County Week 2022: Men's Group 2 at Gloucester
Venue: Men’s Division 2 – East Gloucestershire Club
Squad: Gavin McKinlay, Calum McKinlay, Jack Molloy, Michael Shaw, Lee Tribe, Toby Martin, Calum Fairey, Jack Slaughter
Day 1: 5-4 win vs Derbyshire
The men did well to come through a gruelling first day of matches against a strong Derbyshire side. Five of the nine rubbers came down to tie-break third sets with the team doing just enough to squeeze past the opposition and come through with a win. A real highlight of the first day was seeing Toby Martin back on court for the Bucks side, adding some real strength to the squad.
Day 2: 6-1 Loss vs Northamptonshire
Day 2 got off to a strong start for the Swans, picking up two of the three rubbers in the first round against a Northamptonshire side who have been on a similar journey up through the divisions. Usually clinical from these positions, the men struggled to gain a foothold in many of the matches for the rest of the day, falling short of playing our best tennis in some of the temperatures (up to 40 Degrees) out on court. With the rest of the matches across the division also being tight, going into Day 3 with a win and a loss was not the worst position to be in.
Day 3: 6-3 loss vs Surrey
Coming up against a Surrey side who had breezed through their opposition across the first two days, the men knew they were in for a tough day. The team came out firing and produced some brilliant tennis to push the Surrey team all the way. Losing a total of five tie-breaks out of the six played across the day though was the difference for a Surrey side who managed to pull out a little bit more quality when it mattered. With a 6-3 loss on the day, the focus for the Bucks side was now in maintaining our position in the division and trying to avoid a relegation.
Day 4: 5-4 loss vs Suffolk
Day 4 saw the men enter another battle of a day, coming up against a strong Suffolk side who would eventually go onto secure promotion back to Division 1 alongside Surrey. Matches were incredibly tight all through the day with the men again coming out on the wrong side of a number of decisive tie-breaks across the day. Jack Molloy & Toby Martin were the stand out performers of the day, managing to pick up all three of their rubbers and doing their best to keep the side in the hunt for a positive result.
Day 5: 7-2 loss vs South Wales
With a 1-3 record for the week to date, it was an almost impossible task for the men to avoid relegation and stay in the division. After a long week on court, and having lost so many tight matches it was clear that the week had taken its toll across the team. The men battled hard but came up short against a South Wales side who had also beaten us a year prior. The real positive of the day was Calum Fairey coming into the side to make his senior debut, equipping himself well against a strong opposition.
Overall, it was a tough week for the side, coming up just short in big moments. We go again next year to try and win promotion back to Division 2.