Newly-promoted Warwickshire men’s tennis side clinched their second straight win on day three of the Summer County Cup Group One at Eastbourne, finishing their rain-affected match against North of Scotland in style.
Leading 4-2 overnight, they took the match 6-3 then clinched a hard-fought tie with Yorkshire by the same score and are lying second overall, behind unbeaten favourites Lancashire.
Teenager Elliot Barnwell, making his debut against Yorkshire at third pair with Steven Lee, looked an impressive prospect as the pair won two out of three rubbers in straight sets and only went down to the first pair Andrew Banks and Kyle Brassington in a deciding championship tie-break.
First pair Maniel Bains and Nathan Rooney and seconds Neil Goldsby and Andrew Fitzpatrick also won two out of three, losing only to Banks and Brassington and four of the matches went to a nerve-wracking deciding tie-break.
It was a different story for Warwickshire’s depleted women’s side which had trailed 4-2 against Surrey overnight. Despite heroics from the top two pairs who each snatched a win in the final round, the third pair of Manisha Foster and Aimee Jarrett went down fighting in the deciding rubber, to give Surrey a tense 5-4 victory.
In their next match, against Essex, rain intervened with matters nerve-janglingly balanced at 3-3.
With no wins so far this week, Katie Shaw’s young team, which last year took the title, know they must win this cliff-hanger to stand any chance of survival in Group One.
Big-hitting Celia Fraser, 17, brought in to partner Jarrett at third pair in place of 15-year-old Foster, failed to make much impression in her first two rubbers of the week.
So it will probably fall to the Midlanders’ first pair Luisa Cowper and Leyla Ogan and seconds Jess Jackson and Hannah James to try to salvage a crucial victory before they take on strugglers Leicestershire later today.
Men’s Event – Warwickshire bt Yorkshire 6-3 (Warwickshire names first)
First pair: M Bains/N Rooney lost A Banks/K Brassington 5-7 4-6, bt B Gudzalek/E Chang 6-2 6-2, bt B Atkinson/T Jordan 7-5 6-1
Second pair: N Goldsby/A Fitzpatrick lost A Banks/K Brassington 6-2 6-7 8-10, bt B Gudzalek/E Chang 1-6 7-5 10-8, bt B Atkinson/T Jordan 3-6 6-2 10-8
Third pair: E Barnwell/S Lee lost 6-4 2-6 5-10, bt B Gudzalek/E Chang 6-1 7-6, bt B Atkinson/T Jordan 6-3 6-2
Women’s event – Warwickshire lost to Surrey 4-5
First pair: L Cowper/L Ogan lost to L Woodroffe/H Collin 2-6 3-6, bt M Oldham/K Patterson 6-4 7-5, bt L Slater/V Brook 3-6 6-3 11-9
Second pair: J Jackson/H James lost L Woodroffe/H Collin 1-6 4-6 , bt M Oldham/K Patterson 6-4 6-3, bt L Slater/V Brook 6-4 6-4
Third pair: M Foster/A Jarrett lost L Woodroffe/H Collin 5-7 0-6, lost to M Oldham/K Patterson 3-6 3-66-4 6-3, lost to L Slater/V Brook 3 6-7 5-6
Warwickshire tied 3-3 with Essex – match unfinished
First pair: L Cowper/L Ogan bt S Cornish/BHunter 6-4 6-3, bt A Wainwright/A Gibson7-6 4-6 10-7
Second pair: J Jackson/H James bt S Cornish/B Hunter6-4 6-0, lost to S Cockell/J Rabot 3-6 2-6
Third pair: C Fraser/A Jarrett lost to A Wainwright/A Gibson 4-6 3-6, lost to S Cockell/J Rabot 3-6 3-6