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Tuesday, December 23, 2008


The Oratory team of Pam and Tim Tomalin, Mike Box, David Fox and Alan Wagner were treated to excellent hospitality at Leamington on the last Saturday before Xmas.
Lunch was served in the splendid Club dining room with silver and fine bone china: shepherd's pie and seasonal vegetables followed by jam roly poly and custard and washed down with fine wine. Mr "three puddings" Wagner expressed himself very satisfied with proceedings.  Some tennis was also played..........
The day began with Tim and Pam in good form and makng an excellent start however they were pipped at the post in a three game set.  David and Mike were on next and managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in a closely fought three game set which went to the final point.  It was now after 1 p.m. and we were late for lunch. Alan stormed into an impressive lead but caused mild consterrnation when his opponent turned up the pressure with a 4:1 lead;  were we ever going to eat?  The thought of those puddings obviously spurred him on and Alan brought the first half's play to a successful close.  We will not dwell on the post-lunch play as the Oratory teaml might have been better taking a well earned nap in the comfortable lounge.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Mike Box, Match Manager

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Match report - Oratory 4 Beat Holyport - Nat'l League Div 7

Scott Levy  lost to  Simon Booker  5/6 6/3 5/6

Jill Newby  beat  Gordon Robertson  6/0 6/3

Nick Pellew  lost to  Simon Street  6/1 3/6 4/6

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas News

Included in this newsletter this month is the details on the Gordon Bennett Trophy, Club handicap doubles, Christmas Eve Doubles and some other bits and bobs!!

Gordon Bennett Trophy – Father and Son’s

Final entries are now being taken for the Father and Son’s (Parent and offspring) on the weekend of 3rd/4th January. We have a very strong field already with over 12 pairs taking part. The draw will be done this weekend, and it is hoped to have a Sunday morning group, so if anybody has a preference on playing time, please let me know.

Club Handicap Doubles

The closing date for the Handicap Doubles will be the Friday the 2nd January. I have spoken to many people and they are starting to pair up for the tournament over the 10/11/12th January. It is hoped to have a Friday night group for this event, so again, if this was to suit please get in touch.

Christmas Draw

Once again this year we have the club Christmas Draw. The prize this year is a limited edition Rob Fahey signature racket. The squares are priced at £5 each, if you would like us to put your name down, then let me know, and we can square up next time you are in the club. This draw is one of the very few fundraising events where the money goes straight to the club, so please help out and buy a square.

Christmas Eve Doubles

Our annual Christmas Eve doubles will be taking place again this year on Wednesday the 24th from 9am until 1pm. Mince pies and champagne will be available for a final catch up before Christmas. This event is just a turn up on the day, hopefully we will see a good number of you there.

Opening Hours

If anybody would like to book a court over the weekend of 27/28th December, please call the club to book a court, as opposed to using the online system please, this will help us with organising our staff schedules.


Finally, all the staff at the Sports Centre would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year. Hopefully we will see you all at some point on court before now and New Year.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Oratory and Radley Friendly Doubles

To Watch in HIGH Quality "Double Click" this video and you will go to YouTube where you can select "Watch in High Quality" for the full Real Tennis experience !

Sunday, November 30, 2008

2009 Night Pennant champions are Cathy's Can-Cans!

The 2009 Night Pennant champions are Cathy's Can-Cans!

Wednesday night's final was very exciting as it was either team's match right up to the very last game. There was lots of hearty barracking and excellent tennis.

Geri's Jitterbugs shimmied around the court with grace and precision but were ultimately no match for the high-kicking Can-Cans who claimed the trophy (second year running for Captain Cathy!)

Thank you very much to all who took part in this season's tournament; to my fellow captains, Cathy, Callum and Ross, who organised their teams for each match and provided lovely sandwiches and snacks, the loyal and faithful team members and the reserves who often turned out at very short notice.

Any comments or suggestions about the new format (incorporating the semi-final and final) would be very welcome including input from any non-pennanteers on what would attract them to take part next year.

Well done everyone!


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Fitness News

I just want to remind you about 'Ultimate Fitness Training'- my health and fitness blog. I have uploaded a great video from fellow exercise professional Paul Chek and an excellent article on how to keep fit on a busy schedule.
My new fitness recipe blog Food 4 Fitness has a recipe for a delicious tomato soup - an excellent post-exercise meal or something to warm you up on these chilly autumn days.
If you want to get the latest health and fitness news and views, special offers, exercise programs, videos and articles sent straight to your inbox then subscribe to my FREE e-newsletter.
Simply type your name and email address in to the boxes on the left hand side of the Ultimate Fitness Training home page and click submit. You will then have to confirm your subscription to receive my e-newsletter.

