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Bucks Men's Winter County Cup Report


Buckinghamshire Winter County Cup Report 2022

Venue: Men’s Division 3 – Sunderland Tennis Centre

Squad: Gavin McKinlay, Calum McKinlay, Jack Molloy, Michael Shaw, Lee Tribe, Toby Martin, Joshua Bright, Alex Pennycooke


Day 1: 5-4 win vs Suffolk

Coming up against a strong Suffolk side that we had lost to at Summer County Cup earlier in the year, the men knew that we would be in with a tough start to the weekend, with a tie that could have the potential to decide who would go up and down by the end of the weekend. Suffolk were strong through their entire singles order, picking up the first two singles rubbers of the day against Alex Pennycooke, who was making his debut for the Men’s side, and Bucks regular Lee Tribe who lost in a tight three setter. This year though, the Men’s side were very strong up the order with Michael Shaw, Barnaby Smith, Jack Molloy & Toby Martin all being available for the first time together. Shaw, Smith & Molloy all cruised to wins in their rubbers with Toby losing a tight three setter against some quality opposition. This left the tie tightly poised at 3-3 going into the doubles. As per the summer edition of this tie, all three rubbers were incredibly tight with Calum & Lee picking up the first of the three 7-6, 7-6 and Barnaby & Michael losing a tight third set tiebreak 6-10. The final pairing of Toby & Jack came up clutch, winning the final rubber of the day and the overall tie with a 10-5 third set win.


Day 2: 5-4 win vs Derbyshire

Day 2 was another repeat of a summer fixture, coming up against a Derbyshire side we had managed to get past 5-4 in the previous meeting. With Toby Martin dropping out of the singles line up to manage a back injury he had been dealing with. Joshua Bright came into make his singles debut for the county. The first phase of the day went in a similar way to Day 1, with Bucks going down three rubbers early on the in the fixture with Josh, Alex & Calum all coming up just short in their matches. Again though, our strength up the order proved too much for Derbyshire with Smith, Molloy & Shaw all picking up their rubbers while playing some excellent tennis. With the tie sitting at 3-3, and with the pairings being the same as the day before, the Swans were confident of coming through and picking up the winning rubbers. For the second day in a row, we were left at 4-4 going into the final rubber, with the pressure being on Barnaby & Michael to come through the final rubber of the day this time around. As they have done so many times before, they came through a tight one to pick up the win with a 10-5 third set win.


Day 3: 6-2 win vs Durham & Cleveland

Having managed to win on the first two days, promotion was entirely in the hands of the Bucks side with 5 rubbers securing a place in Division 2, the highest the side have been in many years. Keen to avoid another 5-4 and a high-pressure end to the day, the men came out flying picking four of the first six available singles rubbers putting us in a great place to pick up just one of the three doubles rubbers. This was secured early on with two relatively comfortable doubles wins to get the team over the line.

Overall, it was a brilliant weekend for the team, with a real strength in depth coming through to make the difference. The Men are looking for a strong showing next year to try and reach Division 1 in Bath.

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