This year we travelled to Norwich for Division 3b and we knew it was going to be tough with some strong counties competing. A couple of last minute changes to the team due to injury gave us a bit of a headache but we managed to travel with a hopeful team.
Friday was always going to be close playing one of our ‘friends’ Norfolk. After the singles we stood at 3 all with wins from Emily Crowe, Sarah Wright and feisty display from newcomer Nina Luiggi at number 4. Sarah-Kate O’Grady lost in a long three setter after having set points in the first set which she lost 7-5. Lynsey Cover making her senior debut also battled to three sets but before losing 3-6 6-4 1-6 to Maria Andrews. So with all to play for in the doubles the big match was the 3 v 3 rubber. Laura Cooper and Stephanie Barling battled but lost in a close third set champions tie break. Sarah Wright and Emily Crowe took their doubles but Sarah Kate and Lynsey were outclassed by the very experienced Norfolk 2nd pair.
Saturday saw us against Surrey – a very high performing team that on paper looked was better than a division 3 place. First match saw Lynsey Cover win a three set battle but we were 3-1 down overall when Emily went on to play Victoria Brook. After just under 3 hours and a very hard hitting game Emily was triumphant 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (tiebreak 7-5). So 4-2 down after the doubles was probably better than anticipated but we failed to secure any more rubbers.
On the final day we were up against the North of Scotland who had lost 9-0 to Norfolk the day before. Things started well with Steph Barling and Sarah-Kate winning their matches. Sarah Wright was on court barely 25 minutes to see off their captain Shona Graham 6-0 6-0 and Nina Luiggi and Emily Crowe also won. So we had a result after the singles but finished the match winning 8-1 overall and held on to our position in Division 3b.
Winter is always harder with so many of our players in the USA at University so many thanks to those who did put themselves out (and play singles for the first time in 11 years). All in all one of the most enjoyable winter county cups we’ve been to.
Team: Sarah Wright (Captain) Emily Crowe, Sophia Marks, Stephanie Barling, Sarah-Kate O’Grady, Nina Luiggi, Lynsey Cover, Sarah Usher, Laura Cooper.