The Essex Ladies team were excited to be back at Eastbourne for 3 days of County Cup, this year we had two newly turned 35 players, Claire Dixey and Jade Blackman plus Claire Frewer, Mandy Wainwright and captain Sophie Cockell. We were in Division 2 still, very happy to be there and as always the goal was to at least stay there rather than go up to Division 1 where the competition is very high! We had Cheshire, Yorkshire and Somerset in our group, all very nice teams so we were looking forward to getting on the grass and having some great matches.
We started on Centre Court against Somerset who had just come down from division 1. Claire Dixey pulled out a strong singles win against a very difficult Somerset opponent and Jade had a difficult match at number 1 singles and lost. Claire Frewer and Sophie played doubles and narrowly lost 10-8 in the tie break 3rd set to a very good pair, especially their lobs! Then Mandy and Sophie beat the 2 singles players but unfortunately Claire Dixey and Jade lost to the doubles air so we lost overall 3-2.
Day 2 saw us play Yorkshire, they had 2 very good singles players so we were 2-0 down going into the doubles. Claire Frewer and Sophie had a good victory over the doubles pair but then narrowly lost to the 2 singles players. Claire Dixey and Mandy won the last doubles so we lost 3-2 again.
The last day meant we needed to win to stay in Division 2, Cheshire had lost both matches too so we went in with the mindset of the nest way to get 3 rubbers. Claire Dixey won her singles convinced again but Jade had a tough match at number 1 and lost closely. Mandy and Sophie played as the doubles pair and won and then Claire and Claire beat the same pair straight after so we got our 3 rubbers and the result we wanted.
Overall it was a really fun weekend, the weather was good, the team worked well together and enjoyed each others company both on and off the court. We had lots of supporters so there was a great atmosphere and we are all looking forward to next year already.
Sophie Cockell, Ladies O35s Captain
Pictured: L-R Jade Blackman, Sophie Cockell (capt), Mandy Wainwright, Claire Dixey and Claire Frewer