ESLTA League Team Reports


Drummond Men’s 3rd Team Report Week 9 v Braid 4ths (away)

The 3rds arrived on a beautiful sunny afternoon in the sleepy Southern Edinburgh suburb of Blackford; driving a convoy of convertibles like an Irn Bru parody of Miami Vice. All that was missing was a Jan Hammer soundtrack to accompany them!

Braids has 3 very tight courts and almost immediately Mark was bouncing off the boundary walls determined to return the lobs and smashes whilst Job shed blood (literally), sweat and tears in his efforts to return particularly difficult shots as our 3rd couple took two tight sets off Braid’s 3rd couple.

Drifting over the courts I hear the dulcet tones of John enquiring “Are these courts regulation width?” as he squints in the bright sunlight at yet another smash that is called out.

I offer John my baseball cap, “this hat smells like a dehydrated tramp!” he responds as he wedges it on his head.

All three rubbers finish close together and it becomes apparent that Drummond are 6-0 up. We just need one more set to win the tie and guarantee promotion.

The sun is now so low that your shadow reaches the net when you are standing on the baseline! Job misses a couple of smashes that disappear in the eye rending Sun and the first set slips away from our 3rd couple. My new Oakley sunglasses fix the problem and set 2 is theirs against Braid’s 1st couple, the tie is won.

Unfortunately watching the matches side on from the club house next to court 3 it was difficult to see Court 2 where John and Gustav won all 4 sets and impossible to tell what was occurring on Court 1 where Miro and Simon went 4-1.

With 2 matches left to go there is only one team left that can theoretically catch us, so promotion is guaranteed and the league title is tantalisingly close.

Graham Thomson, Men’s 3rd Team Captain

PS The less said the better about John’s suggestion not to wash my now seriously moist bonnet as it would be worth serious money once he was a famous director…

Men’s 3rd Team Report Week 8

With heavy rain earlier in the day I arrived at the courts early to make sure everything was ready. I needn’t have bothered as Mr Foxwell had prepared the courts as if we had a royal visit planned. They were groomed with every line beautifully swept. He then stayed and watched the entire match as one of our half dozen spectators.

I approached this top of the table clash against Queensferry 2nds with trepidation as two days earlier we lost two of our best players to a depleted 2nd team. Then a phone call came through that one of our first pair was stuck in traffic, his opponent started enquiring if we wanted to concede the match, initially I thought he was joking but started to worry that he was actually in earnest.

The first two rubbers were tough, our first couple Ryan and Simon ground out a 2-1 win against their first couple whilst Miro and Gustav, our 2nd couple lost 2 close sets. 2-3 to Queensferry.

Next up was John, still rocking his Hollywood vibe and Mark. Keen to challenge my decision to make them 3rd couple they tore through Queensferry’s 3rd couple with the only challenge appearing to be how the scoreboard worked. Meanwhile Miro and Gustav shook off their first round defeat and beat Queensferry’s first couple in straight sets. 6-3 to Drummond.

The final two rubbers kicked off with Queensferry taking the first set closing the gap to 6-4 and a draw looked a distinct possibility but John and Mark rallied taking the second set 6-0 and winning the tie break. Ryan and Simon dispatched their opponents and the tie was won 10-4.

Men's 3rds Week 7

On a sunny but blustery Tuesday evening, Week 7’s rescheduled match vs Murrayfield 2s was a-go. Stepping in as captain, Ryan felt an overwhelming sense of pressure to deliver the goods in Graham’s absence. Fresh, young blood was introduced this week as 15 year old Keaton Selbert, hailing from Chicago, IL, made his long-awaited debut for the mighty thirds.

First pair Ryan and Job were back together on court together for the first time in over a year, and after winning a tight first set, soon found themselves facing the dreaded match tie. No fear, however, as they cruised through to claim a 2-1 win.

Second pair, Marcus and Simon, weren’t having such an easy time, and unfortunately lost in 2 tight straight sets to their second couple.

Over on court 3, Gustav and Keaton were able to reverse the damage on court 2 by comfortably dispatching of Murrayfield’s third pair. 4-3 Drummond after Round 1.

Onto the second round of matches, Gustav and Keaton had the challenge of facing Murrayfield 2s number 1 couple, and boy did they rise to the challenge. Within the hour, the first pair had been flattened 6-1 6-3, with Keaton bedazzling some of Division 8A’s top talent with something he referred to as ‘topspin’.

