Ladies Summer County Cup 2018


SOUTHSEA      MON 23 – FRI 27 JULY 2018


Lauren Armstrong, Amelia Barton, Erika Batista Dodridge, Laura Deigman, Isabelle Marshall,

Lauren McKinlay, Caroline Neil Dwyer, Georgie Sanders, Claire Webb, Alexa Wilson. 


Here we go again – another County Week. Bucks Ducks packed full of youth and promise, with a sprinkling of grass court doubles experts thrown into the mix! Playing in Britain’s hottest and driest summer since 1976!


Monday 23rd July v Cambridgeshire


First County Week matches for Erika (15) & Amelia (18) and boom … first wins too! Amelia & Lauren M battled through a second set tie break loss to take that ever crucial 3 v 3 s match 6-3 in the third after 3 hrs on court! Awesome! Erika & Georgie’s competitiveness saw them take a solid 6-3, 6-3 win against Cambridgeshire’s No 2 Pair.  Lauren A & Izzy went down fighting to the Watts sisters. We are on the board!  More sun tan cream added, especially Lauren M (!), hats on and Round 2 here we come.  A short round, no 3 setters and Lauren A & Izzy coming through with the only win.  3-3 all to play for.  So a sneaky substitution sees Alexa Wilson (15) coming on for her first ever County Week match, teaming up with Lauren M. They gave a good fight against the No 1 Cambridgeshire pair. In the other matches, Teresa Catlin, GB Over 45, warmed up and playing clutch grass court doubles put Bucks under pressure from the get go, but Lauren A & Izzy came through 6-3 in the third.  Erika & Georgie had a topsy turvy 6-0, 4-6, 6-0 match to give Bucks an “I’ll take that win” 5-4 result!  Fantastic!  One in the bag! Tick!


Tuesday 24th July v Leicestershire 


Day Two was so so close again. Cloud cover saw a cooler day and energy levels were high. But for us, it was a day of if onlys…. Round 1 was over quick as a flash. The arrival of Laura Deigman saw our pairings shaken up and within less than an hour Izzy & Laura had taken the first win of the day 6-0, 6-4.  20 mins later, after a quick snack, we were all back on court again, this time willing the Laurens (!) to come through their 3 set battle against Leicestershire’s No 3 Pair.  It wasn’t quite to be and at lunch Bucks were 2-4 down. Round 3 was gripping and saw us almost coming through to take the overall win. Laura & Izzy again cruised through their match against 2 Leicestershire subs. The other 2 pairs battled!  The Laurens went a set up on their court, whilst Amelia, subbed in for Erika, hooked up with Georgie and lost a tight first set.  Quick as a flash they then went 4-1 up in the second. Watching both matches was stressful from the sidelines!  The Laurens played superb doubles and edged the second set 6-4, tying the match at 4-4.   Leicestershire though, all the time, were creeping up from behind on Court 8, eventually taking 5 games in a row and snatching the match from under our noses.  A gutting 4-5 loss.  We didn’t lose heart though. Tomorrow is always another day!


Wednesday 25th July v Nottinghamshire


The theme of County Week 2018 seems to be  – get the win. 5 rubbers is enough!  A real team spirit and team effort.  Everybody contributing!  And today was no different.  Round 1 saw the introduction of Caroline Neil Dwyer (ne Groves), back in the fold after 3 years.  Partnering Laura, they took out Nottinghamshire’s No 2 pair in straight sets. Lauren & Izzy did their stuff as well and we found ourselves 2-1 up. A sneaky substitution saw Erika & Georgie demolish Notts Third Pair 6-0, 6-1 and Laura & Caroline took their second win of the day. So here we were again needing 1 more rubber for the overall win .. Erika & Georgie tried hard to get their match but just couldn’t get over the line 4-6 in the third.  Notts’ first pair proved too strong for Laura & Caroline, which meant Lauren & Izzy had to do it for Bucks.  They did!  Convincingly winning 6-2, 6-1.  GO BUCKS!!  Yet another 5-4 win!


Thursday 26th July v Berkshire


What a roller coaster of a day. We started firing on all cylinders, storming to a 3-0 lead within a couple of hours.  Claire Hamilton Webb, sneaking in late in the week, paired up with Laura and once through a rusty first set they took the match 3-6, 6-1, 6-1. Caroline & Georgie won that crucial 3 v 3 s rubber convincingly and Lauren A & Izzy took the last rubber in a tight 6-4, 6-4 battle. Round 2, saw the tide turn and although Laura & Claire saw off their oppo, Lauren & Izzy eventually found themselves on the losing side after an epic 2.5hr tussle.  So 4-2 up, 1 more match minimum required .. all a bit edgy.  Caroline & Georgie went down v Berkshire’s solid No 1 pair leaving Lauren & Izzy to try and clinch their third set – not to be and Laura & Claire battling it out in a 2nd set tiebreak.  Laura & Claire though came through and Bucks secured yet another 5-4 win.  Ice creams all round!  Whoop whoop!


Friday 27th July v Hampshire & IOW


The last day saw the Swans taking on a strong Hampshire team who were already guaranteed to go up to Group 2.  The start of the day saw Bucks needing to match Leicestershire’s result to secure promotion.  They were also on 3 wins but had 1 rubber less than us.  Nottinghamshire were in with a shout too but had to win by a big margin.  All to play for!  Round 1 saw some great doubles being played.  Tight matches but only 1 win to show for our efforts  – Laura & Claire battling through to win 6-3 in the third.  The other matches were so close and could have gone either way… Round 2 was where the match turned.  We only picked up one more rubber – Lauren & Izzy getting a great win 6-3 in the third against Hampshire’s 2nd Pair.  Laura & Claire couldn’t quite clinch their match going down 6-7, 4-6 against Harriet Jones & Lisa Hanley who went on to get their impressive 15 / 15 rubbers and Lauren McKinley & Georgie were oh so close to getting their rubber too.  Still a chance to win 3 in the last round but it wasn’t to be, despite the rain and Bucks ended up 4-5.  Suddenly we found ourselves massive Notts supporters as a win from them would see Bucks promoted in second spot but they couldn’t quite get over the line either as the drizzle returned and the astro came into play .. hey ho!


Overall Bucks swans came third with Hampshire & Leicestershire going up.  We took a young team again with a smattering of oldies that strengthened the team later in the week.  At least we stayed and next year some of the experienced grass court gurus will be back ..  Huge thanks yet again to Yvonne & Ken for supporting us and Joy Wilson too and Andrew Petherick on the last day.  A big thumbs up also, to Laura Deigman who was awarded the Francis Charlton Trophy this year, for her solid play on court, winning 10 out of 12 matches and her encouraging team ethos and enjoyment of life off it!


Alison Longfield – non playing Captain