The rain clouds cleared just in time for the Inaugural Early Spring Tea & Tennis Tournament. The effervescent Maria Parker, ably assisted by husband Erik, organised 16 players on courts 8,9, 11 and 12 in a losers down, winners up split format. Newcomer James Simpson dominated play on top court 12 for the afternoon, ferociously challenged by Julian Leefe-Griffiths. Erik Parker, in charge of the whistle, kept score and moved players through the dreaded gate between Courts 8 and 11. Making it “through the gate” became the focus of the afternoon with newcomer Alex Thompson, along with Darius Mayhew, determined to win through from Courts 8/9 to 11/12. Both succeeded and after much laughter and a race against the clock, all retired to the bar to be welcomed by Kari with a delicious cream tea.

Top men’s prize went to steady, under-the-radar, Peter Ewins. Top ladies prize went to a very hard-working Ali Pettitt. Both were rewarded with sumptuous bottles of bubbly.

Thank you to the Parkers and Kari for organising a really fun afternoon.