Castletown Lawn Tennis Club started its 2024 tournament season with the Taylor Tie Break Tens competition recently. 

Held in memory of the late John Taylor who was a long-time member of the club, the event is in its fourth year and took place in what can only be described as testing conditions.  

At times the Malew Street courts were basked in sunshine, at others in torrential rain and then gale-force winds. Thankfully that didn’t deter the dozens of players who turned up and played for around five hours.  

The format for Taylor Tie Break Tens is very simple, with each match played as a tie-break to 10 points, if the score reaches 9-9 you must win by two clear points.  

There were three events played this year: junior (12-and-under) singles, senior singles and senior doubles.  

The junior singles event was very well supported with players split into four groups, the top two from each progressing through to the quarter-finals.  

Winner of group one was Seth Hornby-Wheeler ahead of runner-up Elliot Dowd-Williams. Topping group two was Billy McMullen with Leo Kerr runner-up, while Erin Blyth won group three in front of Matthew Kerr and the group four victor was Ryan Perrera ahead of Leo Mairs.  

In the quarter-finals, Seth beat Matthew 10/2, Billy defeated Leo M 10/5, Erin got the better of Elliot 10/5 and Leo beat Ryan 11/9 in a very close battle.  

In the semi-finals Seth beat Billy 10/8 and Leo defeated Erin 10/4. The final saw Seth take the title with a 10/5 win over Leo.  

In the senior doubles there was a preliminary group of four pairs who each played each other to progress to the main group stage. Topping the group were John Christian and Neil Ronan ahead of runners-up Tristan Pretorious and Sonny Shipley-Martin. The pairs in the main groups then proved too strong for these two duos.  

Andrew Maxwell and Orry Farnworth topped group one, with Alan Macnair and Herman Oberholzer in second place. Group two was topped by Jos Woolford and Marc Chinn, with Nerijus Gricevicius and Nick Reeder runners-up.  

Gricevicius and Reeder progressed to the final with a 10/6 win over Maxwell and Farnworth, while Woolford and Chinn went through with a 10/5 win over Macnair and Oberholzer. The final was a very closely-contested match, with Woolford and Chinn eventually taking the win 10/8.  

The senior singles was split into two groups, with the top two progressing to the semi-finals. Winning group one was Farnworth, unbeaten in the group stage, followed by Gricevicius who had only lost to Farnworth.  

Similarly, in group two Chinn finished top, again unbeaten, with Maxwell finishing second having only lost to the leader.  

The semi-finals saw both Farnworth and Chinn progress with 10/5 wins, the former against Maxwell and Chinn against Gricevicius. In a hard-hitting final, Farnworth took the win 10/8 for his first Taylor Tie Break Tens Singles victory.  

The awards were presented by John's wife Debbie, with the juniors singles receiving trophies and prize bags. The runners-up in each of the senior events received medals and a prize bag, while the winners received medals, silver salvers, cash prizes and a prize bag.  

Thanks go to Evolution and Revolution Gyms for sponsoring the event for the first time, plus the Print Shed, Angell Tennis, Mantis, Isle of Man Racket Servicing and Neil Ronan Tennis Coaching for the generous prizes.  

Thanks go to Neil Ronan for running the tournament with help from Sarah and Cameron Goldie who ran the junior section plus members of Castletown LTC who helped out with the smooth running on the day.