Division 1 Mini Red Derbyshire Winter Series
In the final division 1 mini red of the Derbyshire Winter series, Ashbourne's indomitable team faced the top clubs in the county.
Sam Playdon, Ashbourne's number 1, beat the David Lloyd number 1, Max Williams 10-9, Chesterfield's George Edwards 10-7 and the Ripley number 1 Daniel Connelly 10-9. The scorelines speak for themselves as to how close the matches were.
Nicholas Thorpe, never having contested matches at this level before, grew in stature as the afternoon progressed, taking the DL player to 8-10. With his doubles partner, Sam Butler, the scoreline against the DL pair was 8-10 in a nail biting finish. They beat the Derby Tennis Centre pair 10-8, as did Sam Playdon and his partner Megan Elliott, playing in her last mini red tournament before moving up to the under 9 orange category. Sam and Megan also beat the Chesterfield pair 10-9.
In the final match against Ripley, all of whose players train at Nottingham Performance Tennis Centre, Sam Butler, a red 3, took Charlotte Cassidy (orange 3 rating) to the wire, only losing 8-10. Nicholas Thorpe had a similarly close match, just missing out 7-10, with some harsh net cord shots against him.
This tournament was three hours of intense play, which required concentration and physical fitness. Ashbourne's team was exemplary in their competitive attitude and Sportsmanship, although many of the players were running on adrenalin at the end. Even some of the parents and scorers had found the three hour stint somewhat arduous, with little or no respite.
The Aegon Summer league fixtures start in April with Ashbourne fielding six teams, from u8 to an adult team, in addition to the ten senior teams in the Derbyshire Leagues.