Nail-biting finale to FTC in LTA Sussex League

Fishbourne’s last game of the summer season saw Middleton make the trip to Blackboy Lane where grey skies threatened a soggy end to our participation in the 2015 LTA Sussex League.

The rain held off for an hour before the heavens opened during play. It was decided that we play on through to get the match finished and in the event I think most enjoyed a return to our childhood years of playing tennis in the rain!

We were joined by a new face to Fishbourne’s line-up in the form of young Joe Rawlings. He has coached with our very own Generation Tennis so comes quality assured. Joe partnered the returning Tom Craddock to form a very hard-hitting, heavy topspin pair. Phil Tite and Chris Gosden who have played every match this season made up the four.

Pictured above are, left to right, James Course, Phil Tite, Sam Hart and Chris Gosden.

Our early good run in the division may have given us a little false hope in that both our wins came against teams who have ended at the bottom of the table.

The reality is we are playing good players from established clubs and we have a lot of learning to do.

First up was Joe and Tom v Middleton’s 1st pairing. The rubber was won by Joe and Tom 6-4 6-2 to get us off to a flyer. Some amazing rallies from Joe against a particularly good Middleton player were the highlights.

Phil and Chris lost their opening rubber 6-1 6-2 against a very good pair who played clever, consistent tennis and pushed Phil and Chris into making more mistakes than they wanted and never allowing them to settle into the rubber.

The reverse rubbers saw Joe and Tom play a match that was a lot closer than the score suggests. Again it was a game of the highest quality, great rallies from the baseline  combined with good volleys, but Middleton snatched it 6-3 6-3.

Phil and Chris had to win their reverse rubber for the match draw. They won the first set 6-4 after some long deuce games. The second set was won by Middleton 6-3 so a championship tie break – first to 10 by 2 clear points – would decide the match. Unbelievably close, nerves setting in it was eventually won my Middleton 18-16!

Middleton won the match 3-1.

An end to our summer season then. It’s been a steep learning curve, we finished fourth in the division with three teams above us and three below. It was a solid start for Fishbourne and one we can build on for the winter.

I would like to thank everyone who has played

  • James Course
  • Sam Hart
  • Andre Rogers
  • Phil Tite
  • Tom Craddock
  • Joe Rawlings
  • Bob Murray
  • And myself Chris Gosden

Player of the season goes to Phil Tite for his much improved match play. His volleys have been class and he has been committed to the tournament, playing in all matches. Take a bow son!

Upwards and onwards lads!

Chris Gosden, captain