ORRTC v Hatfield 27 April 2019
Results: Fred Satow (C 70-75) v Mark Smith Won 6-2 6-2
Oliver Buckley (W 67-71) & Richard Bray (M 58-63) v Andy Lloyd & Andrew James Won 6-2 6-5
Nigel Stafford (M 72-77) v Andy Goldsmith Won 2-6 6-4 6-4
Paul Yates & Miranda Coyne (née Meades) (RB 02-07) v Stuart Rose and Steve Milton Lost 2-6 4-6
Stephen Goss (B 74-79) v Martin Richards Won 5-6 6-3 6-5
ORRTC finished their season on a strong note with a 4-1 win at Hatfield. Three singles and two doubles were played – all of them closely contested and in-between an excellent lunch with lasagne, French tart and cheese and three bottles of good red wine, sufficient to render Fred Satow dormant in the dedans during the rest of the afternoon. The day ended with an electric match between Stephen Goss and Martin Richards, won by Stephen on the very final point.
- Fred Satow played some of his best tennis of the season to beat Mark Smith in straight sets. The match was closer than the score suggests. There were some glorious rallies with Fred’s volleying keeping Mark at bay. Fred had also developed some new side-wall and penthouse serves which posed problems for his opponent. Mark, who is still recovering from a serious eye injury, showed stamina and spirit but Fred, aided by a handicap of receive-15, was too strong on the day.
- Oli Buckley and Richard Bray combined well to win the first set in their doubles. Oli, tuning up for his rackets doubles in the Sapphire Championships at Rugby the following day, was striking the ball hard and cleanly and his pace was too much for the opposition. In the second set Hatfield looked ready to take a grip on the match when 4-2 up, but Rugby came back well to win the set 6-5 and take the match.
- Nigel Stafford showed true OR fortitude playing the 1pm slot without the support of the rest of the team who had deserted him for lunch. After losing the first set he began to play in his best style, against an opponent with some good cut strokes to the floor, to win in three sets.
- Paul Yates and Miranda Coyne were somewhat outgunned by their experienced and wily opponents, but they came back to level at 4-4 in the second set before going down in two sets.
- The final match was undoubtedly the best and most exciting, and a true contrast of styles, with Stephen Goss cutting the ball carefully from corner to corner, and Martin Richards forcing explosively for the dedans. At times so forceful was Martin’s hitting that even those sitting in the dedans were in fear of their safety. After losing the first set from 5-3 up, Stephen kept his nerve and his game together under the barrage to take the second set and move ahead in the third. But Martin came back with some more lethal heavy hitting to stand on serve at 5-5 40 all. At this point Stephen showed his experience by playing a cunning shorter ball to induce an error and win the match – surely one of the best wins by an OR this season.