The team finished 5th out of 8 and will remain in Division 2 for next season
The 1st team this year was represented by:
Men: Chris Hotchen, Ian Woolway, Nick Ponting, Sol Griffiths, Jamie Pearcy, Andy Woolway
Women: Abbie Jolliffe, Kerry Mullen, Linda Pearcy, Rebecca Pantaney, Isla Townley, Matilda Tierney
Report: Gloucestershire First Team entered the season with optimism after losing out on promotion by 1 point last season (despite being provided the opportunity to move up a division anyway – which we turned down).
We began the first weekend well beating a strong Avon side 7-4 despite not having the injured Bex. We then went to play Dorset (eventual division winners) who we knew would be strong and just missed out 6-5 but this was a strong performance.
The second weekend was without Andy and Bex so needed some players to fill in, up stepped Matilda and Sol and Jamie shared the doubles. This was a mixed weekend for the squad as we hammered Devon thirds 10-1 but went down very disappointingly to Wiltshire 8-3.
The final weekend the first team were up to a full complement of players and on the Saturday, this showed. Some very dominant displays saw Gloucestershire beat Berkshire 8-3 (winning 5 out of 6 of the 3 set matches) and Devon seconds 9-2. Going into the Sunday on the final day of the season, 5 teams were very evenly matched with only 5 points separating them, with opponents Worcestershire being one of them. This was always going to be a tough match with a few sore heads and bodies in the team. We eventually went down 6-5 despite some very close matches.
Overall this was a very enjoyable and positive season – if not a bit bizarre being 2 points off the top spot yet finishing 5th in the table. Compliments to Chris Hotchen who was the best performer in the league for the second year running winning 14 of his 15 matches – he always loses one on the final Sunday of the league. This was a real squad effort this season where every player contributed and it was a pleasure to be a part of.