2011 Aberconway Cup: Hughes the Daddy...
Mike Fenn reports:
In ideal warm and sunny conditions the twenty-first Fathers and Sons' Tournament was held yesterday at Eton College. With an entry of sixteen pairs and a league match and Ladies Championship final also taking place the courts were a hive of activity with a welcome number of spectators watching all three events.
The Aberconway was missing many regular players this year but a round entry of sixteen pairs with Trevor Bailey stepping in at the last minute to partner the aged organiser Mike Fenn enabled all players to enjoy three group matches in the morning with the four group winners playing in the afternoon finals. Three pairs entered for the first time, Andrew and Edward Hill and David and Thomas McCahon from Emanuel and Andrew and Tom Husselbee from Wolverhampton, also a first from these two schools.
The group matches panned out much as expected with the four seeds progressing to the semi-finals. All three matches, played best of three games, were won in two with newcomers the Husselbees losing only to third seeds the Williams. A creditable effort with father Andrew having recently returned to the game after a twenty year lay off. The Coopers, Blacks and Asquiths also won two of their three matches with the Asquiths doing their best to overturn third seeds the Walters leading them at one stage in both games. Their downfall was to be too many unforced errors.
The group matches were played in a good humoured and sporting manner with the only perceived discontent surfacing occasionally between a father and son. After a good morning's play in warm conditions the players were more than happy to retire to the Waterman’s Arms for a well deserved lunch and refreshments. It was noticeable that those fathers due to participate in the finals did not hold back in eating to the full. They were no doubt confident in their sons' ability to carry the day in the afternoon.
The semi-finals went much as expected although Grant and Guy Williams could consider themselves most unlucky not to have taken a game if not the match against Mike and Chris Hughes. In the most competitive semi-final, deserving perhaps of a final, the game was played at a fast and furious pace with both pairs giving no quarter and attacking furiously throughout. The Hughes took the first game 12-9 and through sheer determination fought back from 5-10 and 11-14 to take the second 15-14 and the match 2-0. In the second semi-final the perennials Tony and Anthony Walters were unable to overcome the holders Peter and Rex Worth. Having lost a close first game and making a poor start in the second the Walters were unable to find the impetus to strike back and the Worths won comfortably 12-10, 12-8.
An all Salopian final pitted the 2009 winners Mike and Chis Hughes against the holders Peter and Rex Worth. Hard though the Worths fought the Hughes retained the advantage throughout. The crisper volleying power of the Hughes was to prove decisive as the Worths, to their credit, valiantly retrieved the ball time and time again to stay in the match. Time out for Chris with cramp gave the Worths a breather but to no avail. Rex did his best to encourage his tiring father but in the end the Hughes ran out comfortable winners 12-5, 12-6.
In presenting the Aberconway Cup Richard Black, a Vice President of the EFA, commiserated with the losers and congratulated Mike and Chris in equalling the record of four wins by Gerald and Simon Barber and Graham and Tom Dunbar. In closing he thanked Mike Fenn for his organisation and the College for the use of their facilities.
P & R Worth (1) beat A & A Walters (4) 2-0 (12-10, 12-8)
M & C Hughes (2) beat G & G Williams (3) 2-0 (12-9, 15-14)
M & C Hughes beat P & R Worth 2-0 (12-5, 12-6)