Summer County Cup tennis: Thursday round-up from Devonshire Park

Surrey celebrate victory
Surrey celebrate victory

Surrey men are on the brink of winning the AEGON Summer County Cup for the first time in over a decade after narrowly overcoming Kent.

The game went right to the wire with Surrey taking the deciding match and recording a 5-4 victory.

It means they head into the final round of games still unbeaten, although any one of three teams could take the title.

They now face Hertfordshire in a sudden death shootout with the winner certain of glory. Kent is the other team very much in the hunt. Team captain Danny Sapsford is certain the close-fought victory will give his side plenty of confidence going into the final match.

“To come out victorious against Kent will do the team the world of good,” he said. “It was a very close match with lots of tension but to perform like they did under the circumstances will hopefully give us the edge tomorrow.

“Tomorrow is going to be very exciting. There really are no favourites; you might as well toss a coin. Us, Hertfordshire and Kent are all very evenly matched sides.”

Hertfordshire didn’t have it all their own way against Norfolk but a strong middle round of matches ensured a comfortable 7-2 victory. Derbyshire and Cheshire went toe-to-toe for most of the day but Derbyshire finished the stronger, winning 5-4 overall.

Hertfordshire ladies are one match away from winning the County Cup for the second time in three years. The 2010 champions faced a Surrey side eager to recover from their heavy loss to Buckinghamshire the day before.

And although they put up a good fight, Hertfordshire always held the advantage and eventually won the contest 5-4.Team captain Sarah Donovan is looking forward to taking on Buckinghamshire in the winner-takes-all finale.

“Historically Surrey have always been a good team so we knew they would put up a good fight,” she said. “We started well and then in the middle three matches got the upper hand, the girls played the big points well and I think that made the difference.

“We set out to make the final when we arrived so it’s pleasing that we have achieved our goal. We didn’t expect to be facing Bucks for the title but we certainly won’t be underestimating them.

“The whole team is feeling very positive about tomorrow.”

Buckinghamshire overcame Middlesex 7-2 and now have the chance of winning the Summer County Cup for the first time in their history. Victory never really looked in doubt for the Buckinghamshire ladies, who won six games in a row. In the final match of the day Lancashire beat Hampshire & IOW 6-3