The numbers were a bit unequal, the court air was cold, and there was variety of opponents for the team of 6 players from Ballarat, who came to Hobart on the weekend of 7 & 8 July to contest the Bartlett Cup.
Travelling from Ballarat was a team of 6, Allison Dugdale, Doug Grant, Andrew Pipkorn, Rob Jolly, Jon Dugdale and Rohan Pipkorn, who were enthusiastically supported by non-players Cath Jolly. and Michelle Pipkorn.
The Ballarat team got plenty of tennis! Hobart put 18 players on the court over the weekend, which was a great turn out.
Eryl Raymond, Christine Stirling, Sally Crosby, Alex Colbert, Simon Dwyer, Justin Legg, Hans Drielsma, Graham Flower, Ray Lowenthal, Graeme Blundstone, Bob Brewer, Andrew Scobie, Tony Barrett, Mark Lleonart, Peter Tatham, Paul Crosby, John Herbert and Iain Burrows, all turned out for Hobart, no doubt with a greater level of energy than their Ballarat opponents, given the number of games the Ballarat team had to front up for.
There were 20 single set (to 9) matches played off handicap, 10 singles and 10 doubles. Hobart only won by 11 matches to 9, despite Ballarat being out numbered 3 to 1 on players who took to the court. 14 of the matches were 9/5 or above results, so there was plenty of close and competitive tennis played. The result came down to the last match where a win to Ballarat would have tied the final result.
On Saturday evening an intimate gathering of 18 (the 8 Ballarat visitors, convinced this is Hobart’s secret weapon for winning….don’t encourage our players to over indulge in a few glasses of wine and some great food) gathered in the Trophy Room for a middle-eastern inspired feast.
Avery Patten provided some fabulous home-made meatballs and dips plus crostini which were eagerly snapped up by hungry diners. Anthony James provided a warming Moroccan sweet potato soup and Nikki Millard provided the main course of a beef tagine with spiced rice and vegetables (anyone with a nut allergy was prohibited from partaking of anything but green beans!!)
The evening (and the last of the red wine) was finished off with cheesecake.
In short speeches, the camaraderie between the two Clubs was emphasised and Rob Bartlett (who now lives in Sydney) was remembered as being Ballarat’s first professional and being so vital in the success if building the Club in its initial stages.