The Avon Vetts team had three matches at Cippenham TTC last weekend to complete the season. First match was against host county Buckinghamshire. Without Martin Gunn playing at No.1 the team were expecting a tough day, but also found Bucks to be without their usual No.1. Gary Baldwin got the day off to a great start with a three straight win over left handed attacker Daniel Baxter. Clive Ellison and Dave Reeves also made short work of Keith Newell and Alan Cherry respectively before a mixed doubles success for Gary and Michele Reeves. Gary completed a superb double with an entertaining four set victory against Keith, and Michele beat Dawn Pearce 3-0. The defensive combination of Dave and Clive struggled in the men's doubles, then Clive lost out in four to Alan. Dave then got the better of Daniel in four close sets and a mixed doubles win for him and Michele completed an 8-2 win.
Second match was against Middlesex 2nds and this turned into a long and enjoyable match with six games going to five. Gary and Clive once again won the opening singles games against Jeremy Banks and Steve Buck - both in the fifth and both top quality and entertaining games to watch. Dave beat Jason Tendler before a mixed doubles defeat for Gary and Michele left the match score at 3-1. Gary then won his fourth singles game of the day to remain unbeaten against Steve Buck and Michele easily beat old friend Gill Lesh. Dave and Clive improved considerably on their first doubles outing pushing Jeremy and Jason all the way to the fifth to narrowly lose out. They were both straight back on the table and both going to a deciding end in their singles games with Clive losing 11-9 in the fifth to Jason and Dave beating Jeremy 11-4 in the fifth. With the win secure Michele and Dave completed a mixed doubles win for a final score of 7-3.
With fatigue slowly setting into the Avon players, Middlesex 1sts were sure to provide a stern test in the final match of the day. Farhat Rasul beat Gary 3-0 in the opening match but Clive levelled the scores immediately with a superb mix of chop, float and attack to completely deceive Radouan Zivkovic, also 3-0. Dave continued his own good form to take out Kiran Chidambaram 3-0 and another mixed doubles success for Michele and Gary put the team 3-1 ahead. No rest for Gary as he was back on and completed his fifth singles win out of six against Radouan. Michele then came through her toughest singles test 3-1 against Rachel Smith with some impressive topspin rallies from both players. Game of the day came next for Dave and Clive in the men's doubles - after two defeats they had got used to each other's styles and combined well. After they had saved seven match points Dave struck a superb backhand topspin on receive of serve to claim a 17-15 win in the fifth! All that effort took it's toll on Clive as he lost out to Kiran in four, but Dave made it six singles wins out of six with a four set win over Farhat Rasul. Dave and Miche wrapped up an 8-2 win with a straight sets win in the final mixed doubles.
All of this means the team has had six wins and a draw (with Berkshire) and are sat top of the table. Berkshire have one match remaining and are two points behind with a better set average. Therefore we are hoping Essex can pull off at least a draw and give the team a well earned promotion - that match is due to be played early March. Either way it has been a very successful season.