Category D Singles 2019 Report
Hatfield once again had the honour of hosting the Category D Singles event for players between 30-39 handicap and as in previous years the event was split into 2 divisions 30-34 and 35-39.
Unfortunately the entry was down a little on the usual numbers with only 14 players entered in the 2 sections. In the 35-39 section the final was between last year’s winner Ronald Paterson of MCC and John East of RTC and it was an extremely entertaining battle from 2 very experienced players. Both players had faced very tough semi-final battles earlier in the day. Ronald beating Attila Kerekes of Queens in a marathon encounter 3/6 6/5 6/4, while John made an amazing comeback against Andrew James of Hatfield after losing the first set 6/0. He somehow managed to halt Andrew’s progress to take a tight second set 6/4 and clinch the deciding set 6/3.
Both players were obviously feeling a little tired by the time the final came round but it was definitely John who recovered slightly better and having got his nose in front early in the first set, never really relinquished that lead. The game was always tight and hard fought and littered with numerous chases of 2 or better but John eventually ran out the winner 6/3 6/4.
In the 30-34 section the final was between Rory Musgrave of Queens and Matthew Alden of Oxford. Both had different routes to the final with Rory coming through an epic battle with Graham Defries, also of Queens, winning 3/6 6/2 6/4 in a game that swung first one way and then the other. Matthew on the other hand came through relatively unscathed in his semi-final, beating Nick Browne of Radley 6/1 6/1, barely making an unforced error in the whole match.
The final though proved to be a very different thing with Rory tearing out the blocks and putting Matthew under the type of pressure he hadn’t faced at any point up to then. He was cutting the ball heavily from the hazard end and hitting the grille for fun from the service and with all this pressure, suddenly Matthew started making some unforced errors and the match started drifting away from him. Rory never took his foot off and eventually ran out the 6/1 6/2 winner to take the much deserved title.