Yours in fitness...and tennis


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Mr Phipps demonstrates his squash skills ....

Tom Phipps "toying" with various opponents at the Oratory. If you haven't seen Tom play and you have played squash - you should. If it isn't in the nick its coming back ! Yes ... the music is inappropriate but its a great guitar solo ...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Club News - October 2008

Paul Knox and I would like to thank everyone for their fantastic support on the 9th October as we begun our National League campaign with a 7/0 victory over near neighbours Holyport. Paul defeated Charlotte Cornwallis 6/3 6/0, while I did things the Scottish way by coming from a set down, and 3/0 down in the 3rd to win 3/6 6/4 6/4. We strolled through the doubles 8/3 which sealed maximum points and put us top of the league!

Peter Harding won this years Howdle Singles North Division with the narrowest of victories over David Fox. Peter managed to squeeze through 1/4, 4/2, 4/3 in a very entertaining final.

The club notched up their second successive victory, this time at home to Hatfield. After an away victory over Hardwick, it was nice to see some different faces representing the club. Many thanks to Simon Street, Tony Bacon, Richard Crisp and the ever dependable Pam Tomalin for playing. A 3/2 victory was recorded with Tom Huelin winning the decisive rubber.

I was fortunate enough to make the final of my section in Cambridge where I was soundly beaten by home player Nick Brown in the final. I was more than happy with the way I played and hope to go one better next year. The club was well represented around the country with Adrian Fawcus, Peter Harding and Jules Lambert playing at Moreton Morrell, Richard Marmoy and David Sarson at Hatfield and the Tomalin’s and Tim Green playing in Holyport. Many thanks for everyone keeping up the good reputation of the Oratory.

As you may have noticed, courts are becoming very hard to come by as the season gets into full swing. We are looking for people to play early morning (7.30am onwards) as there are already a few who are keen for games at this time. Here is a reminder of the address for online bookings.

Pennant is in full swing with all teams having played their first matches. Ross’ Jitterbugs are leading the way thus far!!!!

A team from Cambridge will be travelling to play us on the above date. I will be away playing National League that weekend in Canford, and am looking for a match manager to organise the lunch etc. I will be able to sort the team before hand, but will not be around on the day. Thanks in advance.

During the school half term, the Sports Centre will be doing a sponsored swim in aid of the Air Ambulance trust for Thames Valley. We will be swimming 385 lengths of the school pool and all sponsors are greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Morning Courts @ The Oratory

Dear members,

The season is now well and truly upon us, and you may have found courts hard to come by.

There are now more and more people keen to play in the morning, and we are looking for people to register their interest in possibly playing early morning from 7.30 onwards. We currently have players of all standards playing in the morning, so if you would be interested in playing, please get in touch with Ross at the club.

Many thanks,

Sports Centre Team

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

August Newsletter

Dear Members,

I thought it would be good to update you on all the things that have happened recently and those that are not far around the corner and some other news.

I would you all to give a warm welcome to our new member of staff in the Sports Centre. Tom Phipps resides is Aylesbury and has a very strong squash and racket-ball background. Aged 22, Tom has already taken to Real Tennis quickly, and has settled in nicely with the rest of the team. Please introduce yourself to Tom next time you are in the club.


In the Hat Doubles – Saturday 6th September
There are a number of upcoming events in September for you to enter and come along and support. The season opener is the “In the hat” doubles which takes place on Saturday the 6th September. This tournament will take place on the Saturday only due to the LRTA’s Mothers and Daughters event the next day.
Oratory v Holyport – Sunday 14th September
The first inter-club match takes place at home against Holyport. We already have a number of people interested in the match, so please register your interest quickly to be involved.
Hardwick v Oratory – Sunday 21st September
The re-introduction of the Oxfordshire derby between Oratory and Hardwick is welcomed warmly onto the calendar for this season. As above, a number of people have put their names forward, so please get in touch if you would like to be involved.


The new system is now up and running and it’s great to see some members already taking advantage of it. You can still book as normal via telephone or by popping into the club; we thought it would be good to have this extra option of booking your courts. There will soon be a screen etc in the reception area of the club so you can view the booking sheet easily. If anybody has any queries about the system please get in touch with Ross at the club.


The new National League season is around the corner, and I now have the entry forms for the new season. Anybody who wishes to enter a team please get in touch ASAP so we can get ourselves organised. We are hoping to enter two teams into the 30-35 division, but we need the numbers, so please let me know if you would be available to play, even if it would be a limited amount of matches.


