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Tennis / Golf v France & Belgium

Tennis / Golf v France & Belgium

IC match report - Tennis / Golf v France & Belgium

Venue: Moor Park

Match Report by Dan Lobb

I now realise that no matter the number of moving parts and obstacles to overcome, the single most important part of organising a successful IC fixture is getting lucky with the weather! We had two gloriously sunny days for the visit of France and Belgium to Moor Park. The tennis courts were in decent nick, the Moor Park high course was in pristine condition and Sandy Lodge, was a first class stand in for golf on the second day.

This fixture only works with four competing teams so, when Luxembourg were forced to withdraw, we managed to cobble together a second GB team to keep it alive. In the end that team was propped up by guests, most notably Tony Ballardie and 4-time major winner Wayne Black (I was completely transparent with the visiting captains and they accepted that Wayne’s inclusion was more out of desperation than a desire to crush them in the 45+ tennis).

The format required 2 tennis only players, 2 golf only players and 2 golf/tennis players. After both GB teams won on day 1, we decided that, instead of facing off in a ‘final’, they should simply switch to play the other visiting team. This meant a slightly fudged result but it’s fair to say GB1 were worthy winners of the trophy having beaten both France and Belgium 6-1. He didn’t know it at the time but Simon Bramwell was the captain. Special mention goes to Neil Howitt and Phil Cliff who, as tennis golfers for GB1, were unbeaten on the tennis court and golf course.

Unlike GB2, the winning team stayed intact for both days and comprised:

Cliff, Howitt, Bramwell, Benson Greatrex, Mel Harling and Pieter van Houten. Simon and Pieter were in fine tennis form but the latter did benefit from the French #1 twisting his ankle in the second set of their opening match. I’m pleased to report that Romain is on the mend back home in Paris. His injury would’ve meant a straight forfeit of both tennis matches for the following day if we didn’t have an IC hero in our midst. Andrew “Tufty” Smith received a call from me (he was at home in Birmingham) at about 3:30 on Thursday afternoon and was ready to play singles and doubles at Moor Park at 10:30 on Friday morning. Without him the fixture would not have been completed (the fact he hadn’t played a singles match since 1996 made his commitment even more impressive). The incredibly amenable Richard Ground became the French #1 so Andy could slot in for GB2.


At various times over the two days GB2 was also graced by David Waite, Miles Maclagan, Josie Inverdale, Tash Starling, David Culshaw and James Seddon.

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