Wairarapa 1st Prize goes south
Martinborough Tennis Club lifted the coveted Gawith Shield last week at the Masterton Tennis Centre, beating Carterton 4 matches to 2 in the finals of the summer competition.
In spite of the best the renowned Spooner brothers could muster, the team from the south took the honours, with Carla Didsbury and Marco de Groot putting icing on the cake in the mixed doubles. Carla, indeed, was Martinborough’s “secret weapon”, having won her singles earlier, in what turned out to be the only 3-setter of the day. The other Martinborough team member, Chris Wilkie, played with his usual skill and vigour but narrowly lost his singles to Matt Spooner, 5-7 ,5-7 and put up a good fight with Matt Nicholson in the doubles, losing 4-6, 2-6. Carla has been the mainstay of this team – other members that have contributed to the success of this team have been Dan Nicholson, Duncan Didsbury and Campbell Venning.
The Patron and President of the Martinborough club, father and son Ian and Charlie Cresswell, had travelled north to support their team and it seemed fitting to have them both present to cheer on the impressive team win, along with many supporters of the club.
The result was reminiscent of 10 years ago when, in the 2007/8 and 2008/09 seasons, Martinborough Tennis Club won both the Shirley Corlett Trophy and the Gawith Shield. In an impressive repeat of history, three of those players were in this year’s team again – Carla Didsbury, Matt Nicholson and Marco de Groot. Indeed, going back in history a bit further, to the 1991/92 season, some had shared in the success of winning both Regional 2 and Regional 3 that year. The local club has certainly been punching above its weight.
Business House Tennis. Last Tuesday evening, a fine one for a change, saw the final round of this popular community sporting competition in which anyone can play and (almost) anyone can win. In glorious late summer conditions, the eight Club courts were full all evening, utilizing the new floodlights for the final hour. It’s a doubles competition so that amounts to 32 players on court and, adding the 3rd member of each team waiting their turn to play, it adds up to 48 participants. Most Wednesdays the courts are full again, with the second business house competition, with different teams in action. So in any one week (weather permitting!) 96 tennis players are involved. The tennis is played to an unusual handicap system which is why (almost) any pair can win. Fun! Look out for it next year . . .
History. The Martinborough Lawn Tennis Club Inc was founded in 1904. High quality, well organised tournaments of various kinds have been held every year although with some limitations during the war years. This year’s “Over the Hill” January tournament was again a stunning success. Today, with 6 quality grass courts plus 2 all-weather courts with new overhead lights, the Club’s playing facilities are better than ever. Martinborough’s punching above its weight all right! None of this would be possible without the huge amount of voluntary effort and support from the locals, both in kind and sponsorship.