PSOBLTA v AELTC
Jon Basell, Adrian Blackman, Tom Knapp and Tim Thomas
Simon Bramwell, Jonathan Cooper, Nick Shepley and Ashley Tatum
Saturday, 1 September saw the two teams arrive for brunch in the Rolex Suite looking eager to spring into action and compete in this annual match for the Peter Jackson Cup. The Pubs team led by Jon Basell, with Tom Knapp, Adrian Blackman and Tim Thomas in support looked focussed in their bid to regain the cup that had been in the hands of the All England Club since 2015. The home team consisting of Simon Bramwell, Jonathan Cooper, Nick Shepley and Ashley Tatum (captain) were equally determined.
Given the current focus on tennis integrity and match fixing in particular, there was a tricky conflict of interest to manage in that both the Chairman and the Honorary Secretary of the Pubs were playing for The All England! Fortunately the Pubs’ chief supporters, Master Joseph Blackman and Master Sam Blackman were on hand to check “best efforts” were being given at all times. With the weather gods providing a sunny, windless day with temperatures peaking at 24 degrees and the Groundstaff delivering Championship Courts 4 and 5 in excellent condition, there were no external factors to blame for any under par performances.
In a self-acclaimed tactical masterstroke, the All England captain informed Messrs Bramwell and Shepley that they would be playing second pair, calculating that this would create just the right sense of injustice to spur them on to prove him wrong. In match one, they did not disappoint much to the dismay of the Pubs and the AELTC pair delivered a high octane and high volume 6-4, 6-4 victory against the Pubs 1st pair, despite slipping to a 4-1 deficit in the second set, doubtless distracted by the euphoria of winning the first set.
Over on Court 5, things were not going the same way for the All England pair of Tatum and Cooper in the face of some strong grass court tennis from second pair Blackman and Thomas and they slipped to a 6-3, 6-1 defeat. It seemed that the home pair had crammed a whole day’s worth of errors into one match!
The match was poised at one all and the teams stopped briefly for some courtside refreshments and got ready for the final and decisive round.
With Mohamed Lahyani still in New York, Tatum and Cooper had to resort to giving themselves a pep talk ahead of round two before playing Basell and Knapp. Sadly for the Pubs, this had the desired effect and all the shots that had found the bottom of the net or the back fence in round one, found their target in round two and the home pair ran out winners 6-1, 6-2 against the Pubs’ 1st pair.
This left the final match on court to decide whether the fixture would end in a draw or a win for the All England. Unfortunately for the away side, Simon and Nick were not to be stopped in their bid to show that they should have been the first pair and delivered a 6-4, 6-2 win.
Both teams then retired back to the Rolex Suite for the usual fantastic Wimbledon tea after which Pubs’ captain, Jon Basell, thanked the Club for its hospitality and presented the Peter Jackson Cup to Ashley Tatum.
Our thanks go to the AELTC for looking after us on the day in our highlight fixture of the season.
Ashley Tatum – PSOBLTA Chairman / AELTC Captain