Slideshow: Double promotion for club teams

Jerry Rose has led his men s first National Club League team to the top of the region in Division Two. This means promotion to the UK s top LTA team competition with players competing with the top tennis clubs next season and putting Letchworth Sports and

Jerry Rose has led his men's first National Club League team to the top of the region in Division Two.

This means promotion to the UK's top LTA team competition with players competing with the top tennis clubs next season and putting Letchworth Sports and Tennis Club firmly on the map.

Next year the team will be competing for literally thousands of pounds in prize money!

Other players were Dominic Ross-Hurst, Mark Beckles, Mark O'Keefe, James Thomas, Richard Staff, Neil Blake, John Garland, John Davies and Alex Bennet.

Letchworth's men's and ladies' first teams have both won their groups in this year's National Division of the Team Tennis National Club League, Britain's premier inter-club team event.

The ladies return to the top flight after last year's relegation while the men's achievement ranks as the club's all-time top performance.

Most Read

The ladies' team completed its campaign at the beginning of June with a 12-0 whitewash against Aldersbrook while the men completed their campaign with a 10-2 victory over Gerrards Cross.

* Sophie Watts has moved up to number 234 in the European Under-14 rankings following a recent Junior Europe tournament in Iceland where she reached the final before losing to fellow English girl Katy Dunne.

Sister Anneka stands some 100 places lower at 330 in the European rankings.

In other news from recent junior tournaments involving Letchworth players, Toby Nicholson reached the boys' under-12 singles at Harpenden Junior Open, James Doherty finished runner-up in the county finals of the Road to Wimbledon event, and Joe Riant beat a strong field to win the under-10 boys' singles in a Herts Mini Tennis Grand Prix event at Queenswood School.

* Joseph Rose-Grey, Ben Stevenson and Luke Howe made their first appearances for the club and along with Joseph Osborne came back from Potters Bar with a 4-2 victory for the boys' under-12 team as it begins its campaign to defend the Hertfordshire Junior League title.

The girls' under-12 team and under-16 teams have also got off to winning starts with victories over Berkhamsted and Wheathampstead respectively.

* The Letchworth Junior Open Tennis Tournament will run from August 4-8 at Letchworth Sports and Tennis Club.

The event is supported by the LTA and includes tournaments at under-10, 12, 14, 16 and 18 age groups. The tournament is open to all junior players, whatever their ranking or rating.

All competitions will play at least two singles matches. New competitors are especially welcome.

* Letchworth welcomed players from all over England to the inaugural Hertfordshire Racketlon Open - the latest stop in the 2008 British Racketlon Tour.

Racketlon combines the games of table tennis, badminton, squash and tennis in one sport and players are required to switch between all four disciplines in one match.

Some of Britain's finest players came to Letchworth to take part and boost their rankings ahead of August's English Open.

The tournament also served as an introduction to the sport for many local players.

British number five James Greenhead of London won the elite men's A event, beating Simon Whale of Berkhamsted in the final.

Whale had overcome pre-tournament favourite Jermaine Manners in the semi-final.

Jermaine's father Wingrove Manners was an extremely impressive winner in the men's over-45s category, beating local favourite John Bennet at all four games in the final.

Bennet proved he is no slouch by battling through to the final of the men's C event for newcomers to the sport or lower-ranked players. However, Bennet suffered further disappointment losing to arch-rival John Davies, Letchworth men's captain.

Club coach James Thomas was unlucky to come up against Jonathan Healey in the first round of the men's B event, with Healey going on to dominate the event. First-timer Thomas bounced back to win the consolation draw.

In the ladies' singles, Letchworth's Natasha Pitman and Luton's Liz Bennett were both victorious over Britain number three Dominique Ford.

Bennett showed enormous promise in her first racketlon event and was close to upsetting tournament winner Pitman, Letchworth women's captain.

Bennett's son Charlie was the proud winner of the boys' 13U event, while Helen Harbon showed all-round excellence to become the tournament's girls' champion.

Darko Butina, a member of the squash section of the club and a former table tennis star, comfortably won the men's 55 singles event.

* Letchworth's mini orange and green teams made it a clean sweep of the county mini tennis titles with exhilarating victories at the county league finals at Queenswood School.

This follows the success of Letchworth's mini red team in the Herts Winter Team League in March.

With the help of the fifth team member Shimmy Osindero, the orange's route to the final was straightforward, only losing one rubber to Legends and convincingly beating Buntingford, Odyssey and Royston in the group stages.

On the day of the finals, the team of Ed Wilsher, Sean Blyth, Danielle Latter and Kate Newby faced Batchwood High Performance Centre in the semis and won through to take their place in a final against a strong team from Gosling HPC.

The match was tied at three rubbers apiece and Letchworth won by just one point on countback.

The Greens had a more convincing victory on finals day but in the group stages it was much closer and a much larger team effort.

Team members that helped get the Greens to the final included Joe Riant, Sam Tomlinson, Richard Poulter and Coralie Spearman. In the group stages the greens beat Legends 7-3, Odyssey 7-3, Royston 9-1 and Sawbridgeworth 6-4.

The team for the finals day was Harry Turner, Robert Lankester, Alice Turner and Daniela Fort and they started the day facing Harpenden 2 in the semis.

The final was against Harpenden, albeit now their stronger first team, but Letchworth won all four singles and clinched a 5-1 victory.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter