The Shropshire boys tennis team hinted at their potential by impressively clinching promotion to division five in the Aegon 18U County Cup.
The county’s up and coming players managed to win all three of their matches at Newport in South Wales, producing a series of performances which delighted Nigel Hunter, the director of tennis for Tennis Shropshire.
He said: “It was a really dominant weekend from the boys. County competitions are always tough, but to have three resounding wins was a great achievement.
“There was a great Team Shropshire atmosphere with team spirit really high. It showed that all the hard work the players have put into their training has paid off. It’s the first time the boys team have had a promotion for a number of years.”
Captained by Simon Ferguson, Shropshire opened their memorable weekend by beating Channel Islands 8-1 before an even more convincing display against Isle of Man resulted in a 9-0 victory.
That set up a promotion showdown on the final day against Somerset and Shropshire’s teenage aces again delivered in style to run out 6-2 winners.
The victorious Shropshire squad featured Matt Jones, Sam Chapman, Jordan Evans, Tom Loxley, Finn Adams, Ollie Cores-Birch, Will Davies, Ryan Evans and Cameron Jones.
Meanwhile, Shropshire’s girls team found themselves up against tough opposition in Oxfordshire and Suffolk in division six at Edgbaston Priory. Another team scheduled to take part withdrew which meant the county girls had just two matches.
They lost both of them 6-3 as Oxfordshire eventually topped the group, but Nigel Hunter, who captained the team, said the girls performed well.
He added: “Three years ago we were struggling to even field a team because we didn’t have many girls in this age group, but these girls now train together on a Friday night and have really created a strong squad which allowed us to change the team on different days.
“The future’s certainly bright for Shropshire – for both boys and girls in this age group – and we now have a lot of players playing to a good level who are ready to break into senior tennis.”
Chelsea Watson won both of her singles matches for Shropshire girls while there were also victories for Rebecca Loxley and Maddy Leighton-Jones. Amy Dannatt and Imogen Dudson were triumphant in the doubles.
Pictured: Shropshire’s promotion winners, back from left: Simon Ferguson, Matt Jones, Finn Adams, Sam Chapman, Will Davies, Jordan Evans, Will Bonney; front: Ollie Cores-Birch, Tom Loxley, Ryan Evans, Cameron Jones.