Essex ladies were pleased to be back at Devonshire Park after not being able to compete in 2020, the team this year consisted of Mandy Wainwright, Sophie Cockell, Mel Hall, Janice Torr and Amy Cockell. Essex were aiming to stay in Division 2 but we knew it would not be easy as the competition is always very strong.
On the 1st day we played Bedfordshire, the weather forecast wasn’t great and we had a late start going on and then had to play in winds of up to 50 mph, never had any player played in such conditions, even at Eastbourne! Amy lost her singles as did Mandy but Sophie and Mel managed to get a windy victory and Mandy and Amy were ahead before the rain came again. As each county had completed 3 rubbers the referee stopped play for the day so Essex lost 2-1 frustratingly.
On the 2nd day we played Sussex who had lost 3-0 to Leicestershire the previous day, Sophie and Amy managed a double win, both in 3 sets, Mandy had a great win in her singles and also won her doubles with Janice so we won 4-1.
On the last day we knew it would be very tough as Leicestershire hadn’t dropped a rubber yet so we needed to get as many rubbers as we could and hope that Sussex didn’t beat Bedfordshire. We were 1 all after the singles, lost both doubles so lost the match 3-1. With a lot of conferring and a bit of adding up we worked out that even is Sussex managed to beat Bedfordshire we would still have more rubbers than both the other teams so we stopped there.
Sussex ended up losing anyway so that meant we came 3rd and stayed in Division 2 as hoped. Despite the less than perfect conditions we all had a great time, enjoyed the competition as always and look forward to next year.
Sophie Cockell, Ladies O’35 Team Captain