Parks Cup 2021 report

The BHPLTA Parks Cup Final competition reached a successful conclusion with a well-attended and keenly-contested event on Saturday at a warm and sunny Queens Park Tennis Club.

Helen Almond of Hove Park demonstrated remarkable skills and stamina by contesting three finals – ladies singles, doubles and mixed doubles – and winning them all.

Helen Almond with her singles, doubles and mixed doubles Parks Cup trophies

Helen defeated Io Kaloudi in the singles, won the doubles with Lucy Chadburn, and then secured the mixed with Josh Pollard, all in straight sets. See full results below.

See Parks Cup 2021 photo gallery here. Photos by Neil Stoddart.

Picking up three titles in one day is a rare event in Parks League history. According to preliminary checks, that has not been achieved since Lorraine Paterson in 1994. Mike Jenner, current BHPLTA chairman, is believed to be the last man to do so, achieving the ‘treble’ in 1973.

Mark Weaver, right, wins the Parks Cup mens singles final

We have a new mens singles champion! Mark Weaver of King Alfred’s defeated reigning champ Seb Puga (Dyke) in an epic three set mens singles final. Seb, the winner of this event for the last four years, promised to be back to reclaim his title in 2022. Mark also won the mens doubles with Kisoran Moodley.

Congratulations to Amanda Tickel and Nick Saxon who won the Mixed Vets, and to Florent Eveque, winner of the Mens Singles Plate.

“In terms of quality, this was the best Parks Cup Finals Day I have ever seen,” said Mick Cox of BHPLTA.

The event drew a large crowd to Queens Park Tennis Club for the event. Thanks to tournament organisers Paul Wheeler, and for the volunteer match officials.

PARKS CUP FINALS RESULTS 2021 : Saturday 24 July, 2021

Ladies Singles:

Helen Almond def Io Kaloudi 6-1, 7-6

Mens Singles:

Mark Weaver def Seb Puga 6-2, 2-6, 6-3

Ladies Doubles:

Helen Almond/Lucy Chadburn def Nicola Weaver/Jenny Davis 6-1, 6-3

Mens Doubles:

Kisoran Moodley/Mark Weaver def. Seb Puga/Rob Bromley 6-2, 6-2

Mixed Doubles:

Helen Almond/Josh Pollard def Antonia Charalambous/Chris Mitchell 7-5, 6-3

Mixed Vets:

Amanda Tickel/Nick Saxon def. Rose Hetherton/Andy Knights 6-1, 6-1

Mens Singles Plate:

Florent Eveque def Jonathan Scriven 6-2, 6-1

Parks League 2020 Suspended

The Brighton & Hove Parks LTA regrets to announce that the 2020 Parks League season, due to start Tuesday 14 April, will be postponed.

All matches and fixtures for the 2020 season are suspended until further notice.

The 2020 Parks Cup, the BHPLTA’s annual knock out tennis competition, is also suspended.

BHPLTA will continue to monitor the situation, and to explore options for hosting a shortened or compressed 2020 competition if circumstances allow, and with the agreement of all clubs.

Tournament director Mick Cox says: “This is a momentous decision – the first time our competition has not gone ahead since 1945. We’ve had a few bumps over the decades, but nothing quite like this. We do not know how long lockdown/restrictions/convid-19 will last but it will obviously be for quite a time yet.”

“I don’t think there is any chance of having a ‘competitive’ season this year. A lot depends on how many players join their respective clubs this summer, and we know that – understandably – numbers are down.”

“We will look again at the situation in May. I hope that, at the very least, the End of Season club competition will take place in September 2020 as planned. But we’ll have to see.”

BHPLTA’s Conrad Brunner says: “This was coming, but last night’s directive from the government to close all public tennis courts rather made our decision for us. Until yesterday, recreational tennis was allowed and even encouraged where social distancing was responsibly applied. But the position has now changed, and today parks courts are closing all over Sussex. Clearly, the 2020 Parks League season cannot go ahead in these circumstances, which is hugely disappointing.”

Tennis Sussex has already suspended its winter and summer county leagues.

The BHPLTA would like to wish best of health to all our players and their families. Follow the government directions. Wash your hands, don’t go out, and take care, because the Parks League will be back, and stronger than ever.

Happier Days: 2019 End Of Season tournament

Parks Courts Closed

Following last night’s government statement, it is now clear that all parks courts in Brighton & Hove will be closed for the next three weeks, at least.

While people are allowed to enjoy an hour’s outdoor exercise a day, the government is keen to avoid any grouping of more than two people, indoors or outdoors.

