New and established pairings tried out in Essex
The Isle of Man women’s tennis team recently travelled to Essex to compete in the annual summer County Cup Doubles competition.
The Manx team faced up against a different county each day over four days.
Day one saw the Isle of Man take on a strong Suffolk side.
A couple of newcomers to the Isle of Man team, Caitlin Henery and Anna Kirk, meant some new doubles pairings. Kirk paired with the experienced, Karen Faragher, whilst Henery later subbed in to play with fellow junior, Aailish Kelly.
The first victory of the trip came from another new pairing of Sarah Long and Elena Snidal, who held their nerve to win their second match in the deciding championship tie break 6-1, 0-6, 1-0 (10-7). Later, Kirk and Faragher hit their stride to beat the same pair, only dropping two games.
Final result: Isle of Man 2, Suffolk 7.
On day two the Isle of Man faced Channel Islands.
Kelly and Henery got off to a flying start against the Channel Island’s third pair, eventually taking the win after a closely fought match 6-3, 5-7, 1-0 (10-7). Kirk and Faragher also had a close battle against the Channel Island’s second pairing, coming through 7-6, 6-3. Kirk and Faragher went onto claim the team a win later in the day.
Final score: Channel Islands 6, Isle of Man 3.
On day three the Isle of Man played South of Scotland.
Captain, Faragher, chose to make a tactical switch and pair juniors Long and Kelly together. This worked well as they dominated play in their first match, beating the Scottish number one pair 6-0 6-1. Kirk and Faragher also won convincingly. New pairing of Henery and E. Snidal took some time to get used to playing together, losing the first set 6-7. However, they went on to narrowly win in the deciding championship tie break 13-11.
The Island’s number one and two pairings continued to dominate against the Scots, barely dropping any games. Hannah Snidal teamed up with sister Elena for the remaining matches, the final one going to another nail-biting championship tie break, following the sisters making a comeback after being 2-5 down in the second set and saving four match points. This meant the team had managed a clean sweep beating the South of Scotland 9-0.
Spirits were high going into the final day after the previous day’s convincing victory. The team knew it could go either way against Oxfordshire. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the Isle of Man’s day with a few close matches going in the opposition’s favour.
The day ended Isle of Man 3, Oxfordshire 6.
Report by Tennis Isle of Man.