by Michael Flinn
The 2015 Danby Cup to be played at Prested Hall, Coggeshall, Essex, England, with Team USA comprised of Sam Abernathy, Mike Flinn, Cpt., Robert Pilkington, Dick Tanfield, Rick Malone and Howard McMorris, as well as the Australian and Great Britain Teams enjoyed a rousing pre-tournament welcome at Willie and Madeline Wilks flat in London on May 10th. Willie is one of our favorite over seventy competitors-temporarily out of real tennis action—who nevertheless gave us all special camaraderie and hospitality. Many thanks to Willie and Madeline.
On Monday, May 11th from 12-2PM, Mike Carter, the builder/owner of the two Prested Hall Real Tennis Courts, welcomed us for practice sessions. This proved as well to be an awakening to the particular eccentricities of the court used in the tournament.
On Tuesday, May 12th, Great Britain defeated Australia. Mike Carter arranged for a nice dinner for all contestants at the Prested Hall Hotel adjacent.
On Wednesday, May 13th, the United States team was defeated 2-1 by Australia. Robert Pilkington and Dick Tanfield, playing in the number two position performed well, winning our only victory of the tournament. We then decamped to the Newmarket Jockey Club where Sam Sheppard had arranged for an inclusive Teams Dinner in the Copy Room of the Jockey Club. There were approximately 94 contestants and guests in attendance. The Jockey Club is an extraordinary venue, both a fantastic museum of equestrian art, including two Stubbs, and several Munnings, and a residence combined. It was a pleasure and a privilege to stay there overnight.
On Thursday morning, May 14th, we returned to Prested Hall, a 90-minute drive, to play Great Britain. We were unfortunately defeated 3-0. Congratulations to Capt. John Ward and his accomplished teammates! —including Nick and Paul Danby.
Long Live the Danby Cup!