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Stratford players excel on day of success for Warwickshire sides at Summer Inter-County Cup Championship

STRATFORD players were on song as Warwickshire men’s and women’s tennis sides each made a flying start with hard-fought victories on day one of the prestigious summer Inter-County Cup Championship.

Natasha Hillyer in action. (58063828)
Natasha Hillyer in action. (58063828)

Katie Shaw’s side bidding to win promotion from Group Two in Manchester combined youth and experience impressively as they narrowly beat local rivals Leicestershire 5-4.

The Warwickshire first pair, made up of former Stratford coach Natasha Hillyer and Solihull's Summer Yardley, were narrowly edged out by the powerful Leicestershire first pair of Tabitha Holmes and Abigail Amos, narrowly losing a 10-8 match tie-break decider.

However, the partnership made amends with a straight sets victory over the Leicestershire seconds which gave the Bears the final rubber they needed for a thrilling victory.

The seasoned Leyla Ogan, rackets manager of Edgbaston Priory Club, partnered big-hitting youngster Tamara Malazonia from Birmingham and they won two out of three rubbers at second pair, including a tight match tie-break against their opposite numbers Emily and Helen Thorpe.

The scratch partnership of newcomers Lois Porter from Balsall Common and Madison Rumney at third pair were equally effective, winning two out of their three rubbers in straight sets.

Warwickshire men had an even more emphatic victory, beating Nottinghamshire 7-2 to head Group Four at West Worthing.

Stratford's Cameron Malik and tour player Mason Recci, from Solihull, won three out of three at first pair while 18-year-old Harry Lazell from Warwick came in to partner Oliver Plaskett in the final two rounds, winning both rubbers.

Simon Ferguson and Alex Griffiths likewise won their two rubbers before captain Gavin Henderson, a senior coach at Warwick Boat Club, swapped in the young Karan Tumba to rest Ferguson.

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