Another year, another summer season just about wrapped up. With only a few matches left to play, the positions in the leagues are now confirmed for our teams and even with the trials and tribulations of injury and unavailability, plus a few other waves the captains have rode this season, it’s been pretty successful year again for the small village club.
There’s been three Championships, two promotions, four teams retaining their status in their respective divisions and only three relegations in a very difficult season.
As any gentlemen should, we’ll start with the ladies. Sass took over the Ladies captaincy this year and had a very difficult start with unavailability, injury and a few other problems. Sass has done her best in trying circumstances, and all things considered has done a fantastic job!
The ladies A team finished in 3rd place under team captain Rachana’s leadership, leaving the two Swindon teams to battle it out for the title. Rachana’s troops will be either 3 or 4 points short of the title in a very competitive league depending on the outcome of Swindon A’s final match. The top lady for the A’s and 2nd overall in the league statistics was Nicola Gardner winning 15 of her 20 rubbers. Rach put in a captains performance and finished 4th overall in the league statistics winning 14 of her 20 rubbers. Both ladies won 33 sets dropping just 7. When approached for an interview, Rachana wasn’t too keen. “We didn’t win the league, so stop trying to mug me off, fam!” If anyone knows exactly what she means, please let us know!
Unfortunately the Ladies B had a very tough ask this year to stay in the top tier. They finished 7th and have been relegated as a result. The top performer for the B’s was Lou Elliot winning 4 of her 10 rubbers and 9 out of 20 sets. Lou Crawford was the team’s next best performing player winning 4 of 14 rubbers. No doubt with the squad they have, they will be looking for silverware next year!
A similar story for the Ladies C as the B, division 2 was a very competitive league, and with injuries to regular players in the teams above meaning they were pulling up, it was a bridge too far. The ladies finished in 7th place with Tracey Knights finishing top in the teams stats just in front of club stalwart Ann Rose. Best of luck to the ladies next season and i’m sure they will give it a good go!
The Ladies D have been going strong and were the first team to claim a title this season! Well done and congratulations to Captain Janet Saunders and her team for winning division 5. The ladies only dropped 2 points all season which occurred in a match against Nationwide who finished runners up. That particular match was battled for brilliantly by Anna Taylor and Lindsey Hall, the only pair that Purton could send. They won the first 3 sets, falling just short in the 4th to end up losing 3-5. Lindsey Hall was the top lady in the team and the league, winning 18 of her 22 rubbers dropping just 5 of 44 sets. Anna was just behind Linds, winning 17 of 20 rubbers winning 37 sets, dropping only 3! Well done ladies!
Moving on to the mixed teams, the Mixed D team, under the guidance of captain Anna Taylor, managed to claim 2nd place in division 4 with 17 points, meaning promotion for next season. Congratulations guys! Janet Saunders finished top of the player stats in the league, winning 13 rubbers and losing only 4 of 32 sets. Neil Saunders as ever, was kept firmly in 2nd place in the league by Janet with a record of 25 sets won to just 3 lost.
“She was furious with how badly he served, volleyed and hit his ground strokes in that final match”
The pair were spotted in the Redhouse after suffering defeat in their final match of the season with Janet firmly pointing the finger of blame to Neil. Janet has since forced Neil to attend a specialist tennis course in France to properly prepare him for the next season. “Janet told me that Neil has to do better” said a onlooker. “She was furious with how badly he served, volleyed and hit his ground strokes in that final match”.
The Mixed C team managed to stay safe in division 2 finishing in 4th place. The top player for the team and 8th overall in the league was Lou Elliot, winning 9 of 17 rubbers and 23 sets for just the 11 lost. Ashley Stevens was in 2nd place winning 6 of 11 rubbers and 13 sets, dropping 9.
Lou Crawford’s astute leadership of the B team has guided them to a 3rd place finish in division 1 with 16 points (at the time of writing) from 13 matches. The B team have one game to finish and find themselves 3-1 down vs Royal Wootton Bassett with 4 sets left to play. Luckily, they cant be caught and have cemented 3rd place. Men’s Captain Jason Stevens was the top of the stats for the B winning 11 of 24 rubbers, with Lou Crawford in 2nd for the team winning 8 of 19 rubbers.