Unfortunately the sun still wasn’t shining on court 2, as Marcus and Simon struggled against Murrayfield’s third couple. It became clear that Ryan and Job had a task on their hands if Drummond wanted to walk away with all 2 points.

At the end of a gruelling first set, with everyone holding serve, Murrayfield’s second pair won the set tie break. 45 minutes later, the exact opposite happened with Ryan and Job claiming the second set tie break. It couldn’t have been more tight. By this point, we had secured at least a draw, but we don’t do silver medals in Graham Thomson’s 3s. In keeping with the rest of the match, Ryan and Job claimed the match tie break 10-8 after trailing for pretty much the full thing. The closest tie of the season thus far, Drummond 3s walked away triumphant and still on track for their invincible season.

Ryan Doran

Week 5   Drummond Women's Team v Dalkeith

Coming at you with another match report for the women's away match at Dalkeith on Tuesday. With courts of a similar surface to Drummond and a victory in the home match, it was all to play for going into the first sets. Alex/ Val picked up a lovely 6-2, 6-4 win against the Dalkeith 2nds, starting us off strong. Mary/ Holly unfortunately couldn't quite better their 1sts, despite finding their stride in the 2nd set, ending with a 1-6, 5-7 loss. Caroline/ Hilary secured a convincing win in their first set (6-1) but unfortunately lost the 2nd set and the following tiebreak to the wily Dalkeiths 3rds. 

In their second match Mary/ Holly secured a confident 6-1, 6-2 victory over the Dalkeith 2nds. Caroline/ Hilary unfortunately lost to the Dalkeith 1sts 2-6, 0-6, despite the close games and many deuces! In the final match Val/ Alex sealed the deal with an epic 6-2, 7-5, win against Dalkeith 3rds, which they very much deserved after battling long and hard into the darkness. It was a great end to the evening and nail biting stuff for those spectating, as I'm sure it was for those on court as well! 

This left the final score as 7-6 to Drummond! A much deserved and satisfying win.


Men’s 3rd Team Report Week 4 and 5

Last week we lost 4 of our top 6 players in our clash with Braid 4ths and Miro gallantly filled in as captain as I was off galivanting around the Greek Island of Santorini. Despite losing Ryan to injury, Titus to fatherhood, Pablo to foreign climes and Hollywood John to the 2nds, Miro led the depleted 3rds to a hard fought victory; winning both Championship tie breakers clinched the match 8-6 to Drummond.

Week 5 saw the 3rds playing away to Meadow City’s 4ths. Losing 3 players to the 2nds, plus injuries, holidays, a couple of defections to other club’s teams etc. left only one third of the 21 strong 3rds squad available to play. It was time to introduce new blood and one old bloke to dust off his tennis pumps.

Marc Krautzberger, Callum Wright and Keaton Selbert had all been coming down to match practise on Saturday mornings. Marc was brought straight into the team with Callum and Keaton as subs. Meanwhile I got the ok from the physio to play despite a dodgy right shoulder, it was certainly no worse than the tennis elbow I grumbled through last season with, the joys of playing team tennis as an OAP!

The Meadows tennis courts are a vibrant place, 16 outdoor painted tarmac courts with the Drummond team being cheered on by the injured Ryan and his lovely girlfriend Jenny. With so many unavailable, normal pairings were unlikely and with two left handers in the team the only regular pairing of Simon and Jani was split up so that Simon could partner Mark Heller in the first couple and Jani could look after the crumbly in the 3rd pair. Mark Krautzberger and Vlad made up the last (2nd) pair.

What happened next is the kind of preposterous situation that occurs in fanciful adventure stories: All three rubbers were tied 1-1 and went to Championship Tie Breaks. Drummond won two out of the three tiebreaks and finished the first half of the match 5-4 up. After yet another Championship tiebreak in the 2nd half a very close match finished 9-7 to Drummond.

One innocent bystander was heard to comment “Exciting stuff but I wonder what was in those bananas the Drummond Team captain was surreptitiously handing out?”.


Week 4 Women's  HOME Kirkcaldy 7th May

It ended up being a lovely evening despite the threatening looking clouds in the sky as we took on Kirkcaldy at Drummond. Fiona/ Holly came out on top with a 6-2, 6-1 win over the Kirkcaldy 1sts. Mary/ Olivia then secured another 2 sets with a 6-1, 6-1 win over their 2nds. Val/ Alex finished off the first round with a 7-6, 6-1 win over their 3rds, making it a full house for Drummond. 

