spekecupwinners-2009Winners of the Speke Challenge
Cup Elizabeth Ground (left) and David Horlock (right)
with Stephen Scott-Smith, Chairman, Hill & Valley LTC

Players from several local tennis clubs, including a sizeable contingent from Cirencester, turned out for the Coln Valley Annual Mixed Doubles Tournament in Chedworth on Saturday 13 June.  With 108 competitors, a record for recent years, the standard was the highest for some time. The sunshine defied the gloomy forecast and it was a classic day of sociable, competitive tennis in the most picturesque surroundings.  In the opening round, all 13 groups played on fabulous courts kindly loaned for the day by residents in surrounding villages, including Coln St Dennis, Coln Rogers, Withington, Winson, Calmsden, Fossebridge, Perrotts Brook and Rendcomb.

The winners of the Speke Challenge Cup were David Horlock, a previous winner of the trophy, and Elizabeth Ground, who narrowly defeated Simon Hutchinson and Hilary Swan from Cirencester Tennis Club.  The final contest for the Scott-Smith Salver was equally hard-fought, with Paul Hargreaves and Lee Davis just beating Simon Hennell and Charlie Foster

spekecuprunnersup-2009Runners-up Simon Hutchinson and Hilary Swan from Cirencester Tennis Club

Established 27 years ago, the tournament was sponsored for the fourth year running by Far Frontiers Travel Ltd, the tailor-made travel specialist based in Devon.  The balls were provided by local firm D&J Sports.  The event raises money for the Hill & Valley Lawn Tennis Club, which hopes to add two more courts in the future, and for the churches of Chedworth, Coln St Dennis and Coln Rogers.

Commenting on the event, Stephen Scott-Smith, Chairman of Hill & Valley LTC said:  “It was the most competitive tournament for many years with new players from local clubs playing at a high standard in glorious sunshine.  The tournament is a high point in the year for the club and is a very special event with players coming back year after year to enjoy its friendly and sporting atmosphere.  Many people put in a tremendous effort behind the scenes to enable everything to run smoothly and in addition to our sponsors, I would particularly like to thank those who allowed us to use their courts and all the volunteer helpers who worked so hard on the day and preparing food before the event.”

spekecup-2009Presentation of the Trophies in front of the newly painted pavilion