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IC Tennis / Golf

IC Tennis / Golf

24th - 28th October 2018

Result: IC of GB Runners-up
Venue: Mallorca, Spain

The IC of GB put up a stern defence of the trophy but just lost out to Germany in the ‘final'. Unfortunately, we had some withdrawals late on that made it impossible to field a full IC team, but we were happily able to invite Richard Santy and Hafeez Hameed as guest players and accepted the kind offer of a local golfer, Kadar, to complete our lineup. Shamus Donald worked hard to organise the trip and it was a shame he couldn’t be there with us. Shamus has been a great supporter of this event in recent years.

Due to the absence of Belgium, we faced a Spain B team on the Friday and came through impressively 6-1. Hafeez and Richard both comfortably won their tennis singles but lost a third set champions tie-break in the doubles. Dan Lobb and David Culshaw won the 2 points on offer in the tennis/golf (straight sets win in the tennis then a 4&3 win in the golf). The evergreen Keith Wooldridge (a “machine” playing off a handicap of 6!) was a convincing winner on the golf course as Kadar wrapped things up behind him.

As is always the case at this event, the evenings were very social and great fun (not least because of the fantastic hospitality of the Spanish team which is dominated by members of the extraordinary Tintore family). However, Friday night wasn’t as ‘big’ as Saturday night. Hameed dominated on the hotel pool table, Santy was the most-improved on the green baize through the weekend, Culshaw the most stylish (of course) while Lobb suffered greatly from back, hip, knee, elbow and mental problems.

Saturday’s play was marred by rain but didn’t prevent a fair result for us against Germany. Their tennis players were extremely strong, spearheaded by Marcello Craca (former singles ATP top 100) who is undoubtedly one of the best over 40’s in the world. Hafeez and Richard enjoyed the challenge but both fell short in their respective singles before rain put paid to the doubles - 2-0 to Germany. On the golf course, Keith just lost out in his rain-affected match but Kadar came through for us again - so the score was 3-1. Dan and David again won their tennis match in straights sets, which meant, with the overall score at 3-2, it came down to 18 holes matchplay at the beautiful Capdepera Golf Club (which boasts Rafa Nadal as a member), albeit in heavy rain for much of the round. As an honest captain writing this report, I cannot lie - I let the side down! Mr Culshaw was supreme but couldn’t get us over the finish line on his own and from being 3 holes up at one point, the match was halved. Germany therefore took the honours in their first appearance at the event.

Saturday evening was spent at our lovely host hotel Vanity Suites and Spa in Cala Mesquida. The teams decided to mix the seating plan up and another great night ensued. The wonderful Berta Tintore has inherited the event from her father and president of the IC of Spain, Juan Tintore. Juan was sadly in ill-health and unable to attend. We wish him a speedy recovery but his event is in very safe hands. Berta gave a lovely speech, prizes were handed out, thanks were given and we were then treated to an impromptu performance from the depressingly talented David Culshaw on the hotel piano. After a medley of hits, he invited us all to join in with a fine rendition of Hotel California...and some us duly butchered a singalong. Most of the group decamped to a local bar where several (unnamed) team members didn’t surface from until the early hours.

I must give special mention to Pauline Wooldridge for bringing additional glamour and sophistication to the GB team (and for keeping Keith on the straight and narrow) and to Antonia Amer for her tireless work bringing the tennis courts up to a good playing standard - the clay courts had been completely ruined by the recent dreadful weather in Mallorca.

This is a great event - competitive, a lot of fun and played in the very best spirit - it embodies what the IC is all about. Long may it continue.

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