Mens 125th Summer County Cup 2021 – 19th – 23rd July

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

The Hampshire & IOW Men's team was in Division 4 in Felixstowe.  The Division was the strongest I had seen outside Division 1 for a very long time.

We were very lucky to have Josh Goodall and George Houghton for the first 3 days.

The Team was: Finley Bygrave, James Chaudry, Tim Farthing, Ryan Golesworthy, Josh Goodall, Liam Hignett, George Houghton, Michael Johnson, Miles Mcdowall, Paul Scullard

The other counties were:  Berkshire, North of Scotland, North Wales, Warwickshire, West of Scotland,

Day 1 vs Berkshire

The team was: 1 - Golesworthy / Hignett, 2 - Houghton / McDowall, 3 - Goodall / Chaudry,

Subs - Bygrave + Johnson

Berkshire had Marcus Willis and Neal Paulfry (ex top 300 ATP) in their line up so it was going to be a tough ask for first day and we did well losing 6/3 with an excellent match from Ryan and Liam winning in the last round.

Day 2 vs North of Scotland 

The team was: 1 - Goodall / Houghton, 2 - Golesworthy / Hignett, 3 - McDowall / Chaudry

Subs - Bygrave + Johnson

Sadly North of Scotland had brought in Jonny O'Mara (Top 50 ATP doubles) into an already very strong side against us, and although there were some great matches we went down 8/1.

Day 3 vs Warwickshire

The team was: 1 - Goodall / Houghton, 2 - Golesworthy / Hignett, 3 - McDowall / Chaudry

Subs - Bygrave + Johnson

Luckily Warwickshire didn't bring in Dan Evans as was expected!  But they still had a very strong team that had 2 wins under their belt already.  Again we went 2/1 down after the first round but with a great win from Josh and George winning at 1 v 1s, we were tied at 3/3 going into the last round.  With the match then going to 4/4, the final rubber was an epic with Liam and Ryan winning after being match points down giving us a 5/4 win with a chance of survival.

Day 4 vs West of Scotland 

The team was: 1 - Goodall / Houghton, 2 - Golesworthy / Hignett, 3 - Mcdowall / Chaudry

Subs - Johnson + Scullard

Josh and George put back other commitments (they both could only play Monday – Wednesday) to stay on and help the team survive, if we beat West of Scotland, then we would stay.

Again we didn't get off to the best start going 2/1 down, but with a huge win from Josh and George against the 1s (who were on for 15/15), we were again tied at 3/3.  This time we couldn't replicate the previous days miracle and went down 5/4 meaning only a 9/0 win and a Berkshire loss meant we would stay.

Day 5 vs North Wales

The team was: 1 - Golesworthy / Chaudry, 2 - Goodall / Hignett, 3 - McDowall / Johnson

Subs - Scullard + Farthing

George had to leave to go to his Graduation that day! 

Josh incredibly stayed to give us the chance of the win, as we needed 9/0.

All went to plan with great wins from Mike and Miles, and Ryan and James giving us a 3/0 lead.

It went even better with 3 hugely important wins next round from the team to lead 6/0.  So, if we could win the next round and Berkshire lost. we could stay.  After a great effort from the team in the last round we couldn't get all 3 rubbers and won 8/1, which meant we were in Division 5 next year.

It was a great tennis week had by all, the standard of the tournament was ridiculously strong although other teams weaker selections didn't help our cause to stay but that is part of County Week! 

Particular thanks to George and especially Josh for going above and beyond to help Hampshire & IOW try to stay, and for giving the rest of the team something to aspire to.  It was also great to have James and Miles back from the US and wrecking their bodies for the cause!

Everyone took responsibility for their role in the team.  Liam and Ryan had a great week, becoming responsible for the team’s important wins and becoming what I class as a proper County Week player.  Mike also for the 2 wins under pressure on the last day giving the team the chance of the win, and for Fin, Paul and Tim for being ready to get onto the court if called, and I will say THAT is the toughest job!

Bring on Division 5!

For individual results, please see:

Results:                       Lost to            Berkshire                               3-6

                                    Lost to            North of Scotland                  1-8

                                    Beat                Warwickshire                         5-4

                                    Lost to            West of Scotland                   4-5

                                    Beat                Buckinghamshire                  8-1


                                    5th – relegated

Julian Godfrey, Team Captain



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