TENNIS: Northants Ladies enjoy successful County Cup campaign

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The Northamptonshire Ladies County tennis team enjoyed a successful weekend in Gloucester, finishing second in the Ladies County Cup competition.

Northants were matched with facing hosts and eventual winners Gloucester, the Isle of Man as well as the South of Scotland.

Lining up for Northants were Northampton County Lawn Tennis Club’s Kate Clayson, Katie Heathfield, Catherine Thompson, captain Laura Mineards and Laura Heathfield, as well as Dallington’s Cassie Dix, Stony Stratford’s Gemma Goulding, and Leah Milligan from Kettering Tennis Club.

The weekend didn’t get off to the best start for Northants, after they suffered a heavy defeat to table topping hosts Gloucester with an 8-1 defeat. The only win in the rubber coming courtesy of a hard fought three-set win by Cassie Dix.

Northamptonshire Ladies captain and Northampton County Lawn Tennis Club’s Laura Mineards said: “We had a great weekend in Gloucester, but we had a very tricky first day against them, who ended up as the overall winners.”

Saturday saw a marked improvement from Northans, with a 6-3 win over the Isle of Man. Singles victories from Kate Clayson, Laura Mineards, Katie Heathfield and Cassie Dix put the county 4-2 ahead in the tie. Mineards and her partner Catherine Thompson then increased their side’s lead with a doubles victory, before Leah Milligan and Gemma Golding paired up to seal the win for the County.

On the final day of play in the County Cup, Northamptonshire came up against the South of Scotland, picking up a comfortable 7-2 win.

Once again, Northants came out of the singles rubbers 4-2 ahead, with wins again coming courtesy of Katie Heathfield, Clayson, Mineards and Dix. The doubles pairings of Mineards/Thompson, Milligan/Golding and Clayson/Dix were all victorious in their rubbers, sealing a convincing win for Northants, taking them to second in the table.

Overall, skipper Mineards was pleased with how the weekend planned out, and said: “It was a great weekend had by all but it was a shame that we weren’t playing for promotion on the final day as Gloucester were a dead cert for going up.

“It was great to take the young Heathfield girls along and hopefully it was a great experience for all involved.”

Northamptonshire County Ladies will be looking to improve on their most recent County Cup outing, with promotion in their sights in the near future.