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Finals Night




The  2006-2007 Season

 Fawley Construction Closed Championships

Referee -:

Ken Armson MBE


Tournament Organiser -: Arthur Garnett


supported by

City Leisure Services Directorate

at the

Wavertree Tennis Centre

Sunday March 11th.

Organising Committee

Ken Armson MBE, Arthur Garnett, Don Davies, Dave Oakes, Ray Lavin, Graham Rollinson



Despite the absence of holder and eight times champion Kevin Dolder from the men's singles draw, the Fawley Construction Liverpool Closed championships has nevertheless, produced a mouth watering quartet contesting the penultimate stage. For the first time in Closed history, two players from mainland Europe face each other for a place in the men's singles final, this is due to the first appearance in the Closed of second seed Michael Rogala, 26, from Zlotow in Poland, who plays for Greenbank in division two and who now resides in the area, his opponent is third seed Christian Petzsche, in his first season in the league with Wavertree Labour and whose home is near Hamburg, the pair registering straight games wins over Keith Bird and Dave Roberts respectively.  In the other half of the draw, nine times champion Keith Williams, who didn't enter a year ago, last lifted the Montague Burton Challenge Cup in 2004 as a Waterloo player. He reached the last four this time as a Bootle YMCA man, and after winning his group, accounted for Ken Jackson and Mark Roscaleer, the latter claiming the scalp of Kevin Dolder in a recent Harold House versus Ford division one league match. His semi-final opponent, Cadwa's Chris Ford, the runner up to Dolder a year ago, dismissed Paul Banks and Gary Watson after topping his group as the fourth seed and is hoping to claim the title for the first time.  

A depleted Ladies event has resulted in the expected final between Wavertree Labour's Alice Howard, who came out on top against Clare Peers 11-9 in the fifth in the final a year ago, and Cherith Graham (Crosby High).   Alice lifted the S.W. Richardson Cup for three years in a row at the turn of the century, while Cherith, the junior champion in 2000, along with mum Sylvia and Alice, helped Liverpool claim the ,J.M. Rose Bowl last May, having beaten Gemma Lloyd in the 2003 ladies final, had she not beaten Alice's mum Stephanie at the penultimate stage on Sunday, we could have witnessed the first mum and daughter ladies final in the history of the competition.  

The open doubles final contains former champion Peter Lee, who may not thank me for mentioning that he first won the title, partnered by the men's singles champion Paul Tsang in 1976, who beat Dave Roberts in the final, but, then again, maybe he won't be too upset. Along with club mate and tonight's partner Keith Bird, they play under the Liverpool Cricket Club banner, were runnners-up to Dolder and Tim Wearden a year ago. Seventeen year old Roscaleer, from Harold House, had the foresight to ask Michael Rogala to partner him in the doubles, and what a wise choice, the pair enjoying a comfortable passage into the final.   

After Williams and Ford have crossed swords in singles combat, the pair meet for a second time in the final of the veteran (over 40's) event. Williams took the title in 2000 but was beaten in the final by John Rankin in 2003, before claiming it back the following year and retained it against Rankin in 2005. Perfectionist Chris Ford, was unhappy with his winning performance a year ago, when he beat Gary Watson 10-12, 11-8, 16-14, 15-13 in the final. This of course was no consolation for his defeat later that night when going down in straight games to Dolder. Believe me, Chris would rather lose playing a near perfect game than win ugly, but, that's Chris.  

The over 55's event is invariably, won by a first division player, but, tonight could be different. Dave Roberts, the men's singles champion in 1984 and the veteran champion in 1992, 93 and 94, has suffered badly over the years with painful injuries and knee troubles. Major surgery though has made him a 'new man' which has helped his Wavertree Labour 'A' team to top spot in division two and almost certain promotion to division one. He lost the first game in the semi-final to the 2003 champion Dave Harse before recovering to win the next two and then 11-1 in the fourth. Bath Street number one Ken Jackson, who has a unique style, took the title in 2004 via a straight games win over Peter Taylor and retained it the following year win a 3-1 success over Alan Chase. He became involved in a tremendous last four battle on Sunday with a former champion Ted Birch (Bootle YMCA), Ken though coming through 11-8, 11-8, 13-15, 13-11.  He didn't enter last season which effectively means he is on a hat-trick, which I'm sure will be a first in the event.    

It would be remiss of me not to make reference to the assistance of those other than Management Committee members over the weekend. Although I learned from our former Chairman and President Arthur Upton, who passed away four years ago this month, not to mention by name those who helped, for fear of omitting someone who may have helped in some way. That rule on this occasion I shall ignore by mentioning Referee Ken Armson and Tournament Organiser Arthur Garnett. The event I am certain would be the poorer without their invaluable input. One other person, I shall name is that of Faith Moore, what a job she does, not many would sit alongside the Referee all day as she does in what is a thankless task. Thank you Faith, but then she knows what we think of her, those who did help, have in the main been thanked personally, but, any who may not have, I say, a most grateful thank you on behalf of the Committee. Thanks are also accorded to the City Council Sport Development Department and in particular, Dick Johnson for the use of the Tennis Centre and his continued interest in the sport, also to the Centre staff who looked after us over the two days.   To the Merseyside Police Athletic Association, thank you again for the use of your club.  

Finally, we are again tonight graced with the company of our President Bill Fawley, who regularly attends Management meetings, and wife Vivian together with Vice President Leo Crone and his wife Carol, this is the nineteenth year that Fawley Construction as a company, have supported these championships, this being the eightieth anniversary of the first when J.R. Bather from a total entry of 31, beat his Hatton team mate Harry Turner in the final, the only event staged in the the 1927 Closed,  Bather used a 'Ted Mandaluff' type of wooden bat and wore collar and tie and ordinary walking shoes whilst playing, take note Chris Ford! 

Finally, I suspect that tonight's events will be supported by a large crowd, in anticipation of a number of exciting sets. I always get a thrill when the Closed finals commence and have taken away many memories right from my first closed in 1967 and I sincerely hope that you do as well. Enjoy the night and a safe journey home.         


Don Davies

League Chairman



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