As the Autumn Shropshire Mixed Tennis season draws to a close the teams of Oswestry Tennis Club are celebrating another successful year.
The third team became Group 5N champions in their final fixture with a 4-0 defeat of Shrewsbury 3rds securing a position in Group 4N next year and without losing a match all season.
The first pair of Dave Clough and partner Linda Clark achieved victory in both their rubbers over both the opposing pairs in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3, against the first pair and 6-0, 6-2 against the second pair. The second pair of Saffron Rainey and Rebecca Hollywell needed a tie break in the first set, 7-6, against the Shrewsbury firsts but then easily took the second 6-2 before they demolished the Shrewsbury second pair without the loss of a set 6-0, 6-0.
The second team to achieve success was the Oswestry’s fifth team who claimed the automatic second promotion spot in Group 7N.
Having had their penultimate fixture cancelled as Market Drayton 6 couldn’t field a team they could only be awarded two points which was a disappointment to the four members of the team, who having had a series of four love victories this season were up to having another but they channelled all their enthusiasm into their final fixture away to team Mosaic 7.
In the first round rubbers the first pair of Richard Hann and Emily Lowe came up against some strong opposition and after taking the first set 6-4 narrowly lost out on a second set tie-break 6-7, but managed to take the deciding third set tie-break 1-0. Their second rubber was much easier and was soon over for the loss of only two games 6-1, 6-1.
The second pair of Nick Elliott and Rosemary Bennett won their first rubber in quick time 0-6, 4-6 and had a long wait for Hann and Lowe to complete their first rubber before their second started. This was a challenging encounter that required their best tennis and they secured the first set on a tie-break 7-6 before their opponents resolve fell away in the second set going down 6-2. This team managed to field the same four players for the complete season so captain Nick Elliott praised them for their commitment and dedication.
Oswestry’s second team travelled to Town Walls Tennis Club knowing that the result had three possible outcomes, a promotion place, a place to remain in Group 3 or lead to their relegation in a group where only two teams are promoted, four teams are relegated and only one remain.
The situation at the top is very close with only Worfield safe in top spot and three teams vying for two places.
With an injury preventing Elspeth Cumpston from playing captain Gary Edwards called upon Rebecca Hollywell from the third team to partner him. They made a blistering start in their first rubber taking the first set 6-3, but then lost their way in the second set to lose it 3-6 and with the momentum firmly with Town Walls the Oswestry pairing had to dig deep to overcome a big deficit in the tie-break decider to come back and win it 1-0 (11-9) to take the rubber.
Oswestry’s other pairing of Brett Hollywell and Clare Hann played out an epic battle in their first rubber. They took the first set on a tie break 7-6, and then came so close to taking the second set before dropping it on a tie-break 6-7 and then missing out in the deciding tie-break 0-1.
In the reverse rubber Edwards and Hollywell made a slow start, quickly going down 1-5 but then raised their aggression levels to turn the rubber on its head winning six straight games to take the set 7-5 and with the bit between their teeth they took the second 6-3 to take the rubber.
Brett Hollywell and Hann lost their reverse rubber in straight sets 3-6, 3-6.
So with a two all draw the Oswestry team, playing their first season in Group 3 having been promoted last year, completed their six fixtures without a loss all season but with the format of the league as it is they will now have to wait for the outcome of their rivals, High Ercall 1 and Wem 1, remaining results to decide their fate.
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