Sunday 20 May saw the Ladies Regional Team travel to Maresfield in East Sussex for their 4th match of the season.
We were greeted by a very friendly and predominantly young team, and whilst they were yet to win a match this season, there was a sense that we were going to have our work cut out for us.
It turned out to be a day of “firsts” for us this season…
Jodie, playing at 1, was first to finish, losing just 2 games – some 2.5 hours shorter than her last outing! Our other 3 singles players, Lydia, Lucy C and Laura all had much closer 3 set matches on the high bouncing, tarmac courts. Lucy was next to finish – already an hour late for the baby shower she had organised for her best friend – but she fought back from a set down to win 6-1 in the 3rd, putting us 2-0 up. Despite a valiant effort from both of them, Lydia and Laura were unable to prevail against solid opposition, bringing the score to a nail biting 2-2 after the singles. These were the first 2 rubbers the team had conceded this season.
On any other day, this score line may not have been cause for concern, but 20 May had proven to be the worst date for player availability by far. With Jodie and Laura playing at doubles 1, we were quietly confident of a win, but there was a definite question mark over the possibility of doubles pair 2 – the vets pairing of Lydia and ‘debutante’ Sarah – being able to secure a victory. Whilst Lydia is a seasoned pro, Captain Sarah was stepping in to support the team and had not played a Team Tennis match in over 3 years – when we were still in County Division 2! Playing against two hard-hitting teenagers, our “Oldies” found themselves 2-4 down, but experience and great teamwork overcame youth, as Lydia and Sarah won 6 straight games, eventually taking the match 6-4 6-2, much to the relief of all of the team that we had managed to avoid the dreaded shoot-out – and “Save the day”!
After a pleasant lunch, the long journey home – in spite of all the aches and pains – was a cheery one, though Lydia and Sarah were still pinching themselves, trying to work out how they had managed to win!
This was another example of the fantastic team spirit within our Ladies team with grit, determination and support needed by everyone to make sure we got the win.
The next Ladies match is at home on Sunday 3 June, starting at midday, against The Queens Club which is likely to be our toughest match. All home support would therefore be much appreciated!