
P Mason & J Ellis-Miller v B Compton & C Sampson 3-6; 5-6. L
P Dean & M Llewellyn-Jones v N Hyde & I Steele 2-6; 6-5; 6-5 W
Dedanists win 3-2
At Moreton Morrell Sun 8 September
P Mason & A Dalton v P Lewis & D Harris. 1-6; 3-6. L
M Buckinghamshire & A Robson v J Franklin & B Spratt. 3-6; 6-3; 6-5. W
M Fattorini & P Cattermull v C Swallow & K Beechener 1-6; 5-6. L
C Snitcher & A Eisdell v D Aldwinkle & G West. 3-6; 5-6. L
M Llewellyn-Jones & J Ellis-Miller v D Prophet & J Rawstorne. 3-6; 6-2; 4-6. L
N Hyde & P Dean v K Beechener & P Lewis. 3-6; 6-5; 5-6. L
Moreton Morrell win 5-1
Notice of Annual General Meeting, Tennis Tournament & Dinner
The Twelfth Annual General Meeting of the Society will be held at The Queen’s Club, Palliser Road, West Kensington, London W14 9EQ at 7.15 pm on Wednesday the 30th October 2019 in Meeting Room 1, Centenary House.
By order of the Committee, CARL SNITCHER Secretary
1) To approve the Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 31st October 2018.
2) To receive and approve the Annual Report, Statement of Accounts and Balance Sheet for the year ended 31st July 2019
3) Report by Graham Tomkinson / John Farrall on Academy coaching programmes.
4) To consider and agree the Benevolent Activities of the Society under Rule 4 of the Rules & Regulations, especially the Society’s support for Junior real tennis
5) (a) To re-elect the following members of the Society’s management
committee to a further term of 3 years:
John Farrall, Carl Snitcher, John McVittie and Guy Egerton-Smith (supported by the committee).
(b) To confirm Simon Roundell as a new member of the Society’s management committee (supported by the committee).
Nominations for committee membership closed on the 2nd of September 2019. No election process is required at this time because the number of nominations (one) matched the number of vacancies (one).
6) Report on the Dedanists’ Foundation.
7) To transact any other business that by the Rules & Regulations of the Society has to be or may properly be transacted at an Annual General Meeting.
Downloadable Application Form
Dedanists v Cambridge
Saturday 15th June 2019 at Cambridge
On Saturday 15th June The Dedanists visited Cambridge University court for an 8 match of ‘Set to 10’ fixture. At the half way stage the Dedanists were ahead 3-1 and everyone had played the first of their two matches. We were ahead of schedule and although the games were closely fought there was nothing for the highlight reel.
That was about to change. The last 4 matches comprised 75 games. Which as I’m sure you, dear reader, will have worked out means that 3 ended up 10-9. Two of these were 40-all to boot. Here are some words from the 10-9 that ‘only’ got to 40-30…
I shall remember for some time the shot our Cambridge opponents made when we were serving at 30-40 9-9 all with a two yard chase. The ball hit the penthouse and fell dead at 1 yard. Such is the game!
In the final Singles, Cambridge were leading 9-all and 40-15, and defending a 2 yard chase. Undeterred, the Dedanists won with one of their namesake shots… into the Dedans, before taking the match. Meanwhile on Blue, not content with a single 9-all, 40-all point, we decided to go for two with the second being Hazard the Line!
While the schedule was not actually in ruins at this point, it was in a certain amount of disrepair. The fixture was perhaps fittingly was tied at 4-all and all that remained was to see if we had been left any lunch (we were) and if the strategic reserves of Rosé had been found (they had not)
Many thanks to our trio of markers and especially Peter for his tireless organisation.
A link to a Google Photos Album of the these pictures https://photos.app.goo.gl/dzCVnqY1WWV3rr9d9