Five members of the IRTA travelled to England to play at three Real Tennis Clubs. We first visited Canford, near Bournemouth, where we were warmly met by the Head Pro, Steve Ronaldson. The day began with a beginners' lesson and continued with games between Canford Tennis Club members and the IRTA players. A second lesson took place later on in the day. One of our IRTA members resident in England travelled to Canford in order to participate in the match. A lovely lunch was prepared for our benefit and use of the club was ours until we eventually had to leave in order to travel to our second destination. A number of the party also took the opportunity to walk through the extensive grounds of Canford School and admire the beautiful buildings.

Blanchardstown Gazette, 23 March 2008, p. 89
Press cutting

Our second port of call was Bristol and Bath Tennis Club. Kevin King, the Head Pro, was most welcoming and ensured that the beginners of the group were first on the court for an early lesson. Again there was a second lesson in the afternoon. A series of games was played between the Bristol and Bath Tennis Club and the IRTA. Three IRTA members resident in other parts of England travelled to take part in the fixture. One of the Bristol-based IRTA members, Barbara Coates, laid on an excellent meal for the players and supporters, and some of the travelling party did some local sightseeing, making a quick visit to the nearby Clifton Suspension Bridge in the spring sunshine.

On the Saturday evening we left Bristol and travelled south to Dorset, where we were the guests of Antony Brown, an IRTA member who plays at The Hyde Real Tennis Club. We were welcomed most generously by the Browns and their neighbour Lois Pearson and although on Sunday morning we woke to find the countryside snow-covered, we were soon on our way to the beautiful court at The Hyde Real Tennis Club, in Bridport. As at the other two clubs, the day commenced with a lesson for the (rapidly improving!) beginners with the pro, in this case Ben Ronaldson. The beginners' lesson was followed by matches between The Hyde and the IRTA. The snow had melted by the time we arrived at the court, but the comfort of the dedans was enhanced by the lighting of a fire (how many courts feature a fireplace in the dedans?!). We once again enjoyed a tremendous meal, and later in the day there was the opportunity for some doubles before the time came to set off for Bournemouth Airport and an evening flight back to Dublin.

An enjoyable time was had by the five members of the IRTA who were lucky enough to go on this trip. We extend our sincerest thanks to each club for their warm welcome and accommodation of the IRTA and look forward to returning some time in the future.

— Rebecca Broderick


Match results

IRTA V Canford

  1. Brendan Doherty and Rebecca Broderick coached by Steve Ronaldson
  2. Kárlis Zauers and David Lowry lost to Ian Fowler and Nicholas Roberts (4-6/6-4/4-6)
  3. Roland Budd beat Julian Camp (5-6/6-4/6-5)
  4. Kárlis Zauers beat Ian Fowler (8-3)
  5. Brendan Doherty lost to Dan Endlar (4-6/4-6)
  6. Richard Marmoy drew with Julian Camp 4-6/6-4
  7. David Lowry beat Peter Killen (10-7)

IRTA V Bristol

  1. Brendan Doherty and Rebecca Broderick coached by Kevin King
  2. David Lowry lost to Barbara Coates (7-8)
  3. Kárlis Zauers beat Peter Probyn (8-4)
  4. John Previte lost to Eleanor Beale (5-8)
  5. Roland Budd lost to Phil Dunn (4-8)
  6. David Lowry and Brendan Doherty lost to Barbara Coates and Patrick Mesquita (4-6)
  7. Rebecca coached by Kevin King
  8. Aldona Greenwood lost to Richard Marmoy (4-8)
  9. John Previte and Brendan Doherty lost to Patrick Mesquita and Alex Mullan (5-8)
  10. David Lowry and Kárlis Zauers beat Peter Probyn and Nick Ponsford (8-7)
  11. Roland Budd and Aldona Greenwood lost to Patrick Dunn and Richard Marmoy (3-8)

IRTA V The Hyde

  1. Brendan Doherty and Rebecca coached by Ben Ronaldson
  2. Roland Budd beat Jamie Turner (2-6/6-0/6-5)
  3. Kárlis Zauers beat Mark Brinson (8-2)
  4. David Lowry beat Anthony Brown (8-1)
  5. Roland Budd and David Lowry beat Jamie Turner and Mark Brinson (6-4)
  6. Anthony Brown and Brendan Doherty beat Rebecca and Kárlis Zauers (6-3)
  7. Anthony Brown and David Lowry lost to Kárlis Zauers and Mark Brinson (5-6)

— Thanks to Kárlis Zauers for match results