MIXED SUCCESS FOR COUNTY OVER 60s TEAM
Despite fielding our strongest ever line-up for this season’s opening weekend matches before Christmas we found the opposition in the newly formed division 1B tough going and are unlikely now to repeat the top 2 finish we have sustained for the past 3 years. Entries in this increasingly popular County Championships category have soared to an all time high of 29, necessitating an increase from 3 to 4 divisions and a cross country move for us from last season’s south-east section to a south-westerly/midlands grouping.
Results were as follows-
Bucks 5 Warks. 5
Bucks 5 Worcs. 5
Bucks 10 Dorset 0
Bucks 4 Beds 6
Newly qualified super vet Alan Cherry was our most successful player with 7 wins from 8 singles, not surprising as he was the highest ranked competitor in the division, only losing to Worcs. No.1 Pat McCabe. Alan played in all the Bucks matches with Michael Wilkins (4 wins from 6), High Wycombe’s Nick Hansell (2 wins from 4) and myself (3 wins from 6) sharing the other two mens team places. Sue Lewis filled the woman’s spot, admirably as always, and faced top class opponents in current England International Di St. Ledger, reigning European over 75s champion Margaret Dignum and Beds super-star Sandra Harper.
On the Saturday Bucks couldn’t build on our great effort of winning 5 of the 7 all-mens sets against Warks, who came back to snatch a share of the spoils. By contrast we pulled off a magnificent treble in the doubles sets against Worcs after falling short in the singles, the Alan/Sue combination saving match point in the final set to force a well earned draw.
On the Sunday Dorset didn’t extend us too much and we were unlucky to lose 6-4 to Beds. As expected here, Sandra Harper won her singles and 2 mixed doubles but we were in with a big shout in the remaining lost sets. Alan/Nick led 8-6 in the decider in the mens doubles, I wasted 4 match points against Steve Dobbins in my final singles and, with a master stroke of timing, John Alsop pulled off a spectacular victory over Nick when he called a ‘time out’ for himself at 6-9 down in the 5th. All action Alsop, boosted by a great win over Ian Musk the week before, returned to the table after the break to peel off 5 straight winners for victory, leaving a bemused Nick in his wake.
So, we move on to the next round of matches in March with neighbours Beds favourites to top the division.