After a most enjoyable friday night were we managed to some good team bonding we embarked to the Racing Club in high spirits and ready to do battle.
On Saturday we had a hard fought day on the clay, with many team highlights:-
Jeremy Bates winning against a tough opponent but made the win look very easy! Our junior Richard Gabb made quick work of another strong French junior, Mike Dawe also rose impressively to the occasion winning 6/0 6/3.
Coming to the end of the day we were 7 - 9 down, with Karen Cass and Jo Louis battling in another championship tie break and also Henk and Mike Dawe were also in the same position. Both matches on at the same time and both pulled out nail biting victories to close out the end of play 9 matches all.
After an inspired day we enjoyed the French hospitality with the formal dinner at the Racing Club. The following day we did suspect that the French might change around their teams and bring in some more heavy weight players. Fortunately this did not happen even though their team did have a few new players.
We got off to a flyer winning the first 3 rubbers. From that start our team never looked back! We only lost 3 matches in total that day, an amazing achievement!
Overall we won 22 matches to 12. A fantastic win to beat the seemly unbeatable French on the clay! It has not really sunk in completely, but my team was magnificent throughout, there team spirit was something special, each player pulled each other and I really think that gave us the edge!
I would like to thank my team so much for their efforts and also their support and help to me for my first match as captain. It was a pleasure to lead them, they should be very proud, I know I am!
It should be said that Michel Leclercq was so helpful and wonderfully organised. As well as Jean Pierre Cartier and Pierre Darmon for their generous hospitality throughout the weekend. Even though they were probably not best pleased with the result they all put on a great weekend for us all.
Thanks also for our team supporters in Karen Whishaw, Barry Weatherill, Benson, Susie Cox, Fiona (Craig Edmondson's partner) David Clark (Ann Clarks Husband) they added to our wonderful team spirit, and special thanks need to go to them!
Match highlights :-
Mike Dawe Man of the Match winning all four matches
Jeremy Bates for yet another faultless display of winning tennis (winning all his matches again!)
Rich Gabb our outstanding junior who was a delight to have in the team as well as Jodie Williams won all his matches.
Sue Hill for her battling spirit and Hannah Collin for her one match of perfect tennis!
Mark Cox was outstanding on and off the court bringing the whole team together in his superbly positive way.
Ann Clark who was incredibly impressive on the slow courts with her exquisite touch play, the drop shot and lob were the regular shots of the day!
Each member of the team put in fabulous displays on and off the court and in was a real pleasure to be involved in the winning weekend!