Horncastle Tennis Club has had the busiest two weeks on record with no fewer than 12 teams competing, and two other major events hosted.
With the ladies’ second team promoted last season, the first match this year was between the club’s first and second teams.
Playing for the first team, Shirley Sutton, Jane Clark, Jenny Golland and Mireya MacRury won all of their matches. Di Jones and Yvonne Thomas played for the first team in this match in the absence of the regular top juniors. They won one round so the first team saved face and won 7-2. Playing for the second team were Sally Speed and Cynthia Goodacre, Julie Hillsmith and Helen Brass and Jane Reeds and Julie Smith.
l The under-12 Aegon team took on Eastgate and it proved to be a long and exciting match. Cousins Ross and Alex Armstrong won their singles but Charlie Tant and Joe Sheldon lost theirs. The doubles also went one all with Ross and Joe winning and Charlie and Alex losing. The deciding shoot-out was a tie-break to 10 points. Nominated to play the doubles for shoot-out for Horncastle were Ross and Alex who managed to secure a victory with a 10-8 win.
l The under-14 Aegon team of Ben Tyrrell, Christopher Bargh, Louis Croves and Toby Wilkinson made shorter work of their match against Boston C by all winning their singles. Ben and Chris also won the doubles but Louis and Toby lost, so it was 5-1 to Horncastle.
l The under-8 Aegon team played Rustons. Newly-trained tennis leaders Ross Armstrong, Joe Sheldon, Olivia Tant, Alden Midmer and Jacob Barrs ran this match and helped the young players with the scoring. Playing for Horncastle were George Hunter, Jessica Frick, Sophie Munks and Daisy Mills. George won three out of his four matches and Daisy and Sophie won one each. It finished 11-5 to Rustons.
l The under-9 Aegon team played Market Deeping. Max Wilson won both his singles and Grace Sheldon won one. Max and Grace also won their doubles. Sam Baxter and Jensen Tyrrell did not manage any wins this time, so it ended 6-4 to Deeping.
l On Friday, the club hosted its second annual Ladies’ Day with more than 20 ladies attending from around the county. It was expertly organised by Julie Hillsmith and Mireya MacRury and raised funds for both the club and The Royal Marsden Cancer Hospital.
After a full morning of five rounds of tennis, they enjoyed a delicious lunch provided by the ladies of the club. Lorraine Shepherd came out the overall winner and more than £300 was raised.
l The senior ladies’ team of Jayne Dyas and Fiona Purkiss and Yvonne Thomas and Julie Smith played their match against Boston 3rd. Boston proved too strong in this new league and won 4-0.
l The under-8 Aegon team travelled to Grimsby and played indoors with sponge balls. Sophie Munk won three rubbers, and George Hunter and Jessica Frick won two apiece. Dasy Mills had some close ones but did manage any wins this time. It finished 9-7 to Grimsby.
l The under-9 Aegon team travelled to Boston. The team were Sam Baxter, Grace Sheldon, Turner Kingswood and Rowan Bramley. Sam and Grace lost to Boston’s number one player but all the other matches were won by Horncastle who triumphed 8-2.
l The under-12 Aegon team travelled to Tealby. With six regular players unavailable, only Joe Sheldon won his singles, before partnering Jake Taylor to win their doubles. Arran Burford-Bradshaw stepped in at the last minute and played well but lost out to a much more experienced Tealby player. Final score was 4-2 to Tealby
l The Men’s Aegon team played Spalding but the team of Karl Sutton, Dan Dalton and Alden Midmer did not manage any wins.
l The ladies’ first team played Sleaford. Shirley Sutton and Sally Speed won two rounds and Mireya MacRury and Jenny Golland and Jane Clark and Harriet Jones won one each. Two rubbers were lost on close tie-breaks, so the 5-4 loss was disappointing.
l On Saturday the club took part in the national ‘Great British Tennis Weekend’ event when free coaching and courts were available for anyone to try tennis.
Visitors ranged from three years old upwards and members and coaching staff were kept busy all afternoon. Tennis Leaders Louis Croves, Olivia Tant and Alden Midmer helped at this event too.
All in all 512 people used the courts over the two week period.