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The Spike or Victoria College Review, June 1906


page 34


"What idle progeny succeed
To chase the rolling circle's speed
Or urge the flying ball?"


Sketch of man and women at tennis net

Much as we all hate to part with old friends, very few we fancy, will regret that we have finished our last season on the old Parliamentary courts. Many things we will miss: the old tree where committee meetings were held, the sun streaming in our faces during a challenge match, the well-known crash into the back fence when returning a long drive.

The new courts on the hill should be ready for the incoming season, and though perhaps a little rough at first, excuses will not be lacking when we remember that they are the result of our own labour. All through the summer, gangs of amateur navvies have carried on the work of excavation. Sometimes many were present, sometimes few; for the workers were often called away by tennis matches or bad weather. We have discovered that members of the professorial board can wield a merry pick. Enough of the hill has now been cut away to form three courts, and the newly-made ground should be sufficiently hardened by the winter's rains—where it is not washed away—for the new courts to be laid down.

The work has been under the charge of a sub-committee, whose secretary, R. St. J. Beere, has put in some good solid work. There are two others, who do not belong to the Tennis Club, whose names should be writ large in the records of the "Stone Age." It is rumoured that Gillanders and Dixon will be made honorary life members at the annual meeting of the Tennis Club.

page 35

On application from the Club the College Council granted £25 towards this work, and at their annual meeting £50 for the formation of tennis courts was voted by the Students' Association.

By far the most important event of the year is the Easter Tournament. This year our Club was particularly fortunate, winning four out of live events, the only one lost being the Ladies' Doubles. G. Prouse had to play off with R. Beere in the final for the Men's Singles, and Beere and de la Mare beat the Prouse brothers in the final for the Doubles. Miss Roberts and de la Mare came safely through the combined, and Miss Roberts, by a very plucky, uphill game when her opponent was leading, won the Ladies' Singles. The Canterbury ladies won the Ladies' Doubles, one of their champions being Mrs. Longton, who won the Singles for Victoria College at Christchurch in the first tournament.

For the first time the Club has been represented by three teams in matches played under the Wellington Provincial Lawn Tennis Association. It is due to the kindness of Dr. Knight who allowed one team to use his court when necessary, that we were enabled to enter the three teams. The Shield team was successful in only two out of its eight matches, but the combination gained in these games was conducive, in no small degree, to our success in the Easter Tournament. The Cup team was fairly successful, and the matches played by the Pennant team provided good practice, although they did not, as a rule, result in wins.

A very pleasant trip under command of Beere was made to Otaki to play the local club. Fine weather and the hospitality of the Otaki club combined to make a splendid day's outing. Victoria College was successful, winning the match by fifteen sets to eight.

The Club matches were started late in the season, and consequently had to be finished after Easter. The Ladies' Championship has not yet been completed, the matches arranged having been postponed from time to time. The Men's Championship resulted in a struggle between G. Prouse and R. St. J. Beere. The former was beaten by de la Mare in the first round, but played right through without a second loss, and beat Beere in the final.

page 36

In the Handicap Doubles, those players who were playing together in club matches, entered, as far as possible, together.

A Handicap Singles contest was held for men not eligible to enter for the Championship. This was won by A. Fair, who played off in the final with D. Smith.

The following are the results of matches:—

First Team.

Wellington Provincial Shield Championship.

First Round.

  • V.C. v. Thorndon, lost 0—7. Bad weather spoiled the day's tennis.
  • V.C. v. Wellington, lost, 5—8. Brown had a hard task to beat Geo. Prouse, 9—8. Beere in the singles, and the Prouse Brothers in the doubles, won good games, and Graham and Miss Cox almost defeated McNicoll and Miss M. Ward, obtaining 6—7.
  • V.C. v. Newtown, lost, 5—8.
  • V.C. v. Brougham Hill, won, 7—6. F. P. Wilson had a most exciting game against Hunter, eventually losing, 10—12. Both Miss Van Staveren and Miss Roberts won their singles.

Second Round.

  • V.C. v. Thorndon, lost, 9—3. Wilson and Graham won a good game from Young and Gore, 9—6, and Miss Van Staveren was just beaten by Miss Batham, 6—7.
  • V.C. v. Newtown, won, 9—4. Misses Van Staveren and Roberts had some difficulty in beating Miss Christie and Mrs. Grady b 7—6.
  • V.C. v. Brougham Hill, lost, 8—5. Beere and de la Mare both won their singles, but played badly, and were beaten in the doubles. O. Prouse and Miss Cox narrowly escaped a beating in their combined, winning 8—6.
  • V.C: v. Wellington, lost, 8—5. Beere and Miss Van Staveren won their singles, and all the men's doubles were won, the Prouse brothers playing a fine game.

Junior Team.

Cup Championship Matches

First Round.

  • V.C. v. Brougham Hill B, lost, 3—10.
  • V.C. v. Brougham Hill A., lost, 1—12.page 37
  • V.C. v. Newtown, won, 7—6. Kelly and Miss Frühauf won the deciding game by 7—6.
  • V.C. v. Khandallah, lost, 6—7. The score was six all when Thompson sprained his ankle in the last set.
  • V.C. v. Petone, won, 7—6. Petone ladies were very good.
  • V.C. v. Wellington, lost, 2—11.

Second Round.

  • V.C. v. Brougham Hill B., won, 10—3. Gower and Putnam were in very good form. Kelly and Bee had a hard struggle, winning 10—8.
  • V.C. v. Brougham Hill A., lost, 3—10.
  • V.C. v. Khandallah, lost, 2—11.

Third Team.

Pennant Matches.

  • V.C. v. Khandallah, won, 5—2. This match caused much excitement.
  • V.C. v. Brougham Hill A., lost, 0—7. Brougham Hill were too strong.
  • V.C. v. Brougham Hill B., lost 0—4. Still too strong.
  • V.C. v. Wellington, lost, 0—7. Although all the sets were lost, a good fight was put up in several of them.
  • V.C. v. Karori, lost, 2—5. We won the first men's singles and men's doubles.

Summary of Matches.

  • Shield.—Won 2, lost 6 matches; won 37, lost 61 sets; won 575 lost 681 games.
  • Cup.—Won 3, lost 6 matches; won 41, lost 76 sets; won 619, lost 762 games.
  • Pennant.—Won 1, lost 4 matches; won 7, lost 25 sets; won 159 lost 238 games.

Club Matches.

  • Men's Championship Singles, G. S. Prouse.
  • Ladies' Championship Singles, unfinished.
  • Men's Handicap Singles, A. Fair.
  • Men's Handicap Doubles, unfinished