A glorious weekend was had by all who took part at Eastbourne this year, enjoying plenty of warmth and sunshine, which meant for uninterrupted play on the pristine courts that Devonshire Park has to offer (and even the wind was kind to us!!).
With Devonshire Park undergoing redevelopment, play continued to run smoothly amidst cranes and other heavy-duty equipment. The format was reduced from 5 rubbers down to 3 with counties playing either the morning or the afternoon session. It seemed a little quieter with fewer counties playing all at once but it didn’t detract from the usual atmosphere that we all enjoy.
The team consisted of Caroline Milns, Lisa Knowles, Jackie Thompson and Maia Dunn (captain). Aldona Greenwood was a valuable supporter recovering from a fractured foot and hopefully will soon be back injury-free. The Nottinghamshire ladies had a great few days of tennis. Everyone put in 100% effort and there were several incredibly close matches that could have swung the results, but with a great final win, we comfortably remain in Division 4.
Day 1 – Nottinghamshire vs Norfolk
Caroline Milns opened play and had a cracking start at number 2 singles against Clare Crean. She breezed through 6-0, 6-0 without having to refill her water bottle!
Lisa Knowles and Jackie Thompson teamed up for the doubles in a nail-bitingly close match. The first set resulted in a tie-break that they won, the second, they levelled from 5-2 down but Norfolk eventually took it. The fight didn’t end there though, it lasted through to the match tie-break at 8-8, but Norfolk came out on top. 7-6, 5-7, [8-10]
Maia Dunn had a tough match against hard hitting Karen Highfield at number 1 singles, but ultimately Karen was far too strong. 6-1,6-2 loss.
Nottinghamshire lost 2-1
Day 2 – Nottinghamshire vs Cheshire
With the same team line-up, Caroline opened play against Sophie Johnson. And what a battle they had, neither wanting to stand down! We were very proud of Caroline who gave her all, resulting in another nail-biting match tie-break. At 8-8 we were trying to breathe normally, but Cheshire held on, to win 6-4, 4-6, [10-8].
Lisa and Jackie came up against a fresh pair of legs who arrived that day. It was a tough match with strong opposition but they battled well, resulting in a 6-3, 6-2 loss.
Maia Dunn played Caroline Harrison and won 6-4, 7-5.
Nottinghamshire lost 2-1
Day 3 – Nottinghamshire vs Northumberland
Going in on the third day 2-0 down we were there to fight to stay in the division. And that is exactly what the team did.
Caroline played Anne Roberts, an incredibly tricky player, but with determination and grit Caroline refused to give a single game away 6-0, 6-0.
Lisa and Jackie came on and played superbly together against another pair of tricky players who regularly play together in Northumberland. They did the team proud and came out on top with a 6-4, 6-4 win.
Emily Ogden conceded the match against Maia.
Nottinghamshire won 3-0!
The Nottinghamshire ladies look forward to the challenges that 2018 will bring. Thank you for all your support, enthusiasm and effort. I enjoyed taking on the role as your new captain.