The Irish Real Tennis Association trip to play against members of the Cambridge University Real Tennis Club over the weekend of 28th–29th July was a great success. IRTA members travelled to Cambridge both from Dublin and from elsewhere in England to participate in the fixture. We arrived at the club at 9.30 on the Saturday and met the senior professional, Kees Ludekens. The novices among the group spent much of the morning on an introductory lesson with Kees, while the first of a series of singles matches between the locals and the visitors got under way on the other court. Matches continued through the day, with expert marking — very much appreciated — being provided by Kees and by assistant professional Scott Blaber. A fine lunch was supplied by the CURTC members and this was served in the club common room, an excellent vantage point for spectators watching play through a glass wall in the service end of the recently-refurbished blue court.

After some more tennis, those of us who had come from Ireland checked into our hotel and then met for a pleasant meal in the town. After a glass or two of English ale, we returned to the hotel for an early night in anticipation of strenuous exercise the following day. We had the use of one of the courts from 9.30 till about 3 on Sunday and played constantly, making the most of the opportunity for practice.

The hospitality of the CURTC members and professionals was greatly appreciated by all, as was the work of Roland Budd and Kárlis Zauers in organising a very enjoyable weekend.

—Stephen Kelly


Roland Budd playing a shot
Roland Budd
Punting on the river
Some players and supporters

Full results

The results of the match were as follow, with IRTA names first in each case. Most matches were played level, but if a handicap was applied this is indicated.

  • Mark Heffernan lost to Gerald Smith, 3/6, 0/6
  • Gareth Hinds (15) beat Tom Hartley (love), 5/6, 6/2, 6/5
  • Robert Hird beat Duncan Colquhoun, 6/4, 6/4
  • Ian Hird beat Nigel Brown, 6/5, 6/4
  • Roland Budd (love) beat Linda Fairbrother (-15), 6/1, 6/3
  • Kárlis Zauers lost to Malcolm Howlett, 4/6, 6/3, 3/6
  • David Byrne beat Carlo Acerini, 5/6, 6/2, 6/4
  • Doris Siedentopf (15) beat Fiona Brown (love), 6/3, 6/2