The IRTA was delighted to take part in this year’s Brigands Peripatetic tournament, being represented by Roland Budd and Jack Woods. Many thanks to Hardwick House for welcoming us. The IRTA pair emerged unbeaten from the competition, but failed to progress from the group stage.

The group matches were played to time, and the IRTA pair enjoyed a close contest against the LRTA, which ended up 6–6. However, the LRTA pair then defeated the other pair in our group, The Bar RTC, by a substantial margin. We also beat The Bar, but by the time of our match they had warmed up, and the result was far closer, so the Ladies RTA went through to the semi-final. Indeed the ladies beat every other pair they played quite comfortably, and won the tournament.

It was a good day, and was rounded off with a very pleasant dinner at the court at Hardwick House.

Needless to say, the IRTA delegation found other opportunities for tennis in the course of the weekend in England. On the Saturday morning we played at Radley. We were 1–5 down against Maggie Henderson-Tew and Mark Partington when Maggie was replaced by Nicholas Stogdon, and the subsequent sets see-sawed somewhat: 6–0, 2–6, 6–5 and then 1–2.

On the Sunday morning we played at The Oratory School, where the Sports Centre has recently been refurbished: Roland Budd was beaten by the pro Liam Taylor, 1–6, 2–6, but Jack Woods’ match against Owen Darbishire ended somewhat inconclusively 6–4, 0–3 (with several games having involved a number of time-consuming deuces). Our doubles experience from the Brigands tournament the previous day paid off when we then defeated Liam Taylor and Simon Wetton 6–3, 6–4, 6–3.

On the Sunday afternoon we were back at Radley for some singles: Roland led Simon Horobin 6–5, 3–0 after an hour on court, and then Jack beat Rebecca Kashti 6–3, 6–0 (a result perhaps attributable to the experience of a weekend of tennis, and which led to a significant adjustment of the JW handicap by Chris Ronaldson).

[Photos courtesy Jack Woods.]

Report from Malcolm Thorp (Brigands Tennis Club)

Lovely to see you all on Saturday […].

The attached sheet gives the results with the groups being won respectively by the Speedbirds, the Brigands, the LRTA and the Jesters.

The semis saw the Speedbirds robbed of match point by the Brigands (somewhat embarrassingly, especially as we had adjusted their handicap!) and the LRTA prevailed by not allowing the Jesters to find their stride.

In the final the Brigands took on the LRTA — two young, fit and competitive women, both formerly Oxford students, who had improved consistently as the day progressed. Andrew Falk and I could not find a way past them and it was all over far too quickly, with them trouncing us 6–1!

Victoria very kindly laid on food and provisions all day and then a well received four-course dinner for 18 of us.

The venue at Hardwick House was excellent, as ever — for which we are very grateful.

Full results

The full results sheet is available: