Finals Night at the Police Club
The following welcome message from the Finals Night program.
The 78th Liverpool League's Closed championships, sponsored by Fawley Construction, was concluded on Tuesday 17th January 2006 at the Merseyside Police Social club, in Liverpool. The main tournament, staged on Sunday 15th at the Wavertree Tennis Centre, comprised of ten events, four of which were decided on the day, while the men's singles semi-finals, plus four other finals, were staged on finals' night. The tournament has been held every year since the League's formation in 1926, with the exception of 1928 and 1940, providing spectators with a tremendous mixture of drama, excitement and top class play
Eight players took part on finals' night in 2004, six of whom reappeared in 2005, with the men's and women's finals being identical, with three of the four doubles finalists', again on show. Kevin, of course took the men's title, while Clare Peers chalked up her fourth success and, second successive victory over Alice Howard. Kenny Jackson won the 55's event on both occasions - Keith doing likewise in the over 40's final. Tim Wearden and Kevin lost 12-10 in the fifth to Keith and Lawrence Kenwright in the 2004 final but beat John Rankin and Keith last year. Kenny, the vets' champion in 2001 & 2002, gained another title, beating the 1987 champion Alan Chase in the over 55's final. With so many familiar faces appearing on finals night each year, it highlights a problem we shall face in the future, with so few youngsters taking up the sport. Only Kevin Dolder, the junior champion in 1993 and 1994 and Cherith Graham in 2000, are current division one players and one has to go back to Paul Gittins in 1980 and Keith Williams in 1975, to find a junior champion in the top division, although 1977 winner Graeme Black, currently plays in division two.
Clare making the final for the third year in a row, gives her the opportunity to move into second place in the all time list of champions behind Eileen Mansell, although Alice, with a hat-trick of finals wins to her credit, will think otherwise.
Top seed in the junior singles was Mark Roscaleer who plays for Harold House in division one, where he has chalked up a number of impressive victories. In the semi-final, he ousted Dave Graham protegee Jamie Hewitt, now coached by Ian McElwee, who, although now promoted to the Bath Street 1st team, has yet to match the experience of the Halton British League player. 'Dark horse' Mark Ambrose, saw off Liverpool CC newcomer Michael Kwan in the other semi', which produced a rare first versus third division final. In a rip roaring encounter, Roscaleer took a 2-1 lead and held match points on two occasions in the fourth, but couldn't clinch the vital points before Ambrose, who earlier had won the third division singles title, levelled matters, to the delight of the crowd, who were hoping for more. The lead changed hands a number of times and it developed into an exciting nip and tuck affair. Hot favourite Roscaleer appeared to tighten up towards the end and at 10-10, Ambrose seemed the calmer of the two. The top seed, looked totally bemused when Ambrose sensationally took the points and the title at 12-10, the first ever junior from his club Maghull to do so.
Thanks to tonight's Umpires, who will be acknowledged at the end of play. The Committee thanks all who helped transport tables, surrounds and umpire's tables, from Fairfield to Wavertree and back on Saturday and Sunday. However, it has to be said, the average age of Committee Members' is in excess of 63, which begs the question, 'just how long can this procedure continue'? that, though, is for debate on another occasion. In completing this message, Bill Fawley, who takes an active role in Management Committee meetings and in the fortunes of the city teams, together with Leo, Viv and Carol, are most welcome, having attended the Closed, more than most members', over the past seventeen years.
Finally, thanks are accorded to the Police Athletic Association, for their kind use of these facilities and hospitality, and to Tom Purcell, secretary of the M/Side Police T.T. Club who hosted the night.
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