The final county weekend saw Gloucestershire teetering above the relegation zone after some tough fixtures in match week 2 with a depleted squad. The mission firstly to avoid relegation and then to climb the table as high as possible, but it wouldn’t be easy against promotion chasers Devon and Wiltshire on Saturday followed by table strugglers Devon 2.
The weekend started with a clash against table toppers Devon, it promised to be a close match and it did not disappoint. As always, singles first and after going 2-1 down in the mens singles here were notable performances by the womens singles contingent of Rebecca Pantaney and Vivi Jennings-Trace. Both winning in 3 sets to put Glos 3-2 up going into the doubles and with Devon having very strong mixed pairs Glos knew they would need to build a lead in the level doubles. Unfortunately the doubles was split 2-2 meaning Glos took a slender 5-4 lead, would it be enough? The first mixed pairing of Ian Woolway & Linda Pearcy were always going to find it hard against the Devon pair going down in 2 sets and sadly Jamie Pearcy & Kerry Mullen were unable to capitilse on winning the first set and went down fighting in 3. A very tough but respectable 6-5 to the league leaders and some encouraging performances going into the afternoon match against Wiltshire.
Again this promised to be a nail-biter. Glos got off to a flier going into a 4-1 lead with some very good singles performances. Chris Hotchen leading the line with a close win against Jonathon McDonals, Sol Griffiths breaking his hoodoo against Simon Woodhouse and again the trio of Rebecca Pantaney and Vivi Jennings-Trace showing superior fitness and determination to grind out 3 set wins. Wiltshire managed to peg Glos back in the doubles securing 3 of the 4 matches leaving it all down to the mixed again. It was a different story this time with Ian Woolway & Kerry Mullen winning in straight sets to secure victory despite Glos losing the other mixed. A very solid 6-5 win against a strong Wiltshire side who would end the season 3rd in the table.
Some tired bodies took to the courts on Sunday in not ideal circumstances with the match being delayed by cricket nets hanging over the courts and battling the sun coming from the windows at the top of the sports hall. Eventually the match against Devon 2 got underway and Glos were looking for a strong finish to their season. A great start saw all the singles players winning their matches, again Rebecca Pantaney grinding out a result in 3 sets and a rare singles performance from Kerry Mullen also saw her secure another point for Glos. Onto the doubles and again some strong performances saw the team take 3 of the points putting them in a commanding 8-1 lead going into the mixed. A share of the spoils in the final two games of the season saw a convincing 9-2 win and a high note to end the season.
Well done to all of those players who helped out through the season and for those who stepped up into different events and from the second team.