Sussex men travelled up to Tipton last weekend for group 5 of Winter County Cup. With a good young squad lead by captain Keelan Oakley, spirits were high and we felt promotion was definitely an achievable goal.
Northamptonshire were the opponents on day 1 and we got off to a great start with county legend Miles Bugby winning the first rubber of the weekend, after some closely contested singles and a fantastic performance from Sam Nicholson at 4 we were 4-2 going into the doubles. After 3 tough doubles matches against some experienced opponents we lost the day 5-4, gutting but we knew we could do better the next day.
On day 2 we played Avon, a team we had played against in county week only a few months before, the boys were feeling good and we took a clean sweep in the singles 6-0 up, the boys showed great heart digging in in a couple of really tight matches, special mention to Alex Fox and Kai Maxsted who won a couple of marathon matches! We won 2 out of the 3 doubles and won the day 8-1.
Day 3 saw the arrival of Stefan Coney, he was put straight into action at number 6 against Hereford and Worcester and took a solid singles win. Bugby, Nicholson, Kilsby and Maxsted also blitzed through their matches, just leaving captain Keelan sick-note Oakley to pick up an injury and withdraw. Bloomfield and Coney put in a great dubs performance but by this time unfortunately Northamptonshire had won their 5 rubbers in the other match and the weekend was over. Missing out on promotion by 1 rubber on day one, hard to take but very proud of how the boys competed and represented the county. The squad gained great experience this weekend, hopefully something we can draw on next year especially on the doubles court. Sussex Squad – K Oakley (C), K Maxsted, H Kilsby, S Nicholson, T Bloomfield, A Fox, M Bugby, S Coney