Invitation tennis tournament still going strong at Bearsden after 40 years

Bearsden Tennis Club Invitation tournament players
Bearsden Tennis Club Invitation tournament players

Bearsden Lawn Tennis Club’s long-running annual Invitation Tournament took place last weekend - and once again proved a huge success.

Appropriately, local clubs did well in the tournament, now in its 40th year.

A total of 10 clubs took part with Bishopbriggs winning the men’s event and Thorn Park the ladies.

After some well contested first round matches, the men’s semi-finals saw two teams from the home club on court with Bearsden’s Paul Mazoyer and Andrew Brock securing an 8-4 victory over their opponents from Lenzie.

But Bearsden’s second men’s pair, father and son team Philip and Scott Waterfield, eventually succumbed to the Bishopbriggs team of Andrew Blair and Gregg Marlow 8-6.

And after dashing hopes of an all-Bearsden final, the Bishopbriggs team went on to be the eventual winners with a close 6-5 win over the home pair in the final.

In the ladies’ event another Bearsden club enjoyed success as the Thorn Park pairing of Elise McCaig and Claire Ryan proved just too strong for Strathgryffe’s Rebecca Cox and Rhianne Richmond, winning 10-1.

And in the other semi-final the Garscube-based Glasgow University Staff team, Elaine Clarke and Genevieve Stapleton, emerged victorious, narrowly defeated the home pair of Dorothy Gordon and Joanne Quirk 6-5.

In the final the Thorn Park team held off a strong challenge from the University based pair to secure the trophy 6-3.

After the action was concluded the trophies were presented to the finalists by John Shemilt, President of Tennis West of Scotland.

One of the highlights of this year’s tournament was an exhibition game of tennis as it might have been played a century ago - when the pace of the game was so much more sedate

The players involved - involving Pauline Hughes and Keith Wright - donned appropriate dress and used wooden rackets and white balls. Quite a spectacle.

This was the 40th Invitation Tournament organised by Bearsden Tennis Club, the first one being held in 1977 to celebrate the club’s 90th anniversary.

So successful was it that it has been held each year since. Josie Beeley, tournament referee, has been the organiser of each of those 40 tournaments too.

And this event marked the start of Josie’s career as an LTA tournament referee and umpire over the course of which she has officiated at tennis events all over the UK, including a Wimbledon final.