Alongside the PM’s statement, the government released a document outlining in further detail what this means for parks tennis (and other activities), and the instruction is clear. They are ordering the courts to close. See details here:

Last week, the Government ordered certain businesses including pubs,cinemas and theatresto close. The Government is now extending this requirement to a further set of businesses and other venues, including:

● all non-essential retail stores-this will include clothing and electronics stores; hair, beauty and nail salons; and outdoor and indoor markets, excluding food markets.
● libraries, community centres, and youth centres.
● indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, arcades and soft play facilities.
● communal places within parks, such as playgrounds, sports courts and outdoor gyms

Freedom Of Movement: Parks League 2022

Pick a team. Any team.

Most players don’t need to think about which team they will be representing next season. They have turned out for their club for years, sometimes decades. But from time to time players change clubs for various reasons: they move house; they change partners; they find their path to glory blocked by selection issues; they want a change of scenery.

Switching from one club to another is a normal and natural part of the Brighton & Hove Parks League. In fact, it should be encouraged in order to balance demand between the 11 clubs so as many players as possible can enjoy Parks League tennis.

While some clubs are at maximum capacity, others need new players to keep their teams afloat. Since clubs select from the top down (so first team gets first choice, second team gets second choice, etc) that means that the captains’ job of putting teams together gets harder as you go down the divisions.

This is particularly true in the 4th Division, where matches are much more likely to be conceded due to lack of numbers.

That is why the BHPLTA is encouraging players – especially lower division players who cannot get a game – to shop around in order to secure regular matches over the summer. Here is a list of clubs looking for players ahead of the 2021 season.

“‘Freedom of movement’ is good for the Parks League,” says Conrad Brunner. “It makes sense to encourage players from ‘bigger’ clubs to play matches for ‘smaller’ clubs, otherwise they risk not playing at all. Keeping numbers up across the board reduces the volume of conceded matches, and gets more people involved, which is good for the League as a whole.

“Of course, the ‘smaller’ clubs may then – over time – grow into ‘bigger’ clubs, helped by having full teams.”

Jon Lightbody adds: “Although players can only be registered to play for one team over a season, they can be members of more than one club. This means that a person who, say, isn’t getting many games with their chosen club can join a second club and play for them whilst still enjoying the benefits of their original membership.”

“There are bigger clubs which can put together a sixth or even a seventh team, but the preference of the BHPLTA is to spread participation among as many clubs as possible,” says League Secretary Mick Cox.

Finally, we should also point out that according to the BHPLTA rules, there is an option of a midseason transfer: “A player may transfer from one club to another. Applications shall be made in writing to the League Competition and Registration Secretary by the player and shall be payable by the Secretaries of the two clubs concerned. A further registration fee shall be payable to the Association Treasurer. No transferred player shall be eligible to play in the League matches until re-registered for seven days. No new players or transfers shall be granted after the Sunday before the last 4 weeks of the official season (week 15).”

So looking ahead to 2022, our advice is – shop around! Details here.

Stat Attack: 2019 Season

Who won 18 out of 18 matches? (clue: it’s not Seb Puga)
Who are the Killer Pairs from the Summer of 2019?
Full House: which players completed the full 18 matches?
Zero Concessions: Our Top Captains

Seb Puga, 17/18 for Dyke in 2019

So Dyke won the 2019 Parks League. Well done to that well led (Sebastian Puga) and well supported (Claire Anderson and Cy Pollard) unit. You were the best.

But the toppermost position is just one small detail of a long and busy summer of Parks League tennis in Brighton & Hove. Thanks to the labours of Jon Lightbody, of BHPLTA and Park Avenue, we have a treasure trove of player data to share, the result of many long nights Jon spent inputting match scores into his very own Magic Stat Machine.

What started as a team game has been carefully broken down by our Jon into cold hard player-by-player data for your perusal. Check out the Division 1 most wins table below, topped by Puga and Queens’ Katie Moorman. You can read more about Katie’s tennis journey here. With four Dyke players inside the top seven – all hail Jo Marlow, Rob Bromley, Emily London and Seb – it’s not hard to see how Dyke won the title.

Div 1 2019: Most Wins

Only one player had a 100 per cent winning record in Div 1. Step forward Brett McDonald of Park Avenue, who has the enviable record of played four, won four. Brett, we don’t know if your captain wants to kiss you or throttle you.

While Seb is our undoubted 2019 Most Valuable Player, his single loss in doubles (6-2, 6-4 to the Park Avenue pair of MacDonald and Max Laing) means he was NOT the winningest player in the Parks League last season. Step forward Daniel Curtis of Hove C who illuminated the summer with a perfect record: played 18, won 18. Daniel was the rock on which Hove built their Div 2 title victory, sharing the credit with his various partners – William Defabre, Lucy Chadburn, Pam Martin, and Jessica Pither – who either clung to his coat-tails or pushed him across the line, depending on who you ask.

