Tennis Review 2019

Another year of tennis at West Worthing has slowly drawn to a close, and as we turn over a new leaf, not only to a new year, but to a new decade, I thought it would be a good idea to look back at some highlights of the league teams after what, at first glance, seems like a very successful year.

We start with the Winter League of 2018/19, where the Men’s first and second teams, both captained by Tom Pocock, won their respective leagues.

The 1st team won Division 3 without losing a match, and only lost 12 out of a possible 53 sets in total. A special shoutout goes to Dan Bartlett, who went 10 for 10 without losing a set.

The 2nd team matched the feats of the 1st team, winning Division 6, again going unbeaten. This is even more impressive given that they used 14 different players throughout the season. Darcy Pycroft was the star player in this team, winning all 8 of his matches.

Unfortunately, the 3rd team, captained by someone I don’t know…, had less of a successful season, finishing bottom, but only missing out on staying up by 2 points in what was a tight league. Highlight for this team was the Chairman’s  guest appearance!

The 4th team had a more successful season, captained by Alan Lawson, and finished 3rd in their league, only missing out on promotion on set percentage, having gained the same number of points and same rubbers won / lost ratio as the team in 2nd place. Dean Whyteside was the key player, playing all bar one match and winning 8 of his 10 matches,

The attention turns to the Ladies now, with the 1st team having a tough season in Division 3, leading to a 6thplace finish and relegation, despite only losing 3 matches. Jo Burns won 8 of her 10 matches played.

The 2nd team, captained by Penny Roberts, had a solid season in the same league as their counterparts in the 3rd team. They finished in 3rd place, cementing themselves in the league, again while only losing one match all season. Shoutouts to Gillie Martin for winning 4 of her 6 matches, but also to Sarah Turnbull who played in every single match.

Finally in the winter was the 3rd team, captained by Carole Naunton, who didn’t have as much success in the same league, and finished 6th. The formidable pair of Vicki Higgins and Jenny Line providing the goods more often than not, the pair winning 5 of their 8 matches.

We move onto the summer leagues now, where we have a mixture of teams that play singles and doubles matches, and others that solely play doubles. Summer also sees the juniors and seniors play team matches, in what is always a busy time of the year for all involved.

We begin with the doubles only leagues. The Mens’ 1st team had a tough season, finishing in 6th place after being promoted the year before. All players who won a match also lost the same number of matches, with George Naunton being the most successful, winning 4 out of 8.

The 2nd team meanwhile had more success, once again only missing out on promotion by set percentage (3%!), to finish in 3rd place. The (awkward) shoutout for this team goes to me for winning 6 out of 6 while only dropping one set.

The 3rd team followed a similar path to the 1st, finishing in 6th, but this was a step up of leagues for those that normally play in the winter, so is always a tough ask. Dean Whyteside again was a useful player, winning 5 of his 8 matches.

The Ladies took all the shine in the summer though, being one point away from completing a clean sweep of titles in the 3 respective teams.

New captain Pippa Pinn took over the 1st team, and tore through the opposition, winning all their matches and only losing 2 rubbers all season. Not only did Pippa become captain, she also played and won every match, going 12 for 12 while only dropping 3 sets! Well done to the Ladies for winning the league, and they should have the chance to collect their accolades at the Tennis Sussex awards early next year.

The 2nd team, again captained by Penny, were so close to making it 3 titles, but missed out on the title by 1 point, but still gained promotion, and beat the team that finished 1st. 3 standout performers here, with Gillie Martin and Judy Harris both winning 9 out of 10 matches, and Lisa Crowther winning all 6 of her matches.

The 3rd team, which sometimes doesn’t exist in the summer due to the singles team, was revived for the summer of 2019, and a good revival it was, with them winning their league, a good achievement in what was close across the board. Shoutouts in this team go to Vicki Higgins for winning 9 out of 10 and Jenny Line for winning 8 out of 8.

Our attention now turns to the final season of what is called Team Tennis before it’s rebrand in the winter, where we enter both adult and junior teams in a shortened period of time.

The Men’s team remained in Division 1, winning 2 of their 5 matches, a good achievement when other teams in the league feature players who have played Wimbledon, won TouchTennis events and youngsters who win national level events. Noah Burton and Josh Parsons both did well to play in all 5 matches. The team was also a young one, with myself being the Grandad of the team.

