County aim to end on a high note after demotion

Catherine Thompson won the ladies doubles along with Laura Mineards at the annual Long Buckby tournament

Catherine Thompson won the ladies doubles along with Laura Mineards at the annual Long Buckby tournament

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Northants Over-45s are set on ending a difficult summer campaign on a high note on September 7 when they face Derbyshire in their final Division Two match.

Neil Shorrock’s side now know they will be relegated after a 3-2 defeat by Shropshire, having led 2-1 after the first round.

Shorrock lost to Peter Gillespie 6-2, 6-2 at number one singles, an opponent who was a finalist in the recent Over 45 Nationals.

Meanwhile, Steve Biss was a 6-3, 6-1 winner against David Constance while Tim Graham and Jeff Servent were 4-6, 6-1, 10-6 scorers against Simon Jones and Simon Bird.

In the second round, Shorrock/Biss lost to Bird and Jones in straight sets while Graham/Servent won the first set 6-2 and lost the second 6-4 before going down in a nail biting final set tie-break 10 -8.

County A pairing Laura Mineards and Catherine Thompson provided the local high spot of the weekend’s annual Long Buckby tournament by winning the ladies doubles event on Saturday.

Mineards and Thompson, who should be at the forefront of Northants’ LTA Aegon Summer County Cup challenge at Ilkley Moor next week, defeated Pippa Fisher and Katie Bird 6-2 in the final.

County’s Dave Brown and Dave Barrick snr surprised even themselves when an entry in the veteran men’s doubles saw them instead switched to the 42 draw main event.

With expectation sorely limited, Brown/Barrick won their group and overcame a Rugby pair in the quarters, before losing to Sam Barnes (LMRCA) and Liam Victoros (Rugby).

In the mixed doubles, Kettering pair Wayne Tideswell and Leah Milligan bowed out at the semi-final hurdle, losing to the eventual winners from Rugby.