BRTC played host to members of the Irish Real Tennis Association for a weekend of tennis. Things didn’t quite get off to a flying start – no pun intended – when Roland Budd’s and Rustom Manecksha’s flight from Dublin was cancelled at the last minute. Instead they had to come via the scenic route (ie Heathrow and a bus to Bristol) which meant that they were unable to get a bit of practice in on Friday evening.
However things got off to a better start on Saturday morning, with two singles matches and two doubles matches all played off level and the first to 10 games. Roland started the proceedings playing Richard Acklam, with BRTC taking the match 10-6. This was followed by a doubles of Roland and Rustom versus Richard and David Streatfeild James. This one almost went to the wire, with BRTC creeping home 10-9.
Next up was a single match between Rustom and David, with Rustom coming back strongly to take the match 10 -8.
The final match of the day was a doubles between Claire & Bob Stacey (representing the IRTA as founder members!) and Angela Probyn and Gordon McClure. It was another hard fought match with the IRTA just creeping home at 10-9.
On Saturday evening PJ hosted a very jolly dinner party for 15 at the Lansdown in Clifton and Roland gave a brief update on the restoration of the real tennis court in Dublin, which continues to be in limbo.
Sunday morning saw further tennis, this time with handicaps as necessary and first to 9 games. Roland started the day with a singles match against David, which he won 9-2.
This was followed by a closely fought doubles match between Roland and Rustom against David and Reggie Williams, with the IRTA just creeping home at 9-8.
We then had two singles matches, the first between Rustom and Nigel Harradine, which Nigel won 9-7, and the second between William Wilks (who had driven down from London) and Stuart Andrews, which William won 9-7.
Next up was a doubles between William and Mark Heffernan (also from London) against Stuart and Clive Archer, which BRTC won 9-5.
The final match of the day was between Mark and Nigel, which Nigel won 9-6.
Unfortunately Roland and Rustom had to rush off for their plane back to Dublin before the final result was known – a draw with five matches all!
A big thank you to the itinerant Irish for coming and playing some exceptional tennis; to KK for all the marking; and to Angela Probyn for doing lunch on both Saturday and Sunday. A thank you also to members of BRTC who popped in to say hello on Sunday morning.