Essex Men and Ladies were in action this week in the Summer County Cup. Men played in Group 1 at Devonshire Park, Eastbourne and Ladies in Group 3 at Ilkley. However it was a tough week for both teams.
The Men’s Team consisted of: David Wright, Rob Carter, Ed Pudney, Alex Groves, Marshall Tutu, Henry Patten, Anthony Weingarten, James Caddies and Tom Higgins (Captain). Essex Men unfortunately were relegated from Division 1 after having a successful 7 years in the division. The team are understandably disappointed however, Tom (Captain) was proud of all players efforts this week in a very high level division. On a positive note, Essex are in Division 1 Winter County Cup (top 4 counties) this November 2022. The Jamie Willson Memorial Trophy was presented at the end of the week – proud winner voted by players -Henry Patten ( well deserved ) Thank you to all Essex supporters and the ongoing support from Eddie Kirtland.
Read the full report from the Ladies Captain below:
Essex Ladies were in Division 3 this year in Ilkely, Yorkshire, a beautiful location with excellent grass courts used frequently for major tournaments. Unfortunately, they were relegated to Division 4.
The team consisted of youngsters Ellison Fisk, Olivia King, Imogen Brooker, Lucy Dawson and Deniz Soyer plus the more senior players Claire Dixey, Mandy Wainwright and captain Sophie Cockell. The aim was to use the mix of youth and experience to play some great tactical doubles and improve and grow the team for the future years.
The weather forecast was a bit of a problem to start the week with temperatures of 35 degrees upwards forecast on both Monday and Tuesday, this meant that the scoring system was going to be sudden death deuce for the whole week.
We started against Cambridgeshire who had come up from Division 4. The temperature was already 30 degrees when we started and the courts were playing more like hard courts, unfortunate for the older players who favour the slice! Cambridge had 2 very strong pairs and a slightly weaker pair so we lost 6-3 using the combination of junior with senior for the first two rounds.
The next day we faced Norfolk, again they had 2 very strong pairs, we were 3 all and the heat was extremely strong. Norfolk were tiring but they still managed to win 2 of the final rubbers so we lost 5-4.
The weather cooled off considerable for Wednesday and we had a very close game against Cheshire, the eventual winners of the group. We were 4-2 down, all 3 matches were down to a tie-break 3rd set but unfortunately we lost 2 of them.
By Thursday we needed to beat Somerset to stay in Division 3, it had rained over night and we couldn’t start until the afternoon so the referee made the decision to do Fast4 scoring, a complete game changer and not in our favour. We had some close matches but we lost.
The rain continued and due to the fact we were going down with Lancashire who we were due to play on Friday we were allowed to finish the week early and not play the final match.
Overall the Essex Ladies showed an amazing amount of determination, hard work and commitment throughout the week. They were supportive of each other, showed positive energy on and off court and their doubles definitely improved. Having such a young team has its challenges but they all showed great promise for the future. The level of tennis was extremely high with most other teams having older, more experienced players but we had some very close matches and will work on our 10 point tie-breaks for next year!
Sophie Cockell, Ladies Captain