As has now become the tradition, the annual team players dinner took place in January as a spirit raiser after an autumn of really wet weather causing chaos with the match schedule. However you would never have known of any such problems from the atmosphere on the night. We started with pre-dinner drinks and chat after which the 50 plus attendees were treated to a tasty supper produced with her usual elan by Mary Crowshaw with the assistance of her ever willing family.
After the food had been enjoyed and a few liquid libations downed we turned to the meat of the evening, a review of the year’s team tennis and the presentation of the awards.
Starting with the ladies and mixed teams our ladies captain Alison Williams thanked the committee, the 20 captains and all the team members for all their efforts which enabled us to field 32 ladies and mixed teams in 2019. This sterling effort meant that we offered competitive tennis at all levels for anyone who wished to take part. This reflects the club as a whole where we have a real family spirit and the ethos of a club run by members for members.
Alison thanked the coaches for the very successful team coaching in 2019, noting that Matt Reid could talk for England despite the fact he was Scottish! She then moved on to the awards. As usual there were a number of ‘joke’ awards but the laws of libel prevent most of these being committed to print. However in a change from the usual winner of the non-administrator of the year award, Pete Lavery, this year’s prize went to Kevin Walshaw for lateness in getting match teams in place.
Turning to the real awards the recipient of the most improved ladies player for 2019 was Jo’s Haigh and the player of the year went to Ann Witter for consistent excellent results achieved with many of the teams.
Finally Alison presented Mary Crowshaw with flowers to thank her for the excellent supper and asked us all to raise a glass to Dave Wadlow and his legendary Wednesday dinners, wishing him a speedy and full recovery.
Next it was the men’s captain Paul Vicary’s turn to cover the 2019 season. In total we fielded 36 players across two 3-pair teams in Bucks Shield, 55 players across four 2-pair teams in Bucks Shield and 27 players across three teams in A&D
We took the decision in 2019 to reduce the number of teams playing in the Bucks Shield 3-pair competition from four teams to two. This reflects a growing trend, with the 3-pair format generally being less favourable for many clubs, but with the 2-pair competition growing in popularity.
Our Men’s 1 team bounced back well from relegation last year to secure promotion from Division 1 back into the Premier Division for 2020. Men’s 2, playing in Division 3, came a creditable third.
We fielded four teams in the 2-pair competition this year, compared with only two teams in 2018. Men’s 1 retained their place in a tough Division 1, Men’s 2 finished a creditable third in Division 2, Men’s 3 retained their spot in Division 3 for another year, with our Men’s 4 team finishing a creditable fifth in Division 6 in its first season.
In the Aylesbury and District division 1 our first team came fourth and despite valiant efforts our seconds were relegated. The third team had a successful season retaining their place in division 2.
Paul then thanked all the men’s captains for both the summer and winter teams for their continued the challenging task of making sure that we had teams in place to fulfil all the fixtures.
He then moved on to the awards presenting the most improved player of the year to Gedz Milner who played in 10 matches across 2 and 3 pair men’s Bucks Shield, 5 mixed matches in A&D and, making rapid improvement this year in performance and results, played for Men’s 1.
For the player of year award it was decided to give it jointly to Adam and Alex Henry for both their results and their commitment to the club over the 25 years they have been members.
Adam had the best results for men’s 3 pair Bucks Shield with Alex taking the honours in the 2 pair. They had the highest number of appearances in the A&D and were top and third respectively in the results stakes.