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BSF TENNIS LEAGUE  -  by  Stephen Maslivec (Mixed League Secretary) - 5th September 2018



Holcombe Brook D of Division 5 of the Bolton Sports Federation Mixed Tennis League, have won the 2018 Cecil Cup. They beat Bradshaw C, also of Division 5, 61 to 56.5 in the Final.


This is the third time in the last five years that Holcombe Brook D have reached the Cecil Cup Final and on previous occasions they have lost out to first division opposition.  Their last final was in 2016, when they lost narrowly to Hawkshaw A.


This year’s final was held at Markland Hill Tennis Club, and under excellent conditions for tennis, Bradshaw, who began with a +10.5 handicap, got off to an even better start when fourth couple Steve O’Riordan and Katie Holt defeated Andy Collins and Maggie Sloss, 6-2.


But, it soon became apparent that Holcombe’s more experienced team would be no push over as mixed pairings Jeremy Stuart and Beverley Gerega; Pete Bell and Sheila Collins; and Peter Bird and Rachael Livesey each won their sets 6-2, 6-3 and 6-3, respectively.


So, after the mixed sets, Bradshaw took forward a narrow four-point lead, and when Jimmy Jackson and Brad Gould registered a 6-1 win over Peter Bird and Andy Collins, and Rod Thornton and Steve O’Riordan took both their sets 6-5, it looked as if Bradshaw were in with a shout of lifting the cup for the second time since 2006.


But Bradshaw’s hopes were to be dashed as Holcombe’s ladies showed their experience by winning all four sets. Captain Maggie Sloss avenged her defeat in her mixed set and led by example as she and Sheila Collins won 6-0 against Nicola Gould and Marie Lowther; and 6-5 against Katie Holt and Emily Caton. And this was followed by Rachel Livesey and Beverley Gerega easing their way to victory, 6-3, 6-4.


In the end, Holcombe proved too strong for a spirited Bradshaw team, and while towards the end of the match Bradshaw trailed by just five games with two sets to play, it was the more experienced Captain Sloss and her team that maintained the lead and deservedly took the honours.