The Nottinghamshire team of Maia Dunn, Aldona Greenwood, Caroline Milns, Bethan Mallalue and Lisa Knowles faced a tough task in division 4 this year, following 2 straight years of promotion from the lows of division 6. There was a bad sign on arrival at the usual B&B on Thursday evening when we were given the sad news that the team mascot, Turkish the B&B dog, had been suffering from health problems related to his age and didn’t seem to be his usual cheery self.
It was unfortunate that the opposition on day 1 were close rivals Lincolnshire, who looked like the strongest side on overall LTA ratings. The Notts team were slow getting into their stride, with tiredness from travel on the preceding day a factor and despite several close matches, the final result was 5-0 to Lincolnshire. Turkish was not at all impressed with our loss and was very growly when we arrived back at the B&B. Having not lost a tie for 3 years, this defeat came as a psychological blow and some positive team talk was required over dinner on the Friday night.
Day 2 started much more positively and after two closely fought and nail biting singles matches, Notts were 2-0 up against Norfolk. The team were feeling positive going into the doubles that a win was on the cards but unfortunately Caroline’s calf injury flared up again after Friday’s play, so we were one player down and Norfolk took all of the doubles rubbers to win the tie 3-2. After two demoralising losses, the team finally decided that maybe they should listen to Pippa, the head physio and take an injury soothing dip in the sea!
The previous day’s ice bath fully clothed in tennis gear seemed to work as by day 3, Notts were more tuned into the Eastbourne grass and playing well (perhaps the team should take Pippa’s advice more often!) The West of Scotland looked confident of keeping their place in division 4 and fought hard in every match, playing above their ratings; however they were in need of a wee dram on the flight home after succumbing to a 5-0 drubbing.
Overall, the Notts team felt slightly disappointed with the slow start against Lincolnshire and the very narrow loss to Norfolk but pleased to have retained their position in division 4.
Aldona Greenwood (Captain)