Saturday 8 June in Chedworth saw possibly the most exciting final in the 31-year history of the Coln Valley Mixed Doubles Annual Tennis Tournament when defending title holder Louise Crawford and her new tennis partner Justin Miller beat Shane Horsell and Iryada Ashmore 7:5 to take home the coveted Speke Cup. All four finalists are members of Purton Tennis Club. Not only did they treat the crowd to a dazzling display of tennis which had everyone on the very edge of their seats, but also to a demonstration of the best competitive and sporting spirit.
In another close 7:5 final for the Scott-Smith Salver, Chris Francis and Helen Argo beat Karen White and Gavin Gibson.
It was a vintage day of sociable tennis, with players sporting whites and soaking up the sunshine denied to participants last year, when the finals had to be postponed after appalling weather left semi-finalists soaked to the skin.
Sixty-six players entered this year and tournament organiser Allison Stock and Club Chairman Roger Duggleby agreed that though numbers were slightly down, many contestants had commented that it was the best final they had witnessed and the most enjoyable competition for some time, helped in no small way by the weather and the 14 picturesque courts so kindly loaned by residents of Coln St Dennis, Coln Rogers,Fossebridge, Foxcote, Rendcomb, Aycote, Withington, Calmsden, Marsden and Bibury.
The committee would like to thank everyone responsible for making the event such a success – both before and on the day. Hill & Valley Lawn Tennis Club is also extremely grateful to its overall sponsors for the eighth year running, Far Frontiers Travel and Arcturus and to Strutt & Parker for sponsoring the balls at short notice. For the raffle,D&J Sports again generously provided a tennis bag and accessories and Alan Hunt, tennis doctor, donated a tennis surgery including racquet re stringing and grips.
The event is the major annual fundraiser for the Hill & Valley Lawn Tennis Club which shares the proceeds with the churches of Chedworth, Coln St Dennis and Coln Rogers. It is open to players of all standards and the morning round is played to a sliding handicap to even out the competition and enable everyone to enjoy the tennis.
Next year’s tournament will take place on Saturday 14 June 2014.