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Lions Novelty Doubles

posted 14 Apr 2021, 13:43 by GTTA   [ updated 14 Apr 2021, 13:43 ]
There are new names on the historic Lions Novelty Doubles trophy this year after the pairing of Andy Gill and Marion Phillips claimed the title at the GTTA Centre on Monday.

The Novelty Doubles is a unique event, first played for in 1975, whereby players enter individually but are put together with another entrant based on ranking, with high-ranked players paired with those lower down the list. As a result, it usually produces some unorthodox combinations of players with different styles and plenty of close and competitive matches, with the 2021 edition being now exception.

The group stage matches were very tight affairs with the majority of matches going the full 5-set distance. Gill and Phillips were beaten 3-2 in their very first match by veterans Mick Ingrouille and Erik Teteruck, however the defeat of Shaun Mosley and Lionel Jones meant they progressed as group runners-up. Juliette Yeaman and Rosemary Powell provided stern opposition in the semi-finals with three deuce games, while in the other half of the draw, Craig Dunning and previous winner Val Le Messurier were also playing well.

It was First Division stalwart Gill that provided the flair shots with his trademark forehand loops, but popular Social League player Phillips was key to the win, providing much more than just a supporting role with some excellent receiving of serve and positive attacking shots when the chances arose. The final pitted them against 2020 winner Erin Vaudin along with Steve Martin, and Gill and Phillips made a fast start, winning the first end for the loss of only 2 points. However their opponents picked up the pace and attacked more consistently, briefly threatening to make a comeback after taking game 3, but the ultimately succumbed 11-2, 8-11, 11-9, 8-11.