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BSF TENNIS LEAGUE REPORT - Mark Pearson (Mixed League Secretary), 5th September 2019
A very exciting Cecil Cup Final was played out at Lostock on Sunday. The handicapped competition pitted Division 2 runners-up Ellesmere against Division 5 champions, Hawkshaw D, with the latter receiving 53.5 games start.
Dark clouds were threatening as the knock up commenced and, just as play was about to commence, the heavens opened. Thankfully, the shower was short and the players were soon back on court.
Hawkshaw got off to a good start taking nine games from the first three sets. The pairings of Luke Brandwood/Sue Manning and Ross Manning/Joan Waddell doing particularly well in taking four games each.
The pendulum swung back towards Ellesmere as they won the next three sets to love, with wins for John Nuttall/Christina Millington, Sarah Davies/Jeanette McCormick and Ged Sheppard/Chris Cain.
Playing conditions were difficult. Apart from the occasional light shower, it kept dry, but there was a gusty wind which got hold of some weaker shots leading to some humorous misses.
The momentum continued for Ellesmere, as Hawkshaw were only able to collect three more games in the next three sets. This left Hawkshaw needing a further seven games to claim victory.
The final sets started well for Hawkshaw as they picked up early games in each set, but eyes were soon turning to the set on Court four between Nina Baxter and Joan Waddell of Hawkshaw and Sarah Davies and Jeanette McCormick, which seemed to give Hawkshaw the best hope. The other sets had finished 6-1 in Ellesmere’s favour, but by this time the Court four match was locked in a real tussle at 3-3. The Hawkshaw pair took the next game, so only required one more to secure the Cup for their team. A long game ensued, with several break points (effectively championship points) coming and going, but eventually, after what seemed like an eternity, Nina and Joan clinched the game. They went on to take the set 6-5 to give an overall match score of 73.5-71 to Hawkshaw D.
It was tough on Ellesmere for whom John Nuttall, Chris Cain and Christina Millington had been particularly dominant, but all credit must go to Hawkshaw for sticking to their task and keeping their nerve at the crucial moments and especially to Nina Baxter and Joan Waddell for a fine performance in the last set. The full teams were:
Hawkshaw D: Graham Edgington, Nina Baxter, Ellis Calland, Kath Abbott, Luke Brandwood, Sue Manning, Ross Manning and Joan Waddell.
Ellesmere: John Nuttall, Christina Millington, Chris Cain, Jeanette McCormick, Alastair Lindley, Lisa Gorse, Ged Sheppard and Sarah Davies.