Tennis stars shine at Cromer
Last week Cromer Tennis and Squash Club once more proudly hosted Aegon County Cup Group Two, known in tennis circles as County Week.
Teams from Suffolk, Warwickshire, Hampshire and Isle Of Wight, North of Scotland, South Wales and Yorkshire did battle over five days to decide which two teams would be promoted to the elite of Group One to play at Eastbourne the following year.
The competition is solely doubles and each side selects three pairs for the day and they play three 'rubbers' against their opposition. The six counties play a different county each day and by the end of play on Friday the positions have been decided.
The standard of play throughout the week was very high with some incredible volleying skills on display. Team spirit in each camp was excellent with constant encouragement from playing partners, squad members and supporters. Large crowds were present each day and they were treated to some enthralling tennis.
After five days the team that emerged victorious were South Wales with skipper and former British top ten player Chris Lewis to the fore. However, their stars of the show were Jordan Helyer and Joshua Milton, who has just broken into the top ten in Britain. The pair won all 15 rubbers they played, the holy grail for county week players. In second place and joining South Wales at Eastbourne next year will be Yorkshire, who despite the absence of Wimbledon doubles winner Jonny Marray, won on four days out of five and deservedly returned to the upper echelon of the county game.
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Following some nailbiting tussles on the final day, Suffolk and Hampshire and Isle of Wight filled the third and fourth slots which meant that the two relegated sides were Warwickshire and North of Scotland.
A special mention must go to the groundstaff, head groundsman Matt Jordan and his assistant Peter Cooper for producing such a wonderful surface to play on. The players, who have played on grass courts all over the country, were unanimous in their praise for the courts with Lewis commenting in his victory speech that he had never played on finer courts. Thanks also for a wonderful week played in unusually pleasant weather must go to the referee Chris Mann and his experienced assistant Ray Greenhall who kept the more boisterous players in check throughout the week.
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The week is also becoming well known for the standard of catering so a very special mention to Chris Chapman and her team of volunteers who provided their traditional high levels of service throughout the week. Finally the bar staff deserve praise for working so hard throughout the week and keeping the players hydrated.
It is hoped that the club will once again host Group Two next year as the event brought countless spectators to the town. The teams all stay in local accommodation and provide a good boost to the local economy over the week.
This week, the club host the Cromer Junior Open Tournament with 265 juniors of all ages competing over six days. If you would like to come and watch some of the stars of the future, admission is free, but car parking is limited so please bear this in mind when travelling.