THE ANNUAL Basingstoke and District Tennis League’s men’s veterans doubles saw 11 teams do battle at Preston Candover Tennis Club.
The pairs were split into two groups with the top two – based on games won in all matches – going through to the semi-finals and the rest going into a plate competition.
In Group A, last year’s finalists Chris Pearce (Kingsclere)/Paul Rattue (Oakley) won all of their sets to comfortably head the group. The rest were left to battle it out for second spot, with the eventual runners-up being Barry Austin/Paul Jenner (Andover).
They had some close fought matches and, despite going down to both Rex Groves/Tim Rice (Totally Tennis) and Richard Hancock/Geoff Mulhern (Goodworth Clatford), they secured enough games to see off their rivals. Rex Groves and Tim Rice finished third with Steve Grove/Dennis Nye (Preston Candover) in fourth place.
In group B, Perveez Mirza/Malcolm McPhail (Waverley) also took the top position by remaining unbeaten. Runners-up place went to Andy Wallace (BDH)/Richard Mole (Preston Candover), who won four of their five sets. Their closest match was a hard fought set against Phil Hood (Oakley)/David Burrell (BDH), who finished in third place.
Mander Jog/Hugo Riveros (Odiham) and Jeff Lill/John Snowden (Andover) were in joint fourth place with the group completed by Jeremy Hillage/Jim Thompson (Odiham).
The first semi-final saw Pearce/Rattue beat Mole/Wallace and the second a win for Mirza/McPhail over Austin/Jenner.
In the final, Mirza/McPhail got off to a flying start and, although Pearce/Rattue did come back at them, they left themselves too much to do as Mirza/McPhail ran out winners, getting their names on the trophy for the first time.