One one of the hottest weekends of the year the Staffordshire Mens Over 35s team represented the county at the prestigious Inter-County Championships at Eastbourne, winning their division and gaining promotion.
The team of James Henderson (Capt.), Allan Pengelly, Phil Brindley, Paul Hodgetts and Jason Donoghue played on the luscious grass courts of the famous Devonshire Park, competed over three days in stifling heat winning every match without even conceding a set.
Captain James Henderson said, “On the first day we played Wiltshire with Phil and Allan getting us off to the best start with wins in the singles, which was continued by Paul and James, Jason and Phil winning their doubles., so a confidence building 5-0 win.
“On the second day we played The Isle of Man in temperatures we had never experienced playing in before. Again another 5-0 win and to celebrate we had a swim in the sea (no ice baths available, I think they had melted!)”
In the deciding fixture against Cumbria with the winning county guaranteed promotion once more Phil and Allan gave the team a 2-0 lead with James and Paul next up winning the first doubles rubber. With an unassailable 3-0 lead, Cumbria conceded and Staffordshire were crowned Division Six champions and are promoted to Division Five for 2023.
James said, “It was a fantastic achievement made even more special by not dropping a set in the most unbearable heat. The team demonstrated superb standards of tennis and impeccable sportsmanship throughout, it was a privilege to captain the team.”
Julian Fisher, Staffordshire Mens Captain said, “Congratulations to the team, this is a superb win. The tournament is intense, back to back matches on the unusual surface of grass and this year in stifling heat. Congratulations and a huge well done to all.”