With the top four spots still up for grabs in the South East
Group Stage of the 2012 AEGON Team Tennis Championship (the tennis equivalent
of the footbale Premier League), Bromley LTC hosted a home tie against Sutton
Tennis & Squash Club on Sunday.
This was a crunch match for both teams. Bromley looked the
better side on paper but Sutton have a great squad of up and coming talented
players and the tie didn’t go the way that the home team needed.
No.18 and Kent No.1 Sean Thornley dispatched Sutton’s Graeme Darlington 6-1,
6-1 in less than an hour and things were looking promising for Bromley.
Playing at No.2 in the Bromley line-up was team captain Nick
Cavaday. Still nursing a shoulder injury, the former British Top 20 player went
down in two straight sets to Andrew Bettles 7-5, 6-3.
Bromley’s Rob Searle, another former British Top 20 player,
also lost in two straight sets to Jathan Malik, currently ranked 47 in the
country, 6-3, 6-4.
Keelan Oakley completed Bromley’s singles line-up at No.4
but, having won the first set 6-4, suffered a back injury during the match and
eventually had to retire with the score at 6-4, 2-6, 1-2.
Bromley went into the two doubles matches 3-1 down and
needed to secure both rubbers to take the tie into a Tie-break Shoot-out.
Dominic Ross-Hurst replaced the injured Keelan Oakley and
teamed up with Nick Cavaday to take on Josh Jones and Jathan Malik from Sutton.
Having lost the first set the Bromley pair dug deep to level the match in the
second and eventually won the rubber on a third set Match Tie-break 2-6, 7-6,
Thornley and Searle took on Sutton’s Bettles and Cornish but
their younger opponents eventually edged out the match 6-4, 7-6.
Despite losing 4-2 overall on the day Captain Cavaday
remained positive. “Our primary goal for the season has always been to qualify
for the Grand Finals in Bournemouth in July
and although we lost today we still have a match in hand against Globe LTC on
24th June. Victory against the North London
club will ensure that we finish 4th in our group and will give us a
play-off match in the South West against either Virgin Active Poole or Virgin
Active Gloucester. Winning that match will ensure our place in the finals and
the team truly believe this will be achieved”.