Fiona/Holly unfortunately only got 1 game into their second match before Kirkcaldy conceded the sets due to an injury, which was a shame but for the best! Olivia/ Mary did a great job securing a 6-2, 6-1 win over the KC 1sts and Val/ Alex nailed down a 6-1, 6-0 win against their 2nds. 

The final score was 11-0 to Drummond, which was a great and well deserved win, as the team played brilliantly! 

Week 3  Women's AWAY DL Corstorphine 30th April

The team arrived at DL with our indoor shoes and a fighting attitude, and fight we did! Fiona/ Holly came out with a win in the first set, however ended up losing the second and the subsequent tiebreak, to the strong DL 1sts. Mary/ Olivia battled against their consistent 2nds however ended up losing with a close score of 6-4, 7-6. Alex/ Caroline pulled through beautifully achieving a win over the DL 3rds, 7-5, 6-3. 

Fiona/ Holly lost their second match in a soul crushing 6-4,6-4 scoreline against the DL 2nds. However Mary/Olivia cruised to victory with a 6-1, 6-1 win over DL 3rds. Alex/ Caroline then secured a win over the DL 1sts with a great score of 6-3, 4-6 and a tie break win! 

The final score was a 7-7 draw! We scoffed some egg sandwiches and then headed off, happy to come out with an even score against one of the top teams in the draw. 


Week 3    Men's 3 v Queensferry 2nds

It was a dreich evening on a hillside overlooking the Forth, the haar had sat on the courts all day and the cold radiated from them. I almost expected a beast to howl from the mist shrouded horizon, instead the cheerful face of Jonney Crerar appeared to cheer on the doughty 3rds.

Tonight was the top of the Division 8A table clash between the last two unbeatten teams: Queensferry 2nds and Drummond 3rds. Ryan and Titus stepped up to face their 1st couple whilst the redoubtable Marcus and Miro were 2nd couple and Pablo and Simon 3rd. The first 6 sets were close and the surprise was that there was only one tie break finishing with Drummond having an almost unassailable 6-0 lead.

I said almost because it soon became apparent this was not going to be a walk over. As the damp and granite rigidity of the court started to take its toll, the first victims were Marcus and Miro who lost both sets in quick succession. Ryan and Titus were similarly struggling against Queensferry’s 2nd pair whilst even with the floodlights now turned on it was difficult to determine the score on court 3 through the stygian gloom.

Finally a runner (one of the multitude of Queensferry supporters) reached us with the news that Pablo and Simon had won the first set and the victory was assured. The final 3 sets finished as the temperature plummeted even further giving a 10-2 scoreline that didn’t reflect how close the match had felt for the majority of our atmospheric visit to South Queensferry.

Men's 3rd Team Week 2

Having our first two matches at home was a challenge with the early sunsets and only two courts, last week despite the emphatic win over our old rivals we failed to play the last two sets so I was determined this week to get all the games in. With the willing cooperation of Murrayfield 2nds captain we agreed to sudden death deuces and a 5pm start.

Even in the warm up we could tell that their teenage first pair was a different class. Marcus and Miro (1st pair) stepped up to face them and battled valiantly to a 3-6, 5-7 loss. Titus/Pablo (2nd pair) and Gustav/Simon (3rd pair) dispatched their opponents and we took an early 4-2 lead.

Next Titus and Pablo took on the young stars and managed to win a tight first set however like the rest of the Murrayfield team they were getting used to the Drummond Blaes surface and fought back to win 1-2. Bringing the overall score to 5-4 to Drummond.

Gustav/Simon won their first set against Murrayfield’s 2nd pair and then lost the next set on a tie break whilst Marcus/Miro took the first set against their 3rd pair. It was poised at 7-5 with two sets to go and the light failing when Gustav/Simon won their match tie break and less than a minute later Marcus/Miro won their last set. Nail biting stuff! 9-5 win to the Mighty 3rds.


Women's 1st Team Week 2

We kicked off the overcast (but thankfully dry!) evening with Fiona and Holly taking on the North Berwick 3rds, where they volleyed their way to victory with a 6-2, 6-3 scoreline. Over on court 1 Mary and Olivia took on the NB 1sts, sailing through their sets with a breezy 6-2, 6-1 score. Up next were Val and Alex against the NB 2nds, who took the steady pace of game in their stride and delivered a lovely 6-3, 6-1 win. Mary and Olivia managed to get their second match completed, ending the evening on a high with a 6-2, 6-2 win over NB 3rds. The final sets remain to be finished, however things are looking bright as the score currently stands at 9 - 0 Drummond! 

