Sidmouth Tennis Club teams celebrate a superb campaign

The Sidmouth men's A team after winning the Exeter and District Winter League Division Two title. Pi

The Sidmouth men's A team after winning the Exeter and District Winter League Division Two title. Picture SIDMOUTH TENNIS CLUB - Credit: Archant

In a winter season of mixed results for the six teams entered in their respective leagues from Sidmouth Tennis Club, the men’s A team, captained by Martin Truman, topped the Division Two table batting aside their nearest rivals by a massive 24 points, writes Vici Topping.

The core team of Truman, his son Ollie, Eliot King and Alfie Flatters, aided and abetted by Greg Ship, Jed Ionov-Flint, Chris Woodruff and Mark Heywood, now find themselves facing the crème-de-la-creme of East Devon Tennis next season in Division One!

Indeed, it is a fitting ‘au revoir’ to youngsters Ollie and Eliot for whom this was their last season as they head off to university.

Let’s hope they have more success in the top echelons than the ladies’ A team, who found the step up to Division One this past winter season as something more than a giant leap!

The team, captained by Marlene Maynard with players Jackie Ensall, Kate Truman and Vici Topping, ably supported by Debbie Snelgrove, Hazel Bromhead and Sharon O’Brien always knew that it would be tough.

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In spite of battling courageously, they are very happy to be returning ‘home’ to Division Two next season, taking with them some hard-earned experience, not to mention some bruised egos!

On the other hand, the ladies’ B team and the men’s B teams were more successful, ending their campaigns at the number two spot in Division Two and the number three berth in Division Three respectively.

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The ladies’ team, captained by Viv Bess, of Debbie Snelgrove, Lesley Cranston, Hilary Caldwell and Fiona Rudgard, ended only four points adrift of the winners and it remains to be seen whether they are promoted next season.

The men’s B team, with Bob Hefill at the helm and Brett Watson, Jed Ionov-Flint, Greg Shipp, Martin Dawes, John Clarke, George Buttigieg, Mike Fletcher and Greg Pepper supporting, were happy to conclude their inaugural winter effort mid-table after a season which saw them trek as far away as Okehampton.

Indeed, travel was on the agenda for ladies’ C team, captained by Frances Ionov, and players Gill Hodge, Gris Shipp, Alison Stephens, Jenny Parry, Mary Bray, Norah McAndrew and Sally Rex, who visited the far flung courts of Teign Valley, Okehampton and Bovey Tracey, to name but a few.

Luckily, with the club caterer Gill Hodge on board, they didn’t lack for sustenance on their long journeys and ended their season Division Three in fifth place.

Finally, the club’s mixed team, captained by Debbie Snelgrove, and players Martin Truman, Brett Watson, Greg Shipp, Jed Ionov-Flint, Mark Heywood and Vici Topping, went to the wire in Division Three of the East Devon Tennis League with the final match deciding the top three places.

It was an exciting end to what had been a really successful season but, sadly, with promotion at stake, Sidmouth’s opposition in the final game brought out the ‘big guns’, and the team ended a very respectable third, finishing just three points off second place.

All in all, with so many players stepping up to take part in competitions, and the addition of a further mixed team next season, Sidmouth Tennis Club goes from strength to strength.

Indeed, it is especially rewarding to see so many young players taking their place alongside more experienced campaigners and this, along with an increasing membership, bodes well for a successful summer season ahead. New members are always made very welcome and anyone interested can contact the club via their website at

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