16th Sep. 08

Herne Bay tennis club held their club finals on Sunday in lovely sunny conditions. Peter Elsden was taking part in 3 finals and was determined to become a triple champion for the 1st time. In the mens singles he proved too strong for Martin Beckley beating him 6-1, 6-2 although Beckley was handicapped by breaking strings in 2 rackets within the 1st few games and then having to continue with the worry that his last remaining racket would also break. Elsden next paired up with Dominic Wood in the mens doubles to play the youngsters Alex Kazakeos and Ben Clacy, who were still on a high from beating the defending champions, Beckley and Gary Sims, in an earlier round. Elsden and Wood were too consistent for Clacy and Kazakeos and ran out 6-2, 6-0 winners although the match seemed much closer with lots of very compelling rallies to enthral the spectators. Finally Elsden teamed up with Louise Tucker to defend the mixed title that they won in 2007 in a repeat of that final against Beckley and Anne Gibbs. The match followed the same pattern as last year when Beckley/Gibbs made a vey hesitant start and allowed Elsden/Tucker to take the 1st set very easily 6-1. The match became much more competitive in the 2nd set which went to Beckley/Gibbs 6-4 and in the final set the lead changed hands several times before a tie-break was required at 6 games all. The eventual winners were Elsden/Tucker by 10 points to 8 and Elsden was able to claim the “triple crown”. In the other finals the ladies singles title was won by Gibbs who played Caroline Mitchell in a repeat of the previous year’s event. Mitchell played very well and Gibbs was only able to win due to her more consistent play and greater fitness but the score of 6-4, 6-3 was a lot closer than previous finals. In the plate competitions the mens singles was won by James Wren 6-0, 6-0 when he over-powered his more mature opponent Greg Pearson and the mens doubles was again a triumph for youth over experience when Stephen & Christopher Hanson beat Bob Toye and Gary Smith 6-1, 6-2. It was a very enjoyable day for all concerned and thanks go to Peter Elsden for organising the event.

On Saturday two Herne Bay ladies helped the Kent 50’s team record their 3rd win of the season and ensure their survival in division 2 for next year. Anne Gibbs and Gill Dickey played together against Sussex at the Kent Tennis centre Bromley and won both their rubbers in championship tie-breaks. On each occasion they came back strongly having lost the 1st set 6-3. The other pair for Kent was Sarah van Doren (Tunbridge Wells and Sue Hornsby (Bromley Cricket Club) who beat the Sussex 2nd pair 6-2, 6-4.