Men's 1st team - week 1 & 2 update

Week 1 – Away to Dalgety Bay 1s

The team started the season with a trip over the bridge, to take on Dalgety Bay who had been promoted from Division 4, the year previous. The team got off to a rusty start, losing 10-3, however it was a far closer match than the scoreline suggests, with 5 of the sets reaching 5 all.

James Grant and Guillermo Fernandez (2nd pair) managed to pick up the only Drummond win of the evening, playing for the first time together, they beat the 3s 6-3, 6-4. Dan Mckiddie and Lukas Michelbacher (1st pair) picked up the other Drummond set, disappointingly losing 11-9 in the match tiebreak to the Dalgety Bay 2s, after being 9-7 up! Tough one to take after losing a tight first round match (6-4,7-6) as well. The 3rd pairing was Ali Stiven and John Foxwell, they were pipped in the tiebreak in the second set against their opposite pairing and then fought valiantly, losing 6-3, 6-2 to a strong Dalgety Bay 1st couple.

The team are fully confident that they will be able to get revenge later in the season, back on the Drummond clay!

Week 2 – Away to Barnton Park 2s

After a disappointing start in week 1, week 2 Drummond 1s were on the road again, to take on Barnton Park 2s, who have beaten us heavily over the last few years. They were relegated from Division 2 last year and we thought it may be a traditional tough night against them, however the team played brilliantly to win 11-2!

James and Guille picked up where they left off last week, making short work of their opponents, picking up a “double bagel” en route to 4 sets and wins of 6-0,6-0 and 6-1, 6-3. Ali and John had a tight tussle against their opposite couple, but managed to come out on top 6-4, 7-6. In what was undoubtedly the result of the night, John and Ali then managed to frustrate the experienced Barnton 1stcouple and beat them 7-5, 6-3! At times, the Barnton Park pair’s rackets spent more time in the air than in their hands. In round 1, Dan and Lukas beat the 1st couple convincingly, 6-1, 6-3. The second rubber was déjà vu to week 1, with Dan and Lukas picking up the only Drummond loss of the night, losing an epic, 17-15 in the MTB this time….. hopefully the last match tiebreak loss of the season.

Next Monday the 1s have the first match at home, taking on top of the league, Thistle. It would be great to have some people along to support!

Dan McKiddie, Men’s 1st team captain


Tues 16th April       Drummond Ladies against Dalkeith at Home

It was a beautiful clear evening, with a mix of sunshine and a chilly breeze to keep everyone on their toes. We kicked off the evening with Mary and Olivia leading the way, securing a strong and convincing 6-1, 6-1 win over Dalkeith 2nds. Simultaneously Val and Caroline were over on court 2, smashing out a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Dalkeith 3rds. Holly and Fiona had a shaky start, losing the first set 3-6, however they ultimately came back with a 6-2 win in the second, and went on to win 11-9 in the too-close-to-call tiebreak! The final match saw Val and Caroline win the first set against Dalkeith 2nds, followed by a nail biting second set, which saw them coming back from 5-1 down to secure the win! Epic stuff! 

We didn't get all the sets finished (predictably), but the scores on the doors stand at 8-1 Drummond. We love to see it!         Report by Holly Foxwell  Ladies' Team Captain

Wednesday 17th April Men's Drummond 3 against Hatton 4th at Home

This week I was in the privileged position of having over 20 players to choose the 3rd team from for our inaugural match in Division 8A. We welcomed our rivals from last season, Hatton 4ths, who had soundly beaten us in the first round last year. Ryan and Titus quickly despatched Hatton’s first couple 6-1, 6-1. Marcus and Miro had a more titanic struggle and despite being behind in both sets battled through to win 7-6, 6-4. Pablo partnered 3rd team debutant “Hollywood” John and a more languid tennis you are unlikely to see but very effective with a 6-2, 6-1 win. In the second rubber Marcus and Miro won the first set 6-0 and then ground out a 7-5 final set in the gloaming whilst Pablo and John won 6-2 and 6-3 “by the light of the moon” to quote John. Unfortunately Ryan and Titus didn’t get to play their second match due to the early sunsets at this time of year and the match was concluded as a 10-0 win to Drummond putting us top of the Division 8A table.

PS John’s tactic of drop shot followed by lob proved to be very effective against his 72 year old opponent in the second rubber.  Report prepared by Graham Thomson, 3rd team Captain.