“Thankfully the selectors saw sense and put Jason in the B team, which meant it wasn’t such a close run thing this year.”
The Mixed A team have successfully retained their Mixed Division 1 title by a whopping 7 points! Captain Angie Baldock led her team to the title with the loss of just 19 sets all season. The league statistics look extremely good for Purton A in the top division, with 4 of the top 5 players all belonging to Purton A. The other player in that list is Purton B’s Jason Stevens!
Rachana Patel was the teams top performer losing only 3 sets and winning 33. Ben Langley was second with 16 rubber wins from 22 played. “We did a lot better this season” said Ben, “Thankfully the selectors saw sense and put Jason in the B team, which meant it wasn’t such a close run thing this year.”
Moving on to the Men’s teams, Captain Jason Stevens has worked a minor miracle. With a total of 7 players able to play in the A & B teams, the men were always going to be put in a tricky situation. With that in mind, the men only put out one pair three times. Which is good going!
The Mens D team had a great season under Sam Rose’s stewardship. Rosey’s rabble bounced straight back from their disappointing relegation last year to finish runners up and get promotion at the first time of asking. With no Janet in sight, it was Neil Saunders’ time to grab the limelight, finishing top of the teams stats and 4th overall in the league with 26 sets won for a loss of just 6. Captain, Sam Rose was just behind him, posting decent figures of 24 sets won, to 8 dropped. The pensioner said he still feels like his younger self. “Cortisone. That’s the secret. You don’t keep playing at my age unless you have them. Anyone who is struggling with any injury of any kind, get a cortisone injection and you’ll be alright!” We must stress that Sam has no medical knowledge whatsoever, and to consult your doctor before taking his advice. Congratulations to the D team!
In Division 3, the Mens C team are competing against four B teams and 2 A teams from various clubs. Captain Ashley Stevens stressed that the job was to stay in the division which the team a managed to do. With an early injury to Steve Greatley, and losing Dan Horsell to the B’s the C team relied on its other 3 members, Glynn, Ashley and Andy plus Scott Price who was permanently called up from the D team to play all but one match. The squad played well, especially Scott, and managed to stay up in 5th or 4th place (depending on the last match between Marlborough and David Lloyd) with 8 points. Veteran Glynn Stevens posted the best stats winning 5 of his 19 rubbers. and 14 of his 24 sets. Andy Taylor was just behind him with 5 rubbers from 21.
The B team had a very tough year. finishing in 7th place. Shane Horsell was the top performer in the side, he won 6 of his 20 rubbers. Ethan who played every game managed to finish second in the team winning 6 of his 24 rubbers. Lechlade put the final nail in the coffin for Purton by not fielding a team against fellow relegation candidates Ramsbury, gifting them the match 8-0. Had Lechlade put out their normal side, you would expect them to beat Ramsbury, which would of left Purton B to play Ramsbury in a straight shoot out for survival. RW Bassett also didn’t help out the guys losing 5-3 to Ramsbury on Monday with a weaker side compared to what they normally would field. Again, I’m sure the boys can have a successful season next year.
2000, 2013, 2016 and now 2017. Purton Men’s A have done it for a 4th time, Champions of Division 1. Remarkably, they haven’t been beaten since 15th June 2015, which was 5-3 at the hands of RW Bassett. Being undefeated for 2 years, is a massive achievement in itself let alone retaining the title. Ben Langley was the sides top performer dropping just 3 sets all season. He finished 3rd overall, just behind John and Martin of runners up Pewsey. The final match of the season was a title decider, between Purton and Pewsey. Purton were without their second top player, Simon Perry who had to take his place firmly under his wife’s thumb on the day of the match. Luckily for Simon, the boys came through to win 6-2 in what was some of the best tennis the Swindon & District League is likely to have seen. Skipper Josh Langley who was unable to play due to injury was watching on. “Sorry,” Josh said through his tears, “It’s been a tough ask in living up to Jason’s high expectations. Luckily we could rely on Justin Miller’s experience and ability to see us over the line today. I’d like to thank Jason for his excellent overall captaincy, and would like to take this opportunity to thank him for taking me under his wing, showing me the ropes and believing in me. He has a heart the size of his racket”.
No doubt they’re looking forward to the end of season party already! Congratulations guys.
Here’s to a successful Winter League! See you on court sometime soon.