Notts Men Gain Promotion to Div 4!
Congratulations to our Notts Men who gained promotion to Div 4 in Cambridge with wins against Staffordshire, Hereford & Worcester; Oxfordshire; and Warwickshire.
Only a close match against Dorset prevented the Notts men from coming top of the table – but they certainly did enough to deserve their promotion to Division 4 next year.
Our Ladies had some tough matches in Southsea, so did well to retain their position in Division 3.
Well done to both teams – we are very proud of you!
Men Div 5
Ladies Div 3
Match report from Men’s Captain:-
This year we had been sent to Cambridge in the middle of the heatwave to compete in division 5 again. We were blessed with having such good strength in depth this year, making selection for the first day such a tough task. We were also very fortunate to have such good support this year in the form of Pete and Mandy Godber, Michael and Marian West, the Straker-Meads family and the Dunbar family. Ben Dunbar again showed his commitment to the Notts cause by flying over from New Mexico to play and was straight into the action more or less straight into the action from the flight!
Monday vs Staffs:
We have a good record in the past against Staffs and we were able to get the job done in good time on day one, which is key in this heat. Only a couple of three set matches with one epic battle for Jamie and Marcus in an otherwise convincing day. Notts win 9-0.
Tuesday vs H&W:
Paddy and Eban had a tough start and lost in straight sets whilst Jamie and Marcus won their match easily. There was a battle on the middle court which unfortunately went against Dunbar and West leaving us 2-1 down after the first round. Ben and Dom, Marcus and Jamie came out firing and took convincing wins. Paddy and Eban against the odds took out their top pair which gave us a 4-2 advantage. We knew that going 4-2 down from being 2-1 up will hurt them a lot, so we kept the energy up and got ourselves a 7-2 win.
Wednesday vs Dorset:
This match was always going to set the tone for the week. Paddy and Eban lost against a strong experienced pair in Irwin and Glynn. The other two matches were tight and tense. Ben and Dom took the win 6-4 in the third, whilst Jamie and Marcus were edged out 7-6 in the third. Jamie and Marcus were initially showing signs of a match hangover and started slowly but got their games together to win, with Ben and Dom losing in straight sets. Eban and Paddy had chances but lost 6-4 in the third which left us 4-2 down. Ben and Dom won well in their third match and Paddy and Eban took a win too leaving us at 4-4. Two tight sets but Irwin and Glynn played some very good tennis to take the decisive win and take the day for Dorset 5-4. A lot of chances but we wouldn't quite take one that really counted today!
Thursday vs Oxfordshire:
The team were no doubt feeling disappointed about the previous day, but today was a perfect opportunity to put things right. It is fair to say that the Oxford team didn't really fancy it today which make the day a lot easier to say the least but we still had a job to do. We were able to use our squad and bring Ben Mactaggart and Phil Peters in again with them both getting wins for the team, giving us a very comfortable 9-0 win. With this, it leaves promotion between Notts and Warks, who have been in the same division for the past four years!
Friday vs Warwickshire:
Ben Dunbar had now left the group, so Ben Mactaggart came in to play with Dom in our only change to the line up. Paddy and Eban were slow out of the blocks and lost in straight sets, whilst not for the first time this week we had two three set battles going on at the same time. Jamie and Marcus after a second set lapse got us an important win to make it all square. Ben and Dom were playing very good tennis but didn't get the rewards in the first set. However, they managed to turn things around against a very strong Warwickshire pair and get a vital win putting us 2-1 up after the first round. Paddy and Eban played much better and won well. Jamie and Marcus AGAIN found themselves in a three set battle. After being a set and 4-2 up, they lost the second set but played an incredible third set with the opponents making several comments about some of the shots they were producing and got another good win, making it 4-1 Notts. Ben and Dom again went a set down but were playing very well. Dom was seeing the tennis ball like a beach ball on returns and Ben was playing some inspired tennis, the best I have ever seen from him. The boys managed to win the match 6-4 in the third, sparking celebrations amongst the team as we had been promoted!
This year has for sure been my favourite year of summer county cup so far. The team all gave everything on the court and there were some comedy moments off the court too...largely thanks to Eban! What was really pleasing for me as captain was how much of a squad game it was this week. We had the guys on the bench who are obviously frustrated not to be playing every day, which is normal and I have felt the same in the past, but the way they came off the bench and performed at such a high level was a credit to them.
My thanks go to the players, the people that came to support us, Chris Phillips at Dunlop who supported us with our clothing and Notts LTA for the amazing support this year.
Notts Men's Captain
Top Row: Marcus Walters, Phil Peters, Callum Chivers, Ben Mactaggart, Patrick Foley, Ben Dunbar.
Bottom Row: Jamie Praditgnam, Dominic West, Eban Straker-Meads.