The juniors had good success also throughout the season, with a variety of team changes due to injuries, holidays and exams meaning these teams are often finalised at the last minute. The 8&U team play on one day at the club, with 2 of the 4 players competing in their first competition. They did well therefore to finish 2nd in their group, only losing out to eventual champions. Well done to George, who won 9 out of 10 matches, and also to other players Stanley, Atma-Adoria and Niamh.

The 9&U team took part in what was a rather depleted group, starting with 5 teams and only ending with 3 on the day meant not as many chances to compete, but they did well, finishing with one draw and one loss, against teams that contained county championships winners. Well done to William, competing in his first event, who won 3 out of 4 matches, and also to Harvey, Oliver, and George.

The 10&U team compete across the summer, and finished 4th in their group, with one win, one draw and two losses. Well done to Ethan, who won 5 out of 8 matches, and also to Logan, the two Eddies and Elliot.

The 12U Boy’s team missed out on winning their division by one rubber, only losing out on the final day after losing the deciding doubles against the winners of the division. Some players were playing yellow ball for the first time as well, which is always a tough task against others who have been playing it for 3 years. Oscar won 9 out of the 10 matches played, and well done also to Kai and Logan.

The 16U Boys team only lost 2 rubbers all season, so won their league convincingly, only losing 4 sets along the way. Darcy was the standout performer winning 6 out of 6 matches, and well done to Ben, George, Joseph and Luca.
The 16U Girls team finished 3rd in their league, gaining one win and two losses. Well done to Ellie, Laura, Whitney and Victoria.

Finally in the summer was the two senior teams, the Mens over 45s, and the Mixed Doubles over 40/45s.

The Mens 45s had a tough season, finishing 5th in their group. A variety of factors made this league hard, including wet astro courts, holidays, injuries, work and timings proving difficulty, but well done to all who played and persevered. Well done to Ray, Darren, Steve, John, Andy and Gary.

The summer finished with the Mixed Doubles leagues, and while one team finished bottom of the group, the other team, only distinguished by a spelling mistake in their team name, won the west league, going unbeaten through the season, and therefore making the final against the winners from the East of Sussex. The final took place against Cross in Hand in early September, and after some confusion about what happens if it’s 2-2, they kindly decided to help this situation by drawing 2-2. However, the answer was that the winner would be the team who had, firstly, the best set percentage, and if still the same, game percentage. Luckily, for the first time in 2019, set percentage would be on our side, winning the final 5-4 on sets won, and therefore winning the Mike Comber Cup. Well done to all who played, but particularly those who played in the final, Pippa, Andy, Ali and Gary.

We end with the ongoing winter season, with all teams still competing strongly, with our last match of the decade taking place on the 28th December, the 4th team brushing off the Christmas food, and winning 4-0 against Wickwoods, taking them into 2020 as the best team in that league, and looking good for promotion.

The Mens 1st team currently sit in 6th with 3 games played, the 2nd team are in 2nd, as are the 3rd team. The Ladies 1st team are down in 8th, but nowhere near out of it yet. The Ladies 2nd team are going strong in first place in their league, while the 3rd team are in 3rd place in their league, but have only played 2 matches, so have 5 matches to push for the title.

Our juniors are also competing well in the newly named National League, with 3 wins and 1 loss across the teams.

Other highlights of the year include another successful club championships, albeit not for myself, but seeing a number of players capture club accolades for the first time, with Dan Bartlett breaking his finals duck, Amber Sisman winning the ladies trophy a day after her 12th birthday, and wins also coming for Jon Roberts and Sarah Turnbull (Mixed Doubles), Josh Parsons and Charlie Pycroft (Mens Doubles), Ali Pycroft and Pippa Pinn (Ladies Doubles), Peter Boorne and Gary West (Over 45s Doubles), Gary West (Over 45s Singles), and Peter Boorne and Pippa Pinn (Over 45s Mixed Doubles). We also ran a number of successful club tournaments, a highly attended open day, another successful (however not results wise) Superstars weekend and a number of LTA tournaments. Full details on Club Champs can be found in our separate post.

We can hopefully continue this strong form into 2020, and this time next year be writing another report highlighting even more success!

Happy New Year

Ryan Young (Men’s 3rd Team Captain)