Club Championship Finals 2023
Thu, 07 Sep 2023 00:00
A boiling hot September day greeted the competitors in the Lisvane Tennis Club Finals Day on Sunday 3 September 2023.
Each year the organisers select a date and (almost) every year the sun comes out to add a golden halo to the finale of the Club’s annual Championships.
Scores of members lined the balcony overlooking the clay courts to witness the titanic struggles to claim the honour of being Club Champions.
The Finals sequence started the day before with the Ladies Singles Final and it was the young generation battling for supremacy with Eliza Morgan taking on Gwenna Matthews. An energetic Eliza taking the singles crown with a 6-0 6-4 victory .
Eliza returned to the court next day with her mother Victoria Morgan in the Ladies Doubles Final to take on the experienced pairing of Paula Jones and Bethan Llewelyn. A 6-3 and 6-2 victory for the Morgan family was the result of a tense contest in the morning sun.
The Mens Singles Final produced an absorbing 6-0 and 6-1 victory for the talented Nick Proctor against Will Craddock. Nick had lost just three games in all on his way through the various rounds leading to the Final as he took the Champion’s crown.
In the Mens Doubles Final -Diluka Karunaratne paired with Club Coach - Tony Symons- Hicks took on the battling combination of Tom Jones and Will Lawson – with the Tony and Diluka taking the Trophy 6-3 and 7-5 as the day started to get really hot.
The Mixed Doubles Final brought Tony Symons Hicks back onto court with the Ladies Champion Eliza Morgan. They took on Will Craddock and Erin Piper in the afternoon heat but this time it was Will’s turn to taste success as he and Erin edged through to claim the title 6-4 and 7-6.
Traditionally any competitor missing out on progress in the Lisvane Main Draw is automatically entered into the Plate competition – rather like in football where teams eliminated from the Champions League have a second chance in the UEFA Europa League.
The Plate Final matches take place on the same day and in the same categories as the Main Draw so each match is sure of an audience of tennis fans.
In the Mens Singles Plate Andrew Dodd battled through a long exhausting tussle against Alvaro Lubian – to win 3-6, 6-3 and 11-9 in a tie break!
The Mens Doubles Plate involved serial winner Simon Howe with Ed Jones against traditional slow starters Tony Nash and Rob Thomas. The Nash/Thomas pairing snoozed through the first set losing 6-0 before making a fight of it in the second set before being edged out 7-5. This meant Simon and Ed taking the Plate and Simon once again having to make room on his mantelpiece for the trophy he cherishes.
In the Ladies Singles Plate – Christie Heiberg took on Tracy Attwood and when a delighted Tracy took a 2-0 lead it seemed a shock result was possible but the experienced Christie stepped up a gear to finish with a 6-2 and 6-1 victory to take the Plate honours.
In the Ladies Doubles Plate the spectators saw an intriguing match that swung this way and that with Amritpal Philora and Julie Piper challenging the Suzanne Doyle and Lauren Jones combination.
The first set was finally balanced but Suzanne and Lauren powered through in the second set to seize the title as it finished 7-6 and 6-3.
Finally the sun baked crowd witnessed the Mixed Doubles Plate where it was a show down between Juliette Sherrard and Doug Craddock and Luke Porretta and Emma Stokes. Neither pairing was prepared to give an inch in the blazing sunshine and the match swung backwards and forwards with a 6-3 and 3-6 split in the first two sets. The deciding tie break (to ten points) brought an ice cool display from Emma and Luke as they snatched the victory 10-8 and claimed the final title of the day.
No club championship would be complete without a tribute to those members who helped make it a memorable day – from baking fantastic cakes for sale on the day to help raise funds, making teas and coffees, marking the courts out for each match and quite simply coming along to cheer on the players.
2023 brought a record number of entrants into the Club Championships and it was fitting that an exciting Finals Day topped off a really great tournament for the club.
Other Photos from Finals Day