Snelgrove and Benson win inaugural Sam Marriott Cup

The runners-up Debbie Marriott and Jed Ionov-Flint together with the winners Taine Benson and Debbie

The runners-up Debbie Marriott and Jed Ionov-Flint together with the winners Taine Benson and Debbie Snelgrove following the final in the Sam Marriott Cup played at Sidmouth Tennis Club - Credit: Archant

There was a fabulous turnout for the annual Senior/Junior tournament held at Sidmouth Tennis Club which, this year, was dedicated to the memory of junior member Sam Marriott, who tragically lost his life in February, writes Kate Truman.

The informal doubles tournament, in which junior members team up with an adult, saw 15 teams compete in a round-robin knock-out for their chance to become inaugural title holders of the new Sam Marriott Memorial Cup.

Amongst those playing were family members, Debbie, Chris and Kate Marriott, who demonstrated that Sam’s aptitude for tennis is clearly something that runs in the genes!

Debbie Marriott’s partner, Don, and Chris Marriott’s partner, Laurie, also competed in the tournament.

In fact, Debbie and her junior partner, Jed Ionov-Flint, made it all the way through to the final, but couldn’t quite do enough to thwart the passage of Debbie Snelgrove and her junior partner, Taine Benson, who proved to be the dream team of the day and deserved champions.


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Sam’s best friend Tom Robbins, also played in the tournament and was paired up with Sam’s sister, Kate.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon of tennis, topped off by well-earned refreshments at the annual summer barbeque. Proceeds from the event, which included a cake sale and raffle, totaled £352 and are being donated to Sam’s favourite charity, Hosanna House and Children’s Pilgrimage Trust.

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Commenting on the day, club chairman Peter Fung said: “We played tennis through cloud and rain but, fittingly, at the end of the afternoon the sun came out.

“There was a lovely atmosphere and it was so good to have Sam’s family taking part. I’m sure Sam would have been pleased to see so many enjoying themselves at his event.

On behalf of the club, I’d like to thank Debbie Snelgrove (junior Co-ordinator), Marlene Maynard (social secretary), Gill Hodggen (catering), Julie Clayden (bar), all raffle prize donators (including Dukes, Seabreaze, Hairhub and the fudge shop), all those who baked and bought cakes, and everyone who supported the event!”

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