We began the season in a spirit of cautious optimism. Last year we had performed reasonably well and our team had been strengthened over the winter when Bill Sissons moved up from the over 65’s. Any concerns we had focussed on Suffolk and Yorkshire, both newly arrived in the division.
Home v. Suffolk
Our first match was at home to Suffolk, and it quickly became apparent that our concerns were well founded.
In the first rubber John Carter and Kevin Oxley lost 3 and 2 and were off court before Bill Sissons and John Ellis were just pipped in the first set 7-6 after more than an hours play. The match was put on hold pending the outcome of the second rubber.
In the event, Sissons and Ellis won 0 and 3 and Carter and Oxley lost 1 and 2, at which point the tie was lost on games count-back. The second set of the first rubber was however played and Sissons and Ellis lost 6 –2 leaving Suffolk outright
winners, 3 rubbers to 1.
Away v. Warwickshire
The second match of the season was away to Warwickshire at Edgebaston. The weather was brilliant and we were fortunate to play on their beautiful grass courts. In fact everything about the Club is quite magnificent, from the new pavilion, the heated indoor and outdoor pools, the indoor tennis facilities and the superb grass courts, not forgetting the excellent hospitality which brought a most enjoyable day to a pleasant end.
The score was tied at the end of the first rubber, Sissons and Ellis beating Barnes and Davies 3 and 2, and Carter and Oxley trailing Higgins and Elvidge 0 and 1.
In the second rubber, Carter and Oxley lost to Barnes and Davies 0 and 3.
The match between Sissons and Ellis and Higgins and Elvidge was much closer, the Notts. Pair taking the 1st. set 7-5, losing the second 5-7 and also the match tie-break 3rd. 10-7, giving victory to Warwickshire 3 rubbers to 1.
Home v. Yorkshire
The team was switched round for this fixture, Bill Sissons and John Carter playing together for the first time. The second pair, Andy Glover and Colin Croome, were brought in to replace the injured Kevin Oxley and unavailable John Ellis.
Sadly, the introduction of new blood to the team was not a success.
In their two matches, Sissons and Carter lost the first 0 and 3, and were one set all in the second but lost the match tie-break.
Glover and Croome went down 4 and 2, and 1 and 2.
Three matches down, one to play.
Away v. Hereford and Worcestershire
Which brings us to the 3 September, away to Hereford and Worcester at Malvern, the last match of the season for both teams, neither team having yet won a match. This one was for the “Wooden Spoon”.
The Malvern Club is well situated to the west of the town, nestling attractively in the shadow of the Malvern Hills. Such a pity that the artificial grass courts were less than impressive, being most unpredictable both in speed and bounce.
With everything at stake, the captain split the pairs playing Sissons with Carter and Oxley, recovering from torn knee ligaments, with Ellis. An inspired decision or a dreadful blunder? Only time and the result would decide.
The first rubber was close, Sissons and Carter beating Barton and Gilder 2 and 2, but Oxley and Ellis went down to Britnell and Davies 10-7 in the match tie-break 3rd. a valuable set gained nevertheless.
In the second rubber Oxley and Ellis beat Barton and Gilder 5 and 4, but Sissons and Carter lost to Britnell and Davies 10-8 in the match tie-break 3rd. again securing a valuable set to give Notts. the overall win, 2 – 2 on rubbers, 6 sets to 4., thankfully leaving the ‘wooden spoon’ languishing in Malvern.
A gratifying end to one of our less successful seasons.
John Ellis (Captain)
For full results see Div 2A results