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News > Alumni News > Tennis Throwback to summer of 1959

Tennis Throwback to summer of 1959

No Wimbledon this year; instead, courtesy of a team member's Facebook post earlier in the year, we take readers of that vintage back to the summer of 1959.
College 1st VI, 1959
College 1st VI, 1959
Inspired by the fact that we should all be engrossed in the television coverage of a sunny Wimbledon fortnight and by the said photograph of the 1959 College VI, we take readers of the era back to extracts from Frank Swallow's review of the 1959 season published in the College magazine of January 1960.

                1st VI: Played 10    Won 6    Lost 3   Drawn 1
'The season has been enjoyable and successful: a combination of good weather, better playing facilities, and an improved all-round standard of play. Once the early teething troubles were over, the Beechlands courts proved excellent, although they required a considerable amount of upkeep during the prolonged dry weather. Their use has meant thirty, or so, boys could play regularly and also that matches were not so prolonged as in previous years when only two courts were available at Park Avenue.

As the record shows, the results compare quite favourably with other years, and in achieving such good results we were fortunate in having seven players of ability, six of whom formed last year's team. 

J.N. Swift and P.M Cowans have again been the mainstay of the team as first pair. They played excellent tennis throughout the season, and one can find little fault with their play, apart from Cowan's relative slowness about the court and a tendency by both players to foot fault occasionally. They will be greatly missed, for both have contributed much in other ways. Cowan has shared the somewhat thankless task of Secretary with J.N. Dawber, and Swift has again captained the team with considerable success. He set a fine example as a player, and showed firmness as captain. I am indebted to him for his helpful co-operation during the past two years.

A. Buck and P.F. Marriott proved a useful second pair, and have matured considerably as the season progressed. Buck in particular has developed rapidly: his service has improved, he returns service well, and his agility and retrieving are a joy to watch.

At the beginning of the season Dawber and H. Kopsch played as third pair, but after a few matches Kopsch was replaced by J.S. Bale who was showing greater steadiness. He proved a useful foil to the erratic Dawber who has all the natural gifts of a good tennis player, but whose lack of concentration and failure to appreciate a situation frequently led to his downfall.

Apart from the Rossall fixture all the matches against schools were won convincingly, and in fact the Rossall match was a much closer affair than last year. Against older, and presumably wiser opposition however, the team wilted somewhat and did not play as well as they might. One feels that there is at times a case for hitting one's way out of trouble and playing a natural game, rather than resorting to the tentative kind of play which often results from being out-generalled.'

      And where would  generations of games players at the College have been, as so many will fondly remember, without the "mums"?

'The excellence of the teas and the willingness with which mothers come along with unfailing regularity to arrange them has always been a particularly pleasant aspect of College sport. We are therefore especially indebted to Mrs. Swift and Mrs. Cowan, and wish them to know that their efforts over the past two years are greatly appreciated.'

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