Winners Simona and Clayton

Walsall head Coach  and tournament organiser Clayton Edge teamed with Slovakian student Simona Pirova last Sunday 11th March to share the £100 winners prize, in the Birmingham Road tennis Club’s Centenary Mixed Open event. Players from Edgbaston Archery, Halesowen, Walsall, Bewdley, Stoke and Coventry made the strong field of 11 pairs!

Play started at 10am, with a gruelling 1o match round robin event to determine the top 8 pairs to compete in the quarter final 1 set knockout tournament! The matches consisted of 4 games each worth one point and a tiebreak worth 2 points, meaning the group games could be 6-0, 5-1, 4-2 or 3-3 in results! At around 3.30pm the players breaked for a superb buffet provided by Ellie, whilst the scores were all added up and the quarter final draws were determined.

1st Place were Clayton and Simona with 8 wins and 2 draws,

2nd Place were another Walsall pairing Max Brazier and Caroline Harding also undefeated with 4 draws

3rd Place great performance from Halesowen’s Jack Henfield and Hannah Didlock

The 22 players before play commenced

4th Place Yet another great Walsall standing from Ryan Brazier and Hazel Richards meaning 3 Walsall pairs in top 4

5th Place were Top established pairing from Edgbaston, Richard Broadhead and Cath Lloyd

6th Place was Rich Allen superb player from Coventry due to play with former Wimbledon player, however because of illness she couldn’t play but Rich played with Walsall’s very own ladies C team captain Rhiannon Robinson and did superbly in her 1st ever open tournament!

7th Place were a very strong pairing and shows quality of the tournament that they only came in 7th, Andy Hibbel and Di Harvey, last years semi finalists from Florence in Stoke.

8th Place claiming last knockout spot were Joe Adcock and Wendy Brooks from Halesowen

After the delicious food the Quarters began,

QF 1 Clayton and Simona (1) won 6-2 to Joe and Wendy (8)

QF 2 Ryan and Hazel (4) lost 4-6 to Richard and Cath (5)

QF 3 Jack and Hannah (3) lost 4-6 to Richard and Rhiannon (6)

QF 4 Max and Caroline (2) lost 3-6 to Andy and Di (7)

Wow 3 of top 4 got knocked out, again showing how tight all of the day’s matches were and the level of competition on show. Into the Semi finals then were the last 4 pairs were all guaranteed prizemoney. We still had 1 and half Walsall pairs left… Well done Rhiannon!

SF 1 Clayton and Simona (1)  won 6-3 to Richard and Cath (5)

SF 2 Richard and Rhiannon (6) lost 4-6 to Andy and Di (7)

Gallant finalists Andy and Di

Two very hard fought semi finals, leaving us with group winners Walsall pair Clayton and Simona against, (no shock to me) 7th placed Andy Hibbel and Di Harvey, as these 4 players entered into their 8th hour of battle!

The hardened crowd saw the home pair defeat the North Staffordshire pair 6-3 in fading light to take 1st prize leaving the runners up with a nice £60 to take home up the M6.

It was a fabulous day with terrific sunshine throughout, Massive Thanks to Dave Twist for excellently overseeing the smooth running of the tournament all day and to his Wife Sue, for offering her cooking services keeping the players well stocked up on sausage and bacon baps! Also thanks for the many hours spent preparing the buffet to Ellie, despite feeling ill all week, and to our ever present, hard working Chairman Brian McBride for assisting and presenting throughout the day!

We will do it all again in 2013, watch this space for more Centenary celebrations at Walsall Tennis Club throughout the year!


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