The Howdle Singles is slowly coming to its conclusion. We have the finalists in the North section, where Peter Harding will play David Fox. In the South section, we are still waiting on Andrew Woodward and Peter Buckley to play their quarter final match. Hopefully this match can be organised so we can push on with the rest of the draw. The other semi final is between Tim Green and Alan Wagner. If this match could also be organised, it would be greatly appreciated. It is hoped that we can play both the finals, along with the Club Championship final (Horatio Cary v William Maltby) on the same evening.


Some of the Summer League matches have taken place, however there are a number of leagues that are yet to kick off. I will send a separate email to the players in each group to remind of the players in your group.

To finish off, I hope everyone has had a good summer and is looking forward to the forthcoming tennis season. I feel this season is going to be a cracker. The club is entered into the Brodie Cup once again, and I am hoping that we can have a good run in the competition.

I’m looking forward to seeing you all on court soon.

Yours in tennis

Ross Brown

New Booking System Live !

Search for courts online and make bookings then add them to your Outlook calendar using the new online booking tool. LINK

Friday, June 20, 2008

World Championship Videos from YouTube

If like me you didn't make it to the finals here are some YouTube video footage from the World Championship.

Read the Match report HERE

Camden comments on the upcoming World Championship

3 videos of the final from the Australian crew - Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Friday, May 23, 2008

World Championship on French News

The world championships in Fontainbleu was screened on the French national news to 12m people! All still to play for on Saturday but the heat has moved from the champion to the challenger.,,3857232,00-deux-siecles-apres-retour-jeu-paume-.html

Monday, May 19, 2008

Tom's Blog

My new Blog, Ultimate Fitness Training is up and running and has got some great health and fitness ideas for members. Although not Real Tennis specific Ultimate Fitness Training has articles, recipies, exercises, workout ideas and special offers. Click here to check it out!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Chris Herbert takes Oratory Handicap Singles Title

Chris Herbert took the Oratory Club Handicap singles after see-saw final that saw him defeat Rod Birket 6-5. The scoreline however only tells a fraction of the story. Rod raced into a 5-1 lead with some great tennis and putting pressure on Chris to recover the handicap defecit. However, with the Rod in sight of victory Chris steadied himself and produced a marvellous display of controlled clinical tennis leveling the score at 5-all. An enthralling rest at 40-30 saw Chris complete the comeback of the championship and narrowly avoid a 5-all, 40-all nail biter.

Club Captain Colin Butler presented the trophy to a delighted Herbert and along with spectators posed for a final photograph with Bryn Sayers. This was Bryn's penultimate club event before leaving Oratory to persue his goals for the highest accolades in the professional game.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Study the Pros in Slow Motion

Strictly for the enthusiast , study the technique of professionals in slow motion. Rob Fahey , Nick Wood, Bry, Mark , Ross , Ricardo Smith , Chris Bray and Matty Ronaldson remind us mere mortals on how important the basics are ... "racket back !", "watch the ball", "hold the shot" ... if only it were that easy.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Oratory Kids at the Holyport British Under 15 and 19 Doubles

A strong showing from the Oratory as 4 pairs entered the British Junior Doubles Under 15's. All pairings played some of their best tennis up against experienced players from Seacourt and Holyport. Undaunted they all had some great games and thoroughly enjoyed the day and a great experience. We were also treated to a superb Under 19's final with some fantastic tennis from the current crop of Seacourt talent hoping to follow in Bryn's footsteps to the highest levels of the game.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Pennant Final Australia beat USA

In a great final Ross Brown and his Australian team overcame USA to win the 1st A-Grade league. See some video clips below.

Harding beat Allaway.M
Brown beat Seymour
Allaway.D beat Baxter

Monday, March 31, 2008

Bryn Beats Wood in National League

Playing for Prested Hall this season, 2008 has seen Bryn notch up some fine victories in recent weeks beating Nick Wood and Spike Wilcox.

06th March OUTC v Prested Hall 1
James Willcocks lost to Bryn Sayers 6/3 4/6 5/6

27th March Prested Hall 1 v Robot Coupe MURTC 1
Bryn Sayers beat Nick Wood 5/6 6/2 6/4

In the US Open Doubles Bryn and partner Ricardo Smith reached the semi-finals losing out to the eventual winners Fahey and Virgona.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Oratory Juniors at British Under 15 Doubles

Oratory Juniors took part in the British Doubles Championships at Holyport. A great experience for the youngsters coming up against much more experienced players, but excelling themselves with some fine tennis. Their enthusiasm and enjoyment of the game was a credit to the club and a welcome addition to the strong contingent from Seacourt.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Ancient Ball Games Hit YouTube

After loading some real tennis videos to YouTube many of the other ball games have video material online. Enjoy ...

Rackets World Doubles

Jai Alai

The 4 Nations Pennant Hots Up

Ladder after 2 matches ...

