Oxford Mens May 2017 - Fixture
Army Mens vs Oxford University Mens
14 May Friendly Fixture
The first match on grass of the summer season for the Army team, played against Oxford University at the Iffley Road Sports Centre (venue trivia: where Roger Bannister ran the first 4-minute mile). The grass was somewhat typical of early season courts: soft, slightly sodden from the night’s rain, and full of holes. This was to some extent to the advantage of the Army team, mitigating against the far more frequent training of the Oxford team – a very strong lineup consisting solely of 1st team or ‘Blues’ players - whose well-honed shots were of no use if the ball coming their way didn’t bounce. A craftily placed chop into the middle of the court could be a clean winner.
Spr Killips claimed the only rubber from the singles round – a three-set thriller which he won 5-7 6-1 6-4. It was a very entertaining and tightly fought contest which bodes well for the rest of the grass season ahead. Other matches were competitive but resulted in the Army’s defeat: 2Lt Hadcock lost 5 and 0 at 1; Pte Munnery 2 and 4 at no.2; Spr Gregory 1 and 5 at no. 4 – a very good effort; LCpl Constance-Bottomley 3 and 1 at 5; and Captain Walter 1 and 1 at 6. Doubles is usually the Army’s strength, however, so it was all to play for going into the second round. Sprs Gregory and Killips lost a close match 5 and 3 playing the Oxford second pair (could the RE be close to surpassing the REME as the dominant force in Corps Tennis?) while Capt Walter and LCpl Constance-Bottomley had less luck, losing 0 and 2 at no.3. 2Lt Hadcock and Pte Munnery, however, claimed the scalp of the Oxford no.1 pair in a very tight match, winning it 10-8 in the championship tie-break. This was a great win given they had been 8-4 up in the breaker, with Oxford playing some phenomenal shots to come back into it; it would have been a hard one to take had it slipped away at the very end.
Representing the Army in this Mens Fixture were the following players:
- 2Lt TBC Hadcock TBC
- Capt Jez Walter RLC
- LCpl Constance-Bottomley (INT)
- Pte Reece Munnery (PARA)
- Spr Matt Gregory (RE)
- Spr Simon Killips (RE)
We now look forward to matches vs Cambridge and Hurlingham in June, prior to the key part of the summer season in July/August with the Army Championships, fixtures against Queens Club and the AELTC, and the Inter-Services tournament.
See photos below