Talking of 100 per cent records, Jon has uncovered all the ‘perfect’ scores in the four divisions. For the sake of fairness we are going to skip over the hit’n run one-match bandits (where do you find them Hove?) and concentrate on those who played a minimum of 10 full matches. It’s quite a list:

2019 Season: The 100 Per Cent Club

(There are, or course, quite a few players with 100 per cent records in the, er, wrong direction, but moving swiftly on…)

In the Premier League, only a tiny number of players play every match of an entire season, but they tend to be the rock-solid, go-to players every manager prays for (Virgil Van Dyke, David De Gea). So credit to our 2019 Parks League performers with 100 per cent attendance records, you absolute beauties. It’s a small but exclusive club:

Charlie Brown, Queens, D1, 18 matches
Phillipe Biddulph, Blakers D2, 18 matches
Daniel Curtis, Hove D3, 18 matches
Seb Puga, Dyke, D1, 18 matches
Jenny Matthews, Saltdean, 18 matches

Charlie Brown of Queens: 18 consecutive matches

As well as individual wins, we do of course recognise that it’s a team game. Jon has compiled some excellent pairs scores results – but it takes a while to go through them all, so we’ve done it for you. In 2018, Queens won the Div 1 title on the back of a women’s pairing – Wendy Powell & Brenda Maguire – who completed a perfect 18/18, 100 per cent season. No doubles pair achieved that in 2019, but a couple came close. Here are the 2019 top performers:

7 wins
Jeff Taylor & Fiona Lishman, Park Avenue
Wendy Powell & Brenda Maguire, Queens
Andy Russell & Yvette Seaton, Dyke A
Siobhan McLoughlin & Mirander Lowe, Dyke C & D

8 wins
Jacob Chadwick & Katie Moorman, Queens
Angela Bruce & Sonali Fernando, Dyke D & E

9 wins
Seb Puga & Jo Marlow, Dyke

11 wins
Edward Kear & Spencer Phillips, Stanford A
Eric Dugard & Sandra Dugard, Hove D & E

Don’t mess with the Dugards: 11 wins for Hove D & E
Well done Cap’n

Conceded matches are, let’s face it, not unheard of when it comes to Parks League fixtures. As team captains will tell you, it can be incredibly tough delivering four men and four women to an agreed destination every week, April to August. Messages are missed. Excuses are made. Words are said. And, worst of all, some people actually think it’s okay to take holiday during the tennis season, for shame. So let’s put a positive spin on this, and celebrate the 2019 Parks League captains who soldiered through last summer without a single concession. O Captain! My Captain! You are the master of communication and the dark arts of persuasion.

Dyke – Seb Puga
Dyke C – Phil Brady
Dyke D – Phil Brady
Dyke E – Laurence Poulton
Hove – Steve Milonas
Hove B – Jason Pither
Hove C – John Bell
Hove D – Sue Sinclair
Hove E – Kevin Bromley
King Alfred – Andy Knights
Queens – Jacob Chadwick
Queens D – Barbara Michael
Saltdean – Andy Mullins
Saltdean B – Steve Bye

Respect to Hove who put out six teams and came up with just one single concession between them. I’m sure it was plain sailing, right?

That’s all for now. More gold digging in 2020.

“You’re probably wondering why I asked you all here…”
  • Conrad Brunner

New Fixtures, New Database

The fixtures for the 2019 Parks League, including Divisions 1, 2, 3 & 4, are now available online via the Brighton & Hove Parks League website.

Many thanks to Mick Cox for patiently figuring out a workable fixtures programme for the forthcoming tennis season.

Thanks also to webmaster Russell Hill, who has successfully created and tested a tailor-made Parks League results database.

“Russell has done a fantastic job on the new database. We may be one of the oldest city leagues in the country, but we’re ready to embrace new technology that best serves our 650 Parks League players,” said Conrad Brunner, responsible for BHPLTA communications.

Russell explains: “The new database has been configured so that fixtures and results now link Home team vs Away team..  This gives us the flexibility to display fixtures and results in several ways.  On the home page you will see the next upcoming fixture for each division.  On the fixtures page you will see all remaining fixtures for the current season so that you don’t have to scroll through past fixtures to see what events are coming up.

“The home team for each fixture now links to that team’s BHPLTA page where you will find contact details for the club and a map.

“The results page will now have two views – a fixture table, showing results for team vs team and a points table, so that you can easily see how many points a team scored on a particular week.”

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