  • Australia 14
  • USA 12
  • France 7
  • United Kingdom 5

Australia - Ross Brown [Zander], David Allaway (c), Christian Whittaker, Peter Harding
USA - Bryn Sayers, Michael Seymour [Oratory & RTC] (c), Mike Allaway, Stuart Baxter
France - Mark Eadle, James Bloore, Eric Walker (c), Tim Green
United Kingdom - Mike Jenkins, Gordon Robertson, Colin Butler, Simon Booker (c)

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Club Match Report v Bristol & Bath at home

Oratory v Bristol & Bath ( At Oratory )
Saturday February 9th 2008

Lucy Davis (51) Lost to Callum Maclean ORATORY (49) 1-6, 2-6
Lucy's recent good form saw her play this match level. She battled far better than the scoreline would suggest but was unable to contain Callum's shotmaking and power, showing why he was a recent ORTC "Most improved player". Callum never lost his grip on the match with a display of solid tennis taking the match in straight sets.
Mike Henman (20) Lost to Ross Brown ORATORY (17) 6-5, 0-6, 3-6
Mike set off to a flying start with some "bullet" forcing that had spectators running for cover. Ross refused to be drawn into a power battle in favour of the corners and a tense set ensued full of brialliant shotmaking. It ended with Mike taking the set. Ross then found range with his mainwall force and this proved to be the deciding factor in a wonderful game that saw Ross win through 2 sets to 1.
Barry Aitken (32) Lost to Simon Booker ORATORY (32) 3-6, 4-6
The scoreline belied a very close game. Simon played well to reach 5-2 but then Barry started his comeback. A series of 40All games followed and after losing the first set Barry used all his experience to make a good start in the 2nd. A long and highly competitive set followed with service being exchanged regularly. Booker finally won through - a relieved captain !
Nikky Claxton (56) Beat Cathy Gordon ORATORY (55) 6-5, 6-4
Easily the best contest of the match saw Nikky recieving an owe-15 start from one of Oratory's most improved players - Cathy Gordon. Brilliant volleying from both players saw the match arrive at 5 games all but Nikky held her nerve cheered on by her 2 year old to take teh first set. The 2nd was equally as good with both players playing their best tennis. The match turned when Cathy held a 40Love lead at 4-3 looking to level but 4 superb floor shots by Nikky put her back in control. Cathy's determination took the game to 5-4 but was edged out 2 sets to love.
Annabel Bernard (45) Lost to Geoff Probert ORATORY (48) 2-6, 2-6
This match was played in a great spirit with Annabel attempting to play her first competitive game in some years having been in the 30's. The gallery expected much as she cooly return a full force during the knockup. Geoff has other ideas however. He unvieled a range of heavily spun sidewall serves that put Annabel under a lot of pressure. When she could get away from the recievers end Annabel showed her class but Geoff applied steady pressure and tok the match 2 love.
Simon Booker

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

A Grade Pennant News

Round 1 results


C.Whittaker def G.Robertson 3/6 6/1 6/3
P.Harding def S.Booker 6/5 6/5
R.Brown def C.Butler 3/4 ret

Thursday, January 31, 2008

A-Grade Pennant

A-Grade Pennant will kick off on Tuesday the 5th February, with the final being on 1st April. There are 4 teams of4 players and each match will constitute 3 singles. All results and fixtures can be accessed through

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Junior Tennis Dates

To help parents with diary planning here are the session dates and times for the next 3 weeks. Any dates or times that are different from the normal Sundays at 2pm slot will be posted in RED

  • Sunday 10th February, 2pm - 4pm
  • Saturday 16th February, 11am - 1pm

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Club Championship Doubles 2008

A total of 25 pairs battled it out from Friday to Sunday afternoon, all hoping to lift the Club Championship Doubles title. All groups – one of which was at Hardwick – were very closely fought, with a number of qualifiers decided on games difference. Brian Lambert was again around when the prizes were handed out, this time losing 6/5 in a tight Quarter Final match against the club captain and P.Harding, Brian was partnering M.Carlton. The semis saw Team Tomalin lose out to J.Brownlee and Wood and Lambert/Carlton conquerors losing to Eric Walker and Gordon Robertson. A nervous performance by the Robertson/Walker pairing gave the title to Brownlee and Wood 6/2.

Fathers and Sons 2008

Congratulations to the Allaways – David and Mike – on their victory over the Lamberts in the final of the Father and Sons during the first weekend of the New Year.
A total of 19 pairs took part and there were some enthralling matches, particularly the semi final between the Nicksons and the Lamberts, leading 5-2, and 40-15, the Nickson’s let slip there lead and lost the match at 5-5, double match point, a great way to end the second semi final.
The Allaways clinched the final 8 games to 3.