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First match of the season with new regular players in the team. A phone call from the opposition (again) meant they were arriving late and the courts were booked solidly after our match so we were unsure whether we would get all the games played. As it was, a mixed pair arrived in time to get the third mixed out of the away before the rest of their team arrived. We continued in the normal format of even doubles but lost the first played mix game in two ends. James and I managed to take our first men’s in two straight, balancing the score line. Unfortunately we clashed mid court and lost a racket apiece. ££ouch!!!

Unfortunately, our first ladies, new pairing of Shelia and Gill lost their game two straight and from here on in things went downhill but despite valiant efforts with another couple of three-enders, we didn’t pick up another game. The final result was 1-8 to Essex. This was their ‘B’ team which is a little worrying as three of their players were in their A team last season. They obviously have players moving up which is something we don’t have the luxury of for another couple of years.

Back row: L-R. James Tiller, William Brown (Capt.), Tony Brown.
Front row: L-R Shelia Perrin, Linda Pettigrew & Gill Fairham

The new venue still feels like an ‘away’ match, having no ‘home’ advantage to our players. To add to this, there was a very noisy kid’s party going on with large inflatables on the other courts, and compressors running constantly, so just a little distracting!

Final result: 8-1 to Essex