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Potter Cup, 31st May 2010

Potter Cup Report – 31st May 2010.
 
The GB team of Jeremy Bates, Nick Fulwood, Chris Hearne, Simon Curtis, Paul Hand and Graham Neale finished in 4th place in the Potter Cup this year, defeating Belgium 4-1 in the opening round and then losing to France in the semi-final 4-3. The 3rd / 4th place play-off ended in a 4-1 loss to Spain. This was the first time Spain has not been finalists or winners for several years, despite naming Emilio Sanchez in their line up. Fortunately for everyone he didn’t turn up!
 
The Polo Club yet again offered the perfect venue for the event with 10 teams taking part. What was very noticeable this year was the significant rise in the standard of play with France and Italy, who won the event, bringing in new players very well equipped for clay court singles. Clearly this is something that GB needs to be aware of for future years if we are to continue competing with these teams. The victory over Belgium was very straight forward, with Graham Neale and Paul Hand making their debut in the event, and performing admirably. The semi final loss to France was an exciting and closely fought battle. There was a terrific team spirit as ever in the GB camp, everyone fought for their lives and the whole event was played in the best possible atmosphere and character, as befitting the Potter Cup. Congratulations to France, but Italy were just much too strong for them in the final.
 
Bearing in mind the event was staged again at the Polo Club currently in more difficult financial circumstances and under new management, yet again the organisation and hospitality were truly excellent. The traditional Real Club de Barcelona Dinner on Friday night was very popular, as was the Polo Club reception on the Saturday evening but in true Spanish fashion, eating at 9.00 pm each evening until midnight with matches scheduled for 9am the following mornings is less than ideal and contributed to a huge amount of defaulting across the board on the last day. I mentioned this last year already and everyone understands the social aspect of this and most of the IC fixtures is critical to their success, popularity and reputation. However, perhaps one less function (given there is also a reception on the Thursday too) would give everyone a little more respite, a chance to catch their breath, recover from the matches and maybe see some of the host city.
 
Everyone stayed in a new hotel this year, The Senator, which was walking distance from the club. This made a big difference to the logistics and was well received across the board.
 
The Potter Cup in 2010 was truly exceptional as always in its traditional home and we are always a little sad to see another year pass. However everyone had an exceptional experience and I’d like to thank all the team for their efforts, and also the small group of supporters who made the effort to come over and cheer for the team. You know who you are!
 
J Bates
31/5/10
GB beat Belgium 4-1
  
1. J Bates bt Pierre Thys 60 60 
2. N Fulwood bt A Carlier 62 62 
3. C Hearne bt Bolle De Bahl 76 62 
4. P Hand bt Philippe Vercruysse 61 63 
5. G Neale lost Marc Grandjean 67 75 10/4 - shortened to champion’s tiebreak because match was over. 
  
  France beat GB 4-3
1.Bates beat Herve Bardot 64 64 
2.Fulwood beat Joe Matteo  64 64 
3. Jean Leclerc beat Hearne 67 62 62 
4. Arnaud Deleval beat Hand 62 60 
5. Jacques Hervet beat Neale 61 60 
  
Bates/Hearne lost Delaval/Bardot 06 16
Fulwood/hand beat LeClerc/ Olivier Bardet 62 62

Spain beat GB 4-1

1.       Miguel Puigdevall beat Fulwood 62 75

2.       Carles Costa beat Hearne 62 40 rtd

3.       Paul Hand beat Cesc Castella 36 64 (10-2)

4.       Eduard Osta beat Neale 62 61

5.       Carles Homedes beat Curtis 60 62