This year we were making an appearance in Division Two, somewhere where we haven’t been for a long time! Unfortunately, we were severely hampered with six players who would normally be in our squad all unavailable to play this year. With the other teams boasting former Wimbledon competitors, it was always going to be a tough weekend.
Day 1 vs Norfolk
Playing at number 6 this year making his County debut was Carl Saxby and he got off to a flying start. He won convincingly 6/2 6/2 which gave us a great start. Ben Mactaggart and Phil Peters typically battled hard against tough opponents but were in the end beaten. James Wood was another making his Men’s County debut, who showed moments of promise but playing at number 3 it was always going to be very difficult. Luke Smith faced a very high class opponent and had no answer, whilst Patrick Foley took on Richard Bloomfield and competed very well but in the end, Bloomfield had too much and took the win. In the doubles, Ben and Phil played an excellent match and got us another win, so the first day ended in a 7-2 loss.
Day 2 vs Lancashire
Another County debutant, Tom Tyler, came in to the singles today with Carl moving to number 5. Tom had a tough match against a very physical opponent, and Carl had a much tougher match going down in straight sets. Phil played a really good match, making his opponent very nervous. Two very tight sets but in the end, Lancs took that win. James and Luke again had very tough matches and had no answers. Patrick had another well known opponent, Dan Smethurst, and did well but Smethurst was just too good. After the doubles, it finished 9-0 to Lancashire.
Day 3 vs Cheshire
With Ben picking up an injury on day 1, and James having to go home to complete his coaching qualification, there was a further reshuffle in the singles order. Tom, Carl, Luke and Callum, who came in at number 4, all tried their best but had better opponents. Phil again competed very well but was edged out, and Patrick played a good match but ultimately lost. At the end of Day 3, Notts were relegated back to Division 3.
Despite the circumstances, it was again a great weekend. With more of our regular players hopefully available for Summer and Winter County Cup, 2018 promises to be a good year.
Callum Chivers (Capt)
Top Row: Patrick Foley, Tom Tyler, Phil Peters, Carl Saxby, Luke Smith
Bottom Row: Callum Chivers, Ben Mactaggart