Huge thanks to Penny Kent for gathering our excellent team of Old Girls for this annual fixture against the School. For the first time in my memory, we had the luxury of three reserves and so were able to mix players in. Many thanks to all who took part making for a fun afternoon of tennis up on the Kings Courts.
It was agreed with the School that we would try a new format to coordinate match timings better and have more of a chance to catch up with each other. Each of the 6 pairs played 2 matches each, and this year each match was played to a set time. The system worked well and meant that we were able to chat over the now famously delicious match tea provided by the School! Thank you to the School for keeping up this tradition!
Another new development was the fact that we all sported a new green team shirt in the hope we might look more of a team and the colour harking back (though somewhat brighter!) to the bygone green of the old Girls School uniform. (Wicking tops though - not airtex! -remember those?!) Very many thanks to the Old Berkhamstedians for providing funding for these shirts. Unfortunately, no sooner had we stripped down to these shirts for the team photo than it started to drizzle and, with the breeze, it was so chilly we all had to cover them up again! But we were fortunate to be able to complete the match and enjoy the tea, for no sooner had we all dispersed than the heavens opened!
Very many thanks to Jo Vila who had quite a challenge to find 12 players to play for the school this year as it was a Bank Holiday weekend and came in the middle of Year 12 exams. In the end she only had 11 players which meant we lent Emma Butcher who is both an OB and current staff member to play for the school. Emma quickly switched back into her school blue shirt – and we thank her for being so flexible at the last minute.
The Old Girls team comprised: Jo Hodge (Bellamy) (OS '94) with Penny Kent (Hon) for one match switching to play with her partner from Schooldays and new member of our squad, Sarah Beaman (Stoddart) (Ho '94) for the second match; Tracey Mackey (Overton) (NS '81) and Brigitta Case (Norris) (NS '80); Bridget Evett (Chown) and Isla Stewart (Bu '97); Annabel Green (Kingston) (Ho '88) and Natasha Hathaway (Bottrill) (Bu '89); Tanya Hart (Altman) (Bu '81) who played a set with Gillian Baxter (Hewitt) (Ha '82) and one with Rona Westgate; Eleanor Keohane (Sc '90) and Hilary Hartley (Hon).
The School’s first pair, Emma Savage and Sofia Wise proved too strong for the Old Girls winning both their matches, but the relative youth of the school team (3 players were in Years 7 & 8) and absence of some of their top players gave us the advantage and the overall result was a big win for the Old Girls – retaining the Tucker Cup for another year.
The rest of the School team comprised Isla Duguid, Lily Bhagrath, Heather Norris, Amelie Spooner, Maddie Keohane, Molly Light, Georgia Wise, Helena Ullyatt and Georgie Hughes.
Finally, thanks to Sue Wolstenholme for supporting us all and for refereeing so wonderfully and to Vicky Rees for helping in the organisation of this event and for being photographer in chief.