Totnes march on with victory vs Cary Park

By Jake Chown  
Thursday 19th July 2018 10:00 pm
Woods and Whites winners Carl Rugman and Velma Smith

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South Devon League Division One

Totnes Men’s B 6,

Cary Park Men’s 2

Under yet another cloudless sky, Totnes Tennis Club entertained ­visitors Cary Park in the idyllic Borough Park setting.

The B team entered the match with an unbeaten league record and it was important to put in a good performance to maintain pressure on league leaders Churston. The Totnes boys did not disappoint and, in spite of a late team change, ran out convincing winners against plucky opponents.

The 6-2 scoreline in favour of the home team does not reflect the tense on-court struggle, nor the fact that the result was in the balance late into the evening.

Totnes pair Des Francis and Frankie Porter stuttered in their opening rubber, dropping the first set in challenging conditions as the bright sun caused havoc on court four, making quality shot-making something of a lottery.

Conditions eased and Francis and Porter fought back to square the tie with a narrow 7-5 win in the second set.

Meanwhile, drama continued for almost two hours on court three, where Rudyard Sawers and Graham Hayman teamed up for Totnes for the first time and battled hard against two heavy-hitting Cary juniors. The power of the visiting pair seemed to inspire Sawers, whose dynamism belied his years, continually keeping alive seemingly lost causes, while Hayman offered vocal encouragement. The Totnes pair eventually ground down the youthful power while keeping their heads to win a nail-biting tie-breaker in the first set.

The second set followed much the same pattern, going with serve and requiring another tie-break to decide the outcome. Once again, the experience of Sawers and Hayman saw them through to win the rubber, which was played in great spirit and enjoyed by the enthusiastic spectators.

The match scoreline at the halfway stage was 3-1 in favour of Totnes, and this was repeated in the reverse doubles.

Sawers and Hayman maintained their confidence to see off Cary Park’s second pair 6-0, 6-2, while Francis and Porter for Totnes showed great strength of character and technical competence to take the first set 6-3 against the Cary youngsters Murch and Zaver. This scoreline was reversed in the final set to ensure a 6-2 victory for Totnes.

Following the match, both teams and spectators mingled in a jovial atmosphere, reflecting on what had been a great evening of tennis.

The Totnes mixed A team also took to the courts this week and notched up two impressive results.

A much-needed 5-2 victory at Cary Park was backed up with a solid 4-4 home draw against Kingsbridge, in which honours were even throughout, with all four pairs winning two sets for their respective clubs.

Earlier in the month, in the ­baking heat of Sunday, July 8, 32 members of Totnes Tennis Club donned all white, replaced their modern tennis racquets for old-fashioned wooden ones, and took part in the inaugural Woods and Whites tournament.

Helping the players and ­spectators enjoy the event to the full, there was flowing Pimm’s, a delicious barbecue, music from ‘back in the day’ and the chance to win a range of raffle prizes donated by the club’s sponsors and other supporters.

This year, Chartsedge estate agents, which has recently opened an office in Totnes, is the tennis club’s main sponsor, and Caroline Godwin from the firm presented the prizes to the deserving winners, Velma Smith and Carl Rugman, and runners-up Sacha Macey and Martin Billis. Fellow club sponsor Head UK donated prizes to the winning couples.

“We were delighted with how the event ran,” said club committee member Graham Hayman. “Everyone really entered into the spirit, with wonderful costumes – including two John McEnroes and a suffragette in full-length skirt and banner, who won the best-dressed player prize.

“They all also enjoyed the ­challenge of playing tennis with such different racquets from those we use now.

“We would like to thank our sponsors for helping us make it such a success, the Cott Inn for donating wonderful prizes for our raffle and Morrisons for the barbecue food.

“We’re lucky to live in such a generous community and it’s great to see the tennis club thriving and growing in numbers all the time.”

For information about joining Totnes Tennis Club, contact Graham on 07775 846465, or visit the website at

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