Bognor tennis aces dodge showers to claim silverware

The mixed doubles finalists at Bognor Tennis Club

The mixed doubles finalists at Bognor Tennis Club

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Bognor Lawn Tennis Club members didn’t allow the typical British weather to dampen spirits or stop play at their annual club tournament finals.

Previous champions Crystal Bailey and Carol Jones began the ladies’ singles earlier than usual to accommodate Jones’ schedule of three other finals that day.

After several rain breaks the match was still in play at 1pm when club members started to arrive. Bailey, aged 21, went on to win in an exciting tie-break after both had won a set each.

Later they joined forces in the ladies’ doubles final to beat Jean Mugleston and Maree Loversidge in a match interrupted several times by injuries and rain.

Mugleston had already faced Jones and Don North in the veterans’ doubles in which she and Neil O’Boyle claimed victory.

Robert Callingham appeared in and won both finals for the men’s and mixed doubles. Dave Maskell and Robert beat Leighton Bailey and Simon Peers 6-1, 6-0 in another match compromised by the conditions.

The mixed doubles didn’t start until 7.30pm, when experienced pair Robert Callingham and Jones beat younger pair Tom Ford and Crystal Bailey.

The draw-for-partners match saw previous winner Linda Lott and her partner Chris Gosden beat Jo Owen and John Alderton.

The match that drew the most interest was the men’s singles final.

First-time singles finalists Dan Conway and Oliver Callingham battled for the title of men’s singles champion, a result that was eventually decided by umpire Dave Rowley’s line call.

Sixteen-year-old Oliver was named champion after winning 6-3, 6-4. He took an early lead but in the second set Conway raised his game, which had spectators on the edge of their seats.

FIONA CALLINGHAM