Catch up on the Essex Ladies and Mens County Week Reports and Photos
Report by Sophie Cockell, Ladies Captain
This year the Essex Ladies Summer County Cup team were looking forward to a week by the sea in Cromer and were hoping to have some good doubles on the grass and improve on their performance from last year.
We had a similar team but the older players were replaced by some younger, up and coming juniors to cope with the pace of the modern game. The team was made up of Lucy Dawson, Ellie Blackford, Annaili Olivielle, Deniz Soyer, Ellsion Fisk, Imogen Brooker, Paige Bott, Tak Sum Fung (Sum Sum) and Shamiso Ndoro (Shami).
We were due to play East of Scotland on day 1 but the week got off to a bad start with rain all morning and so we had to start on the astroturf and then the hard courts. The format changed to be Fast4, short sets to 4 and a tie break third set. The astro were very wet and the balls were skidding through which did not help our game styles and we went 2-0 down pretty quickly. We then had some matches on the hard courts which helped and won the next 4 and the last round we managed to get on the grass and secure a 7-2 win.
Tuesday was dry and we played Buckinghamshire who had won the previous day also. They had some very good doubles specialists with excellent net play. Lucy and Deniz managed to win 2 matches which was an amazing effort but sadly we only then picked up rubbers against the weaker third pair which meant we lost 5-4.
Wednesday was a similar experience and we had also lost Ellie to her US scholarship day so we missed her aggressive baseline play. Again, Sussex had some good doubles players and we were on grass so that made it hard to win matches. We beat their third pair and Lucy and Deniz picked up 2 matches again but that meant a 5-4 win for Sussex.
More rain came over might on Wednesday so it was a late start back on the astroturf and hard courts for Thursday and Fast4 format once again. We were playing North Wales who had a very strong team, especially their top 2 pairs who had been playing together all week. We fought hard in all the matches but they were over powering and we only managed to pick up wins against the third pair so lost 6-3.
We now desperately needed a win against Lancashire to stay up and because we were doing well on rubbers we only had to win 5-4 to stay in the division and send Sussex down.
We were on the grass and had a promising start with Sum Sum and Shami beating the 2nd pair and Lucy and Deniz very much ahead against the third pair. Unfortunately Lucy’s wrist started to hurt and they couldn’t close out the match. Lancashire had a strong 1st pair like the other counties and were going to be tough to beat.
Round 2 saw us lose 3 very close matches and end up being 5-1 so we stopped there.
Overall Essex did very well and had some very narrow loses that could have gone either way. The team supported each other all the way through and Sum Sum and Shami performed well and look promising for the future.
The weather didn’t help at all, the days were very long and we didn’t get to see much of Cromer apart from the tennis club but the venue was very welcoming and the grass courts were excellent when we could get on them!
I hope that the players will continue with their doubles training and learn from the close matches they had so it is all good experience.
Mens County Week Report by Tom Higgins Mens Captain
Wow , Rollercoaster isn’t the word!!!
Essex found themselves winning at the start of the week and then fighting to stay up on Friday evening! A very close division with too many champ tiebreakers!! Essex Finished 3rd overall and will be staying in Division 2
As captain / player – I was very proud of the team’s performances and efforts. The young guys (some experiening their 1st county week) showed amazing guts and determination! Jamie would of been very proud of the team also
The team voted for Anthony Weingarten to receive player of the week and receive the Jamie Willson Memorial Trophy – well deserved
Big thank you to Graham Ray organising events behind the scenes and the selectors Dave Wright, Simon Harston and Rich Wire
Looking forward to next year !