WINTER COUNTY CUP – LADIES DIV 4A
NEWPORT TENNIS CENTRE, SOUTH WALES, FRI 24 – SUN 26 NOV 2017
ALISON LONGFIELD (non-playing captain)
DAY 1 – FRI 24 NOV 2017 v HAMPSHIRE & IOW
The Bucks Ladies travelled to Wales to take on 3 counties over 3 days and 27 matches. On Friday, in front of the Bucks LTA Chairman, Andrew Petherick, we battled hard but to no avail, succumbing 2-7 to a strong Hampshire team. Despite finally getting Laura Deigman back at No 1 after 4 years’ absence and welcoming Alexa Wilson – 15 – for the first time, our wins came from a stalwart of the Bucks team – Helen Adams – at No 6 in her usual 2.5 hr marathon (!) and our new pairing of Lauren A and Laura at no 1 dubs. Amelia yet again got her money’s worth, being pipped at the post 3-6 in the final set after 2 hrs and Laura went down with some battling tennis 6-7, 2-6.
DAY 2 – SAT 25 NOV 2017 v AVON
What a day! In 11 years of managing the Bucks Ladies, I have never once seen our players come from 0-4 down to take the win 5-4. But this year they did! Immense! Helen at no 6 & Amelia at no 4 again “held court” for 4.5 hrs between them but came away without a result but lots of pride. Then the swing started, with Laura and Izzy dropping a mere 2 games between them in their singles and the results of an inspired tactical doubles change beginning to come through… Helen paired up with Izzy at no 3 doubles, winning easily 6-2, 6-1, followed by the sheer power of Amelia and Lauren M, blasting their way past a very experienced no 2 doubles pair 6-3, 7-5 in 1hr45 mins and finally the last match of the day had Laura and Lauren A clinching the first set 6-4 before opposition retirement resulted in a 5-4 overall win! Phenomenal!
DAY 3 – SUN 26 NOV 2017 v DEVON
Bring it on!! All to play for! All 4 teams on 1 win each! Anything could happen! Time for new blood – Alexa Wilson – at her first ever Winter County Cup, senior or junior! Not a sign of nerves, winners all over the place, 49 mins later, 6-0, 6-0. Awesome! Despite Amelia again going past the 2hr mark, we didn’t pick up another win til Izzy destroyed Beth Cooper 6-1, 6-1 at no 2. The others battled hard, but by lunchtime we were 2-4 down. Could we pull it back like Saturday? We sure could! My nerves were shattered, I couldn’t sit still, but gradually we clawed our way back into the match, keeping the same doubles combos as yesterday. Helen and Izzy won in 52 mins, Amelia and Lauren M after a tight first set, won 6-3, 6-1 leaving the no 1 doubles pairs to battle it out for glory, with the whole balcony watching. No pressure! A very tight first set with magnificent tennis from all 4 players, saw Bucks take it 7-6. A brief half time chat and deep breaths saw Laura and Lauren A then put their foot on the gas, cruise through the second set 6-1 and a cement a very well deserved 5-4 win and 2nd place in Group 4A. Time to quote Helen – “We went from brink of disaster to silver medal in an instant!”. We sure did!
A fantastic weekend, very exciting and next year a promotion could be on the cards methinks! Big thanks to our supporters for following every ball with us and Bucks LTA for their support.