2011 Veterans Tournament: Rolling back the years

Graham Pulsford reports:

The twenty seventh Veterans Tournament was held on Sunday 1st May at Eton College in glorious sunshine. Prince William and Catherine had just been married and the Arsenal footballers finally roused themselves enough to beat Manchester United.

The Open Tournament was played for the MJS Cup and the Over 60s Tournament was played for the ‘new’ Walters Cup. Early prizes went to Phil Lyndon for wearing the highest number of ‘visible supports’, to Joe Seelig as the ‘best dressed spectator’ and to Chris Lloyd for providing the best written ‘sicknote’!

The familiar format was followed with each pair playing a series of games up to fifteen points until we had a clear winner. The Cox/Whitehead Coefficient was reintroduced in the Open Tournament to give the older pairs a small ‘assist’ and increase the competitiveness of the games.

The Open Tournament included a number of remarkably well matched pairs with the exception of the winners who were head and shoulders above the rest. The pairs competed in a series of marathon matches which included some excellent fives, some exceptional returning from outside the courts and some nail bitingly close finishes. Even so by the end of the day it was impossible to separate the pairings of Peter Worth/David Blofield, Pete Scholey/Nick Bunyan, Peter Boughton/Simon Woolfries, Neil Margerison/Phil Lyndon and Courtney Friend/Graham Pulsford.

However throughout the afternoon Grant Williams and Mike Hughes were untouchable; their opponents may have, at times, made them sweat but this never translated into enough points to present a serious challenge to their supremacy. Grant’s sheer power and Mike’s volleying accuracy confirmed their clear dominance on the day.

The Over 60s Tournament was also played in fine spirits with David Cooper and Richard Black in jocular form and John Cooley at his smiling best. The final produced the closest match of the day and was a 15-14 classic. Ronald Pattison and Tony Walters were ‘bested’ by Tim Best and Anthony Wagg in a lengthy encounter that seesawed throughout. This was a match well worth watching!

The Walters Cup for the Over 60s Tournament was presented to Tim Best and Anthony Wagg by Tony Walters with a few well chosen words.

The MJS-J Cup was then presented to the reigning champions Grant Williams and Mike Hughes by Peter Worth.

The exhausted players retired to the pub for liquid refreshment and good conversation.

My thanks to all competitors for taking part.

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