The ninth annual men’s match between the Senior Lawn Tennis Club and the Dutch Veterans Club was played for the first time in Birmingham at Edgbaston Priory Club on 28-30 November 2014
The Dutch team play together regularly at a central venue in Almere near to Amsterdam, whilst the GB team was widely drawn from around England with two representatives of the host Club, Alan Purnell and Tony King.
The players were able to experience the excellent new indoor centre at Edgbaston where the six plexipave courts were available for the match.
The match was played over three days for the first time, in order to fit in with travel times from Holland and to spread the pressure of four consecutive matches.
Traditionally the match is played between eight players from each side, playing singles and doubles twice, making a total of 24 matches over the weekend. However the home side needed to recruit some reserves to fill spaces in the team due to other commitments. The Dutch were perhaps right to suggest that the match was not 8v8 but 8 v 12!!
Each side had chosen its team from available seniors in the age group 55-75 and both sides were well represented with current and past international players as well as world champions.
The Friday matches consisted of eight singles, which were keenly contested with 6 out of the 8 matches going to a third set tiebreak. Match of the day was between two internationals and resulted in a win by Godfrey Evans over the No 1 Dutch player Rob Meusse by 10/8 in the third set tie break. At the end of the first day the score stood at four all.
After the match the players enjoyed dinner at the Blue Piano restaurant in Edgbaston. On Saturday we played eight singles and four doubles. After four singles the overall score was still level but GB won the four second round singles to set up a four match lead which was never lost. The doubles in the afternoon were well contested and resulted in two wins to each side. The best match was won by the Dutch pairing of Peter Blaas (former world doubles champion) and Marcel Boerma over Henk Nijeboer (World Singles finalist) and Norman Church by 10/4 in the third set tiebreak.
On Saturday evening the teams enjoyed an excellent Christmas dinner at Edgbaston Priory. By Sunday the GB team had an unassailable lead of four matches with only four doubles to play. In the event the doubles were shared leaving the GB team victorious by 14 matches to 10.
At lunch in the clubhouse the Cup was presented to Alan Purnell the GB captain by Hans Bronkhorst the Dutch team captain and it was resolved to meet again for the 10th match in Holland in 2015.
Both teams were appreciative of the facilities at Edgbaston Priory Club and the excellent service provided by the staff.