New pairings perform well in County Cup event
The Isle of Man women’s tennis team travelled to Essex to compete in the annual Summer County Cup doubles competition recently.
The 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, while also battling with the heat on the hottest day in England on record.
A couple of newcomers to the team, Caitlin Henery and Anna Kirk, meant some new doubles pairings.
Kirk paired with the experienced Karen Faragher, while 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 Isle of Man faced the Channel Islands. Kelly and Henery got off to a flying start against the opposition’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 also bagged the team another win later in the day. Final score: Channel Islands 6, Isle of Man 3.
The opposition on day three was provided by South of Scotland, and the Manx team knew that if they played their best a win could be on the cards.
Team 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. The new pairing of Henery and Elena Snidal took some time to get used to playing together, losing the first set 6-7. But 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 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 and unfortunately it wasn’t the Isle of Man’s day with a few close matches going in the opposition’s favour.
The match ended Isle of Man 3, Oxfordshire 6.
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