Veni vidi Vincent!

This year’s Fathers and Sons’ tennis competition had the usual edgy competitiveness cloaked in charming chivalry and bonhomie, After all, the runners and riders knew there needed to be a result amidst the relaxed ribaldry. Who would conquer?

So off our smiling assassins went. Eight pairs. The good news was that the Findlays, Angus Goaman and Mr Rickard, the Chappells, Louis Giffard-Moore and the Headmaster, the Longs, the Wards, the Vincents and the Johnsons were already in the Quarter-Finals. If the occasion had been Wimbledon, the losers of the opening matches would have pocketed forty-one grand each. Our sparring octopairs would have to settle for a delicious match tea prepared by Lara and her team. Is there anything better than the honey-coated sausage?

Back to the tennis. After the quarter-final encounters, “the Goamans”, “the Giffard-Moores”, the Vincents and the Findlays glided into the last four with punchy panache. At this point, a special mention must go to Hopalong Johnson, who did something nasty to the old calf and had to retire leaving Christian to share his pilgrimage through the Plate competition with Mr Livermore. The semi-finals of the Plate saw Christian and his new partner ward off Myles and his dad. The other Plate dished up a close encounter where the Longs came up short at the hands of the Chappells.

The main event. Goaman and Skippy Rickard saw off Louis and Mr Inglis with aplomb whereas the Findlay/Vincent contest was proving to be a tighter affair. With the smiles and laughter unable to compete with the tussle’s tension, the Findlays finally went down in the deciding game to Tommy and Mr V. It would turn out to be the match of the evening.

 With Christian crusading through the Plate final to victory, the scene was set for the 2015 Fathers and Sons’ Tennis final sponsored by competitiveness, fun and friendliness.

 “The Goamans” versus the Vincents.

After a gruelling semi-final, the bookmakers’ price for the Vincents had lengthened. Crocodile Dundee and Skipper Goaman must surely be the favourites. Anyone who knows Johnny Vincent knows well enough not to write off the handsome dandy. With a Nigel Haversesque swish here and an Anthony Andrewsish flick there, Johnny supported the cricketing captain to tennis immortality. The Vincents are the Fathers and Sons’ champions for 2015.  Congratulations to you!

Well done to all eight pairs. Bates looked magnificent, the boys in particular played really well with good technique and temperament, the match tea was wonderful, and I had a very pleasant evening indeed watching good tennis from the boys and their dads, to a man terrific supporters of Elstree.

Pimms for my men. We ride at dawn.