Tim Phillips, Notts over 35’s Captain looks back at the Over 35’s Inter County Championships in Eastbourne and the latest rule changes that have been announced and how it will affect this leading event over the coming years.
The over 35’s Men’s and Ladies Inter County events played over a long (hopefully dry) weekend each summer on the fantastic grass courts of Eastbourne is the first step for seniors on the road to veterans' tennis.
This year just prior to the event, the ‘powers that be’ stunned everyone when they suggested that they didn’t see any future value in the event and proposed cancelling it for 2014! That shock was then added to by 2 of our top players pulling out of the event through injury with only 3 days to go!
Could be an interesting weekend!
So, all the talk on the first day at Eastbourne was more about saving the event than the actual tennis! Notts this year had moved up to division 4 and were probably in one of the strongest groups to be seen in an over 35 event for years. Our first game was up against Bedfordshire who fielded a recently world ranked singles player who hit winners for fun! Although we had some close matches,considering the fire power we were up against Notts eventually went down 4-1.
The second day was going to be another tough one for the team to pull off - we were up against a strengthened Buckinghamshire team featuring to our detriment a very good GB player – after winning the first rubber and playing some really good tennis, Notts again went down 4-1.
Sundays match was now crucial – we had to win to stay up and on paper it looked pretty even. Notts went 2-0 up. And stay up we did with a very good 3-2 win against Oxfordshire to keep us up in division 4.
Well done to the team of Mark Wright, Tim Phillips, Jason and Justin Revill and Pete Godber (pictures left to right).
Getting back to the issue of the future of the over 35 event - sense has prevailed and it’s all now back on, hopefully for the foreseeable future – now that is a result! As for the rule changes - from 2015 to encourage younger players to participate in the event, teams will only be able to field two players over the age of 45 – so come on you ‘young’ 35 year olds out there, your County needs you!