The Ladies O35’s County team of Alexandra Melhuish, Helen Benton, Fiona O’Sullivan, Sarah Hosking, June Keen and Karina Weedon had the great honour of representing the county at Devonshire Park, Eastbourne at the beginning of August.
The ladies were in Group 5A with Suffolk, North Wales and Dorset. However we received some disappointing news the week leading up to the County Cup finding that Suffolk were unable to field a team. Meaning we only had 2 rubbers to play at the weekend. Each rubber consisted of 2 singles and 3 doubles all played on one court. With 11 groups and approximately 44 teams and 176 players!
Wiltshire were to play North Wales on Saturday 5 August, however due to heavy rain, strong winds all the matches were postponed until Sunday. A Tournament organiser’s nightmare!
The 6 August dawned as a beautiful warm day with a slight breeze, everyone was excited to get out on those beautiful grass courts, however play was delayed until midday if not later depending on which court your team was allocated, due to the courts being wet and dangerous to play on. So the referee changed the format to fast 4’s to speed things up!! This didn’t work to plan for the organisers as there were a lot of closely fought rubbers on Sunday, ours included. 5hrs later at 7pm in the evening Wiltshire had lost to N Wales 1-4 with both singles going to championship tie-breaks one of the singles player’s losing 11-9 and two of our three doubles pairs also have tie-breaks. However congratulations go to Fiona and Helen who won our only match of the day 4-2,4-0.
Monday 7 August – A cooler day with another format change, today’s matches would still be fast 4 but only the first round, 2 singles and 1 doubles to decide it. North Wales played Dorset in the morning. Dorset had a very strong team and won convincingly 3-0. Dorset then played us in the afternoon, they were just to good and defeated us 2-1 Our doubles pair were disappointed not have got a game on the final day due to the opposition doubles pair having an injury. So Wiltshire ladies came 3rd in the group, this means we will stay in Group 5 for next year.
Many thanks to everyone who represented the county.
Karina Weedon (Ladies 35’s Captain)
The Wiltshire Men’s team travelled to Eastbourne for the 2023 LTA Over 35’s County Cup in mid-August. The weather conditions were a stark contrast to last years blue skies and heat but the team were all excited for the battles ahead with Northumberland, Cumbria and the Channel Islands.
First up was Cumbria on day 1 on the second best court at the venue but rain delays meant only one set was completed before play was suspended for the day. When play was resumed on day 2 Wiltshire were able to complete singles victories for Nick and Ben before the doubles were played using the shorter Fast4 format. Close defeats for Martyn and Sam meant the last match was the decider with Ben and Nick comfortably winning for a 3-2 Wiltshire win. Soon after it was over to the worst court at the venue for the singles matches against the Channel Islands who dropped down into our division from last year. With one win each, Ben securing a great win for Wiltshire, the match was evenly balanced with the doubles to be played on day 3.
The final day began with doubles against the Channel Islands and 2 defeats, one in a very close third set tie-break for Martyn and Jason, and a win meant the result was 3-2 against Wiltshire. We then had a trip to the off-site venue for the remaining matches against Northumberland. Time was limited for the final match and after another narrow defeat in singles for Martyn followed by wins in singles for Ben and doubles for Nick and Jason put Wiltshire 2-1 up before it was decided not to play the last matches. The Channel Islands had done enough for promotion with the Wiltshire team finishing second best with a great team effort.
Despite the challenges of the weather and short format matches the team reflected positively on the performance with Ben the stand out player winning all his matches. Ben will now take on the captains role and the push for promotion in 2024.
Sam Hull (Mens 35’s Captain)