U League 2023

By - 23rd September 2023

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There were 2 consequences of winning the SECF U-league in 2022…

There was a trophy which had not been seen in the club this century, even though Reigate won several times in that period. Also, we were entered in the CA Secretary’s Shield Championship, drawn as a home match against Winterborne Valley – winners of a similar league in the South-West Federation.

As 2 lawns are needed to host the matches, Winterborne Valley willingly agreed that we could play at their ground. So, early one May morning Doug, JohnB, Neil and Simon set off in Doug’s car to deepest Dorset, arriving 2½ hours later at the ground, a few country lanes beyond Blandford Forum.

Our team found their 2 lawns challenging! There is a gentle slope from West to East; a fact you remember after you have struck your ball! It was a glorious day regarding the weather and the surrounding countryside, however, the outcome of the match was not!

We were soundly beaten 1-6, losing all the singles, Simon and JohnB managing to win the doubles. It was not quite the start to the season we had hoped for.

The following Wednesday was the first leg of the first home match against Sussex County, which Doug and Roger set the team up well for in the first leg by winning all 3 games.

The second leg scheduled for the following week had to be postponed because of a last-minute family emergency for one of the Sussex team.

The other home match was against Ealing and that was played all on one day; Simon and Roger playing at home, with Geoff and JohnB at Ealing. The combined result from the 2 venues was a win for Ealing 5-2.

The away match at Medway was not without incident – a sudden downpour mid-afternoon waterlogged one lawn so play ended and, with agreement, the game results were declared based on the scores as they stood when play stopped. Doug, Geoff, JohnB and Roger came home with a 4-3 win.

In late July, Doug, Geoff, Phil and Roger did well against Compton winning 6-1 without incident, spending a pleasant day in Eastbourne.

The postponed 2nd leg of the Sussex match eventually happened in late August – JohnB and Neil only needed 1 win out of 4 to clinch the match. In the end it was a very close-run thing with JohnB hanging on to win +1 on time.