Tennis Section Report Summer Season 2016
The tennis section has had a mixed year overall, the men’s doubles team just managing to avoid demotion from the Birmingham Area League Division 6 while the mixed doubles team managed a slightly disappointing mid-table final position in Division 3 of the Metropolitan League.
The overall membership of the section is still in a slight decline partly due to retiring officers and staff, but also because players are often members of other clubs in the Region and are not allowed to play for two teams in the same local leagues (as per the rules laid down by the Birmingham and Metropolitan League Committees). Many choose to play for their own clubs rather than represent the Force in competition. One of the section’s key priorities over the coming years is to maintain membership numbers as well as look to increase membership and identify potential revenue/sponsorship.
Membership subs this year were held at £15 per person, in line with the Sports & Social requirement to contribute 15% towards the annual funding allocation.
Birmingham Area League – Men’s Doubles
The men’s team competed this year in Division 6 of the Birmingham Area League with matches against Wythall, Edgbaston Priory 4, Streetly 5, Circle, Halesowen 2, Moseley 4 and Knowle & Dorridge 3. Coleshill 2 also started in the league but withdrew early in the season.
Mike Crisp, Carl Hallbrook, Bob Sutton, Rich Henry, Sarbjit “Bill” Billan, Matt Meade, Barney Sutton, Mike Burden and Justin Hayward fought hard throughout the season to win one fixture, draw three and lose three.
The team finished 6th in the League, missing out on demotion by just 3 points so will compete in Division 6 again for the 2017 season.
Metropolitan Summer League – Mixed Doubles
The Mixed team competed this year in Division 3 of the Metropolitan Summer League with fixtures against Streetly, Moseley 2, Little Aston 2, Weoley Hill, Sutton United 1, Four Oaks 3, Beechcroft and Penns 2.
Regular players Mike Crisp, Matt Meade, Rich Henry, Wendy Goodhill, Belinda Stephens, Lisa Rushton, Helen Ainsworth and Claire Stanton were assisted throughout the season by Susan Barwell, Sarbjit “Bill” Billan, John Quilty, Mike Burden and Emily Crisp.
The team won two fixtures, drew three and lost three. The team finished in 5th place in the league out of 9 teams so will remain in the same Division for the 2017 season.
PSUK Regionals – 24th May, 2016 – Birmingham
The PSUK Tennis Regional’s (West Midlands Region) event was held at the Great Barr David Lloyd on Tuesday 24th May, 2016. The event saw a good number of entrants with all four Forces being represented (West Midlands, Staffs, West Mercia and Warwickshire).
Six events were competed on the day, men’s and ladies singles, men’s and ladies doubles, mixed doubles and men’s veterans doubles. West Midlands had the largest contingent with eight players, West Mercia sent four, Warwickshire one and Staffordshire two.
In the men’s singles Dean King (West Mercia) beat Paul Sandall (CV LPU) 6-0, 6-0 to reach the semi-finals where he played Dan Woodmansey (Staffs) who beat Matt Meade (CV LPU) 3-6, 6-0, 10-8 to reach that round. Dean then beat Dan 6-1, 6-1 to reach the final. In the bottom half of the draw John Quilty (CTU) beat Sarbjit Billan (Force Contact) 6-1, 6-1 to then meet Dan Peake (Staffs) in the second semi. Dan Peake had already beaten Tony Yates (Warks) 6-1, 6-0 to reach that stage. Dan who is a previous winner of the event and reached the quarter-finals of the Nationals in 2015 beat John 6-0, 6-0 to reach the final against Dean. In an epic final Dan finally managed to beat Dean 6-7, 6-4, 10-4 to take the title again.
The men’s doubles competition saw Dean King and Tony Yates (West Mercia/Warks) beat Matt Meade and Paul Sandall 6-0, 6-0 in one semi-final while in the other Dan Peake and Dan Woodmansey beat Sarbjit Billan and Carl Hallbrook (Operations) 6-1, 6-1. Dan and Dan dominated the final to beat Dean and Tony 6-1, 6-4.
