Club

Bears roar their way to victory in Winter County Tennis Cup, Group 3

Share this

 

The Midlanders began the final day after an 8-1 victory over South Wales and a 4-5 loss to East of Scotland, knowing that they needed a handsome victory over previously unbeaten Durham to take the title.  Mason Recci, 22, from Solihull, a former British junior number 1, led the charge, beating his opposite number Jonathan Binding in straight sets.  Warwickshire number 2 Jake Hersey, 19, originally from Rugby but now, like Recci, training in Spain, dismissed Durham’s Daniel Bennett while Stratford-on-Avon coach Simon Ferguson cannily outplayed Adam Barraclough and despite carrying an injury won every match he played. Big-serving Richard Partridge from Coventry at number 4 singles dropped only three games en route to victory over Sean Galpin.

With the Scots thrashing South Wales, it all came down to rubbers and leading 5-1 after the singles round against Durham, Warwickshire needed just one rubber from the three doubles matches. Partridge and the lively Warwick Boat Club coach Cameron Malik were narrowly edged out in a thriller against an inspired Durham thirds but Recci and Hersey secured the title, outhitting the Durham firsts, to the delight of Warwickshire’s vociferous band of supporters.

“It was a brilliant team effort,” said captain Gavin Henderson, the Warwick Boat Club Tennis Manager. “Everyone played really well and pulled together – there were some great upsets against higher ranked opposition. Mason Recci, Simon Ferguson and Richard Partridge won all three of their singles matches and Simon was unbeaten throughout the competition, despite a nagging injury.

Our lads benefited from county practices and challenge matches for Winter County Cup selection. Even though our top player Dan Evans was on Davis Cup duty, he’d offered to come and play for us if GB had been eliminated from the competition before Friday – it’s great that he still supports the county. We’re aiming for more success next year  and I’m determined to make it three in a row, by winning promotion again at Summer County Cup 2020. With this motivated young squad, we’re certainly in with a chance.”

By contrast Warwickshire’s depleted women’s side, missing several stalwarts including Soumeya Anane, Lilly Mould and Summer Yardley struggled in a strong Group 2 at Sheffield. The ultra-consistent Natasha Hillyer from Coventry was the stand-out, winning all three of her singles. She and captain Katie Shaw, 51, from King’s Heath, a former GB international, also won their doubles against the Hertfordshire seconds with a near-faultless display. Sadly the rest of the side, mainly inexperienced youngsters making their senior county debuts, managed only a handful of rubbers between them, through inconsistency and over-exuberant hitting and the side was relegated to Group 3 for the first time in decades, losing 7-2 to Herts, 5-4 to Hampshire and 5-1 to Lancashire .

“Apart from Natasha who was the star of the show, I was very disappointed with my team,” said Katie Shaw. “I told the other girls to learn from the way she won all her singles by playing smart, making lots of balls and not going for winners on ridiculous balls. It’s a real wake-up call that they need to work at every point, wait for their opponents to make the error and if they’re losing, change the way they play. They were facing strong, higher-ranked opposition and I know they’ll have learned from this baptism of fire. Just hope we can rebuild for next season and bounce straight back up from relegation.”

 

Bears roar their way to victory in Winter County Tennis Cup, Group 3. (Coventry copy)

Warwickshire Men’s Tennis side won Group 3A of the Winter County Cup at Edgbaston Priory Club by a single rubber from highly-fancied East of Scotland. It was a proud double for new Men’s county captain Gavin Henderson who in July led his young side to the Summer County Championship, Group 5, after years in the doldrums.

The Midlanders began the final day after an 8-1 victory over South Wales and a 4-5 loss to East of Scotland, knowing only a handsome victory over previously unbeaten Durham could secure the title. Big-serving Richard Partridge from Coventry made it three singles wins out of three, dropping just 3 games to the Durham number 4 Sean Galpin.. Warwickshire’s top player Mason Recci, 22, from Solihull, also retained his unbeaten singles record,  while Warwickshire number 2 Jake Hersey, 19, from Rugby, dismissed Durham’s Daniel Bennett. Stratford-on-Avon coach Simon Ferguson cannily outplayed Adam Barraclough.

With the Scots thrashing South Wales, it all came down to rubbers and leading 5-1 after the singles round against Durham, Warwickshire needed just one rubber from the three doubles matches. Partridge and the lively Warwick Boat Club coach Cameron Malik narrowly lost to an inspired Durham third pair, but Recci and Hersey secured the title outhitting the Durham firsts, to the delight of Warwickshire’s vociferous band of supporters.

“It was a brilliant team effort,” said captain Gavin Henderson, the Warwick Boat Club Tennis Manager and Performance Coach. “Everyone played really well and pulled together – with several upsets against higher ranked opposition.

Our lads really showed the benefit of the different county practices and challenge matches we’d had to decide selection for Winter County Cup. Even though our top player Dan Evans was on Davis Cup duty, he’d offered to come and play for us if GB had been eliminated from the competition before Friday. We’re aiming for more success next year – and I’m determined to make it three in a row, by winning promotion again at Summer County Cup 2020. With this talented motivated young squad, I’m convinced we’re in with a chance.”

By contrast Warwickshire’s depleted women’s side, missing several stalwarts including Coventry’s Soumeya Anane struggled in a strong Group 2 at Sheffield. The highly-experienced Natasha Hillyer from Coventry was the stand-out, winning all three of her singles, against Hertfordshire, Hampshire and Lancashire, through canny, ultra-consistent play. Sadly the rest of the side, mainly inexperienced youngsters making their senior county debuts, managed only a handful of rubbers between them against higher-ranked opposition and the side was relegated to Group 3 for the first time in decades, losing 7-2 to Herts, 5-4 to Hampshire and 5-1 to Lancashire.

“Apart from Natasha who was the star of the show, I was very disappointed with my team,” said Katie Shaw. “I told the other girls to learn from the way she won all her singles by playing smart, making lots of balls and not going for winners on ridiculous balls. They were facing strong, higher-ranked opposition and I know they’ll have learned from this baptism of fire. Just hope we can rebuild for next season and bounce straight back up from relegation.”