THE Dorchester Tennis & Squash Club annual Championships saw a great day of action in challenging conditions.

In the men’s singles, Kevin Willemse regained the title after a gap of 12 years after defeating teenager Ellery Ford in straight sets.

However, 17-year-old Ellery and his partner Joe Chambers got their revenge in the men’s doubles by beating Willemse and Paul Scott in a tight three-set match.

Sarah Skidmore, who has recently stepped down as the club’s head coach, was also very dominant by winning the ladies’ singles final without losing a game to Kat Butler.

Skidmore has now won the ladies’ singles 19 times since her first victory in 1992, an incredible achievement.

In a round-robin format, due to low entry numbers, Skidmore narrowly lost out in the ladies’ doubles, ending up as runner-up with her 16-year-old partner Yas Radivojsa to Joy Hennessy and Sue Ramsbottom.

However, Skidmore did pick up two more trophies, by convincingly winning the mixed doubles with her partner Tim Button against Tim Toogood and Ramsbottom. This meant that Skidmore was fittingly awarded the coveted Rod Skidmore Cup, named in memory of her husband.

This cup is awarded to the winner of the most events in the main draw and is presented in memory of a much missed club member and club chairman.

Skidmore has now won the mixed doubles title 23 times since 1992 with nine different partners.

The stand-out match in the consolation events was the men’s singles – a real battle of youth versus experience with 23-year-old Matt Chandler taking on the evergreen John Hobbs, a week after his 70th birthday – an age gap of 47 years.

Hobbs let a dominant lead slip in the first set and the youngster came back to win 7-5 with some bold shot making. However, Hobbs managed to win the second set with some tireless retrieving.

The final set was a championship tie-break, first to 10 points and it was won by the Hobbs.

The championships were sponsored by Pengillys who donated all the prizes.

With its new, all-weather artificial clay courts in play for a first complete season, the club’s adult tennis teams have had a successful summer.

For the seven teams competing in the Dorset League and three teams in the Yeovil & District League, the season recently concluded with three teams promoted and three other teams narrowly missing out on promotion places.

In the Dorset League, the men’s teams gained promotion to Division Two as Division Three champions and the men’s veterans have been promoted to Division One after finishing as Division Two runners-up.

The men’s over-60 team narrowly failed to regain the Dorset title, finishing in second spot for the second year in a row.

Finishing in third place in Division Four, the mixed second team just failed to gain promotion.

Unfortunately, the ladies’ team continued their perennial yo-yoing between Divisions One and Two and dropped back down.

In the Yeovil & District League, both the men’s and ladies’ teams finished third in their divisions narrowly missing out on promotion.

The ladies’ second team, playing its first season in the league, immediately won promotion to Division Three.

Chairman of the club’s tennis committee Keith Mason said: “We’ve had a great finals day in what has proven to be a highly competitive season, our adult teams have been fantastically successful this summer.

“We couldn’t wish for a better lead-in to the winter season, when our new all-weather artificial clay courts, which have already proven their worth and continue to attract new talent to the club, will really come into their own.”

To find out more about the club, go to the website or email: or alternatively call 01305 268103 from 9-11am on weekdays.


Men’s Singles: Kevin Willemse beat Ellery Ford 6-1 6-1

Ladies’ Singles: Sarah Skidmore beat Kat Butler 6-0 6-0

Men’s Doubles: Joe Chambers & Ellery Ford beat Kevin Willemse & Paul Scott 6-1 4-6 10-5

Ladies’ Doubles: Round Robin format: Joy Hennessy & Sue Ramsbottom (Champions) and Sarah Skidmore & Yas Radivojsa (Runners-up)

Mixed Doubles: Tim Button & Sarah Skidmore beat Tim Toogood & Sue Ramsbottom 6-1 6-1

Men’s Singles Consolation: John Hobbs beat Matt Chandler 5-7 7-6 10-7

Ladies’ Singles Consolation: Felicity Quick beat Immi Reid 6-0 7-6

Men’s Doubles Consolation: John Hobbs & Tim Toogood w/o Martin Kimberley & Chris Porter

Mixed Doubles Consolation: Chris Porter & Isabelle Mace w/o Al & Ros Clark