The four ladies who attended the Regionals all competed in the ladies’ singles. Belinda Stephens (CTU) beat Karen Metcalfe (West Mercia) 6-0, 6-1 to make the final where she played Wendy Goodhill (Command Team) who had beaten Lisa Rushton (Force Intel) 6-1, 6-1 in the bottom half of the draw. In a re-run of the 2015 final Wendy took on Belinda with Wendy taking the title 6-1, 7-6.
In the ladies’ doubles event Wendy and Belinda won the event by default as the only pair entered..
In the first of the mixed doubles semi-finals Mike Crisp (CV LPU) and Wendy Goodhill beat Steve Warburton and Karen Metcalfe (West Mercia) 6-2, 6-4 to reach the final. In the bottom half Matt Meade and Lisa Rushton took on John Quilty and Belinda Stephens. John and Belinda got the victory 6-3, 6-4 to then face Mike and Wendy. Mike and Wendy secured a 6-0, 6-2 win in the final to retain their mixed title.
In the final event of the day, the men’s veteran’s doubles, the reigning champions Peter Moore and Steve Warburton (West Mercia) beat Mike Crisp and Carl Hallbrook 6-3, 6-2 to keep their title..
PSUK Nationals – 5th-6th September, 2016 – Barnstaple
The PSUK Nationals Event was held at The Tarka Tennis Centre in Barnstaple on the 5th and 6th September, 2016. Four players from WMP, Mike Crisp, Belinda Stephens, Wendy Goodhill and Carl Hallbrook, represented the Force. They were joined by Dean King (West Mercia), Dan Peake and Dan Woodmansey (Staffs) representing the West Midlands Region.
Mike and Carl joined forces to take on the Mens Vets Doubles pairing of Neil Gibson & Paul Barnes (Lancashire) but were overpowered in three sets by the more experienced pair 4-6, 6-2, 10-6.
Belinda joined Carl to play in the Mixed Doubles but sadly lost their first match to the Devon & Cornwall pairing of Phil Tucker and Laura Fallow, 6-1, 6-3. Mike and Wendy paired up for the Mixed competition for the third year running. Their first match saw them beat Debbie Lincoln & Phil Butt (Essex) 6-1, 6-4. They then played Charlotte Westhead and James Wilcox (Merseyside) in the quarter-final match, beating the Liverpudlians 6-2,6-3 to reach the semis. Unfortunately they then met the reigning champions and No. 1 seeds Jason Dawson and Sheel Gulati (Met) and despite battling hard the West Mids pairing lost 5-2, 5-1 (short sets due to time constraints). Dawson and Gulati went on to win the tournament again and have still yet to lose a match as a pairing in the mixed doubles.
Belinda and Wendy played together in the ladies doubles competition and secured an excellent quarter-final win against the pair of Charlotte Westhead and Steph Cantillon (Merseyside) in three close sets. In the semi-finals they played Linda Holmes & Alice Stewart (Derbyshire) who they beat easily 6-0, 6-1 to reach the final. They then met the reigning long-time champs and No. 1 seeds Vicky Hudson and Jan West (West Yorkshire). The final saw Vicky and Jan beat the WMP pair 6-2, 6-5 to re-secure their ladies doubles title. Despite the loss in the final match the West Mids pair played brilliantly to be the first from our Force to reach a PSUK National Tennis final in over 11 years (as long as I have been attending).
Despite a mixed bag of results in the competition, West Midlands players reaching a semi-final and a final in two of the tournaments was a great result for the team and the Tennis Section. Wendy’s achievements also saw her head-hunted by the PSUK Tennis Ladies Captain Vicky Hudson and she should hopefully be asked to represent the National Police Ladies Team over the coming 12 months.
I certainly hope to see an even larger contingent of WMP players qualify for the Nationals in 2017 which are due to be hosted by Merseyside.
PS 2669 Crisp – CV LPU
WMP Tennis Section Secretary/Captain
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