Inter-Services 'B' Championships 2015

Mens 'B' Championships

Army - 1st

Royal Air Force - 2nd

Royal Navy - 3rd
 

* Army - 2015 Mens 'B'

Inter-Services Tennis Champions

A Tri-Service Event

Ladies 'B' Championships

Royal Air Force - 1st

Army - 2nd

Royal Navy - 3rd

* Royal Air Force - 2015 Ladies 'B'

Inter-Services Tennis Champions

The 2015 Inter-Services 'B' Tennis Champs was held at the Portsmouth Indoor TC where play over the period Sat 25 & Sun 26 April 2015.

Army Mens Report - Army Tennis Marches On

 

During the weekend of the 25th and 26th of April 2015, the Army Tennis ‘B’ team took on the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force in order to compete for the illustrious Inter-Services ‘B’ tennis title at HMS TEMERAIRE, Portsmouth. The standard of tennis on display was possibly the strongest in recent history, with a number of players competing for the coveted singles and doubles spots. The Army squad consisted of Brig Darrell Amison, Lt Tristan Williams, Cpl Alun Williams, LCpl Myles Smythers, LCpl Grant Stevenson, Cfn Liam Eaton, Rfn Steve Barnett, and Cfn Sam Evans. These were selected from a larger pool of players from a two day training session at the Army Indoor Tennis Centre, Aldershot and although not all players participated on the court over the weekend, they contributed in an abundance of ways and were pivotal towards the success of the team.

 

The opening day of matches consisted of round robin singles matches for the first and second ranked players in each service. Throughout the first day of play, all matches were close affairs. Members of all three teams displayed excellent racquet skills at the net, produced rallies of high quality and owing to the nature of the indoor courts produced some fast and furious counter punching exchanges from the baseline. The Royal Navy propelled themselves forward by convincing victories against the Army 1, RAF 1 and RAF 2. However, the Army’s wealth of talent and refusal to surrender provided fuel to elevate the team back into contention.

 

Lt Tristan Williams proved to be the stronger holder of serve in his fixture against the RAF 1, which gave him the ultimate edge to drive for victory overcoming his opponent 7-5 6-2 in a tense match. The onus now rested on the young and inexperienced shoulders of Cfn Liam Eaton and LCpl Myles Smythers to tussle back the reigns from the RN in order to level the tie. The RN and RAF ‘veterans’ however did not capitulate easily, forcing Cfn Eaton and LCpl Smythers to dig deep for the win. The Army team might have perceived that superior fitness and youthful exuberance would have given them a natural advantage, but clearly the wiley tactics and well managed movement of the 'older boys' was not to be underestimated. Eventually, the dogged nature of the Army prevailed 4-6 6-1 6-3 for Cfn Eaton

and a 6-1 6-3 win for LCpl Smythers. The results after the first day put the RN and the Army tied

with three rubbers each with the RAF ending the day on no rubbers.

 

The second round of doubles matches on Day 2 produced more varied form, with all three teams showing intermittent brilliance, interspersed with periods reflecting what the legendary John McEnroe might have described with the words, 'You cannot be serious'. The play remained highly competitive, with neither of the teams prepared to be disheartened by the odd double fault or missed smash. The Army showed their mettle, and spurred each other on; supporting their respective partners to pick up several well placed drop shots at the net, as well as several sharply angled volleys ruthlessly blasted by the undeterred opposition. Inevitably, in such a fiercely contested tournament, it was decided by the final two rubbers of the day. The doubles pairing of LCpl Smythers and Brig Amison earned their money by producing an array of winners and a masterclass in serving; pummelling the RAF and RN relentlessly. They sealed the title for the team in two brutal encounters 6-4 1-6 6-2 against the RN and 7-6(2) 6-7(4) 6-2 against the RAF.

 

Despite a long afternoon's play, energy did not appear to have waned on either side. The hours that the Army put into their fitness training off the court however finally won through - or that's undoubtedly what they would say. Their victory was well fought and well received. A thoroughly enjoyable weekend was spent by all. It must be noted that this is the first time since 2009 that the Mens ‘B’ team has won the title – a remarkable effort. Many thanks to the Royal Navy Lawn Tennis Association and the Portsmouth Indoor Tennis Centre for hosting a oteworthy weekend of competitive tennis.

 

Written by Lt Ben Rogers - Army Mens Tennis Captain

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