Club Championship 2022

Normally the Club Championship would culminate in a Club Championship Weekend, with all the finals played over the two days.  This year, with the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, it was decided to postpone the finals, which presented a logistical challenge in getting all the finals played.

All ten finals have now been completed.  The first final to be played was the men's open doubles, which went ahead on Tuesday 20th September.  Gary McDonnell and Paul Ward made Trevor Herron and Charles Ross fight hard for the first set, with the latter pair eventually taking it 7-5.  The second set was slightly easier, with Trevor and Charles coming out on top 6-1.

Three of these nine events were played on Saturday 24th September.  First off was the Women's Handicap Doubles.  In a topsy turvy tussle, in front of an enthusiastic crowd, Janet Robinson and Debby Kerr managed to pip Jane Cockburn and Jane Park 10-7 in the deciding match tie-break.

Next up was the men's over-55 doubles final.  The Herron brothers, Trevor and Alan, went off like a train, and raced to a 6-1, 3-0 lead.  Unfortunately, Alan Herron tweaked his calf at round about this juncture, and the pairing of Graham Fewell and Richard Huck rallied to take the second set on a tie-break.  So, to another match tie-break.  After squandering three match points, then fighting off one for the Herrons, Graham and Richard finally prevailed 12-10.

Trevor Herron had a brief respite from the action before taking on Alex Laude in the final of the men's open singles.  Trevor stormed through the first set, taking it 6-0, but Alex found some form in the second set and levelled the match, taking it 6-3.  So, to yet another match tie-break.  It was nip and tuck, but Alex eventually managed to edge away, taking it 10-7 to secure the title.

Just a single final, the mixed open doubles, took place the next day, Sunday 25th September, in cold, damp and blustery conditions.  Despite the inclement weather, the two pairs put on an excellent show in front of a small but appreciative crowd.  Rachael Michie and Trevor Herron took the first set 7-5, and Janet Robinson and Charles Ross hit back to take the second set 6-4.  So, again the match tie-break would decide who the champions would be.  There was never much in it, but Rachael and Trevor pulled away at the last, taking it 10-8.

The next match, the men's handicap doubles, was a midweek encounter, and saw Gordon Rutter and Bill Dunn take on Jarek Talarek and Paul Raven.  No prizes for guessing that it all came down to a match tie-break, Gordon and Bill edging it 10-6.

Saturday 1st October was ladies' day, with both the women's open doubles and women's open singles taking place.  Conditions were a bit soggy at times, but the show went on, first with the doubles, as Jill Taylor and Tracey Gaskill took on Gillian Gordon and Steph Cox.  The defending champions, Jill and Tracey, showed their class and took the match 6-2, 6-3.  There was little rest for the pair, as they faced off in the singles final next up.  The match was closer than the final result would indicate, with plenty of lengthy rallies in challenging conditions.  Jill came out on top with a 6-3, 6-0 victory.

The men's handicap singles was originally due to take place in September, but with one of the competitors, Gavin Sked, contracting Covid, and his opponent, Alan Herron, suffering a calf injury during the over-55 doubles final, then having a well-earned holiday in Italy, it wasn't until Saturday 22nd October that it finally got played.  It was well worth the wait, though, with Gavin taking the first set 6-4, just managing to stave off a late surge from Alan.  At this point the troublesome wind had died down markedly, and Alan thrived in these calmer conditions, taking the second set 6-0.  With the momentum all with Alan, it was looking like things would go his way, but the wind got up again, Gavin dug in, and managed to pull away, winning the match tie-break 10-4.

And finally, on Tuesday 25th October Susannah Garside and Steve Watkins faced off against Julie Wheatley and Rod Hall in the final of the mixed handicap doubles.  Susannah and Steve made light work of it, easing to a 4-0, 4-1 victory.  Perhaps their handicap will need a bit of tweaking for next season.

Impromptu presentation were made for the majority of finals at the conclusion of each match, but the main presentation is to take place at the End of Season Social event at the clubhouse on Friday 11th November.  Hopefully there will be a good turnout to recognise the achievements of all the champions at this year's Club Championship.