There was a record entry for this year’s tournament and the 60+ age group was completed on Monday and Tuesday. All three finals were very close matches and two of them went to the third set. In the men’s event Frank Cousins and Phil Tovey (who has captained Wales vets) beat David Lloyd and another Welsh national player, Roy Williams.
There were many other county players in this event and some extremely close matches, made more exciting by the scoring format of only one more point after deuce was reached. In the ladies doubles Pauline Fisher and Alison Hockey recovered after losing the first set 1-6 and beat Diane Hill and Rosemary Wilson. Pauline is ranked no.2 in G.B. for the 60+ and has been playing county tennis for Worcester and Hereford for the last 14 years even though she now lives in Bournemouth. Diane has been an England player and she even played in the junior tournament at Milford in her youth.
In the mixed doubles Pauline Fisher teamed up with Rennie Johnston, a Scottish national player and Scottish university champion, to beat James Adams and Carol Dickie. Rennie and Pauline also won this event in 2012 while the other 60+ doubles were cancelled due to the weather.
The men’s consolation was won by the Winchester pair of Richard Lovell and Geoffrey Wolstenholme who beat the Milford pair Steve Adams and John Cliff. The ladies doubles consolation was an all Milford affair and the losing pair in the mixed doubles consolation was also a Milford pair.
The second part of the 13th open Vets tournament took place on Thursday and Friday. Many players from the Monday and Tuesday events returned to take part in a different age group. Peter and Bridget Friedman, from Winchester, got to the semi- final of the 60+ but won the 70+ mixed doubles. David Trew, got to the semi-final of both the 60+ and 70+ mixed doubles but teamed up to win the 70+ doubles with Roy Henderson for the second year. The 70+ Ladies doubles was not well supported but was won by the Milford pair of Linda Havers (who started this tournament) and Judy Ann Letchworth.
The mixed doubles 45+ was the largest event with 23 pairs so the finalists of both the main event and the consolation had a lot of matches to play and not a lot of rest. The final was won by Anita Pearce (ex- Milford but bow living on the Isle of Wight ) playing with her brother, Jeff Gedge, who has only restarted playing tennis since he retired 2 years ago. They beat David Fothergill and Sarah Hill who also came from the island. David and Sarah had a very close match against the East Dorset pair of David Lloyd and Gillian Young (final set [10-7] ) . In one earlier match Jeff and Anita had beaten the winners of the 60+ mixed, Rennie Johnson and Pauline Fisher. The consolation 45+ had 11 pairs in it and was won by the 60+ pair Peter Dunning and Alison Hockey who beat Lawrence Webster and Brenda Hazlewood.
In the men’s doubles 45+ David Fothergill teamed up with Nick Searles to win the main event while the no. 1 seeds, Alan Gordon and Lawrence Webster, got beaten in the first round and went on to win the consolation event against the Milford pair of Robert Searle and Mike Sewell. The Ladies 45+ gave Anita Pearce a second trophy. This time she was playing with Milford’s Jess Weguelin. In the final they beat Melanie Castagna and Kate Harris who had had some hard matches to get that far. Kate has been coming to the tournament for a number of years but it was Melanie’s first visit. The consolation event was won by Dee Flanagan and Jo White from Milford. They won all their matches in 3 sets!
At the presentation Malcolm Mecklenburgh thanked the co-sponsors Moore Blatch and Solent House Dental Care and said that without them the tournament would not go ahead. Votes of thanks were also given to Carol Burden and all her helpers and mention was made of the home made cakes. Ken Burbidge thanked Malcolm and Sue Mecklenburgh for all the hard work they had done as Chairman/treasurer and secretary/organiser. Thanks were given to all the members who had helped with the grounds and stewarding during the tournament. Finally it was said that Milford was grateful to Diana Townsend for officiating, for the ninth time, at the tournament and having this year to schedule a record entry of 108 pairs playing 139 matches.
Report provided by Russell May