Hamilton Tennis Club’s ladies’ first team became Leicestershire champions this week after a thrilling finale to the league season.
The team have remained unbeaten throughout the campaign, but with a point awarded for every set won and two for winning each match, their main rivals Charnwood had gradually chipped away at their lead deficit.
They had looked likely to set Hamilton an almost impossible target going into their final match, but were restricted to a 6-3 win in their final game.
But Charnwood’s superior games difference, meant Hamilton had to equal that result to win the league against a strong Loughborough team for whom former county champion and Hamilton player Lucy Easters made a rare appearance.
Hamilton made a good start in the first round with first and second pairings Charlie Griffin and Di Burdett, and Amelia Coltman with Laura Morley both winning.
The second round looked crucial, but Georgie Ashmore and Jess Gadsby, as well as Amelia and Laura played superbly to beat Loughborough’s first and second pairs, and Charlie and Di secured what for them was a routine win.
Hamilton had a precious 5-1 lead, but in the third round both Charlie and Di, and Amelia with Laura were both trailing so it was left to third pair Georgie and Jess to gain the win, after a few minor wobbles to clinch the title.
There was a fleeting disappointment when Di and Charlie lost, but Amelia and Laura pulled back a 7-4 deficit to eventually win 9-8 on a tie-break and seal an overall a 7-2 victory.
Scores: Charlie Griffin/Di Burdett L 4-9, W 9-0, 9-3; Amelia Coltman/Laura Morley W 9-4, 9-8, 9-3; Georgie Ashmore/Jess Gadsby L 2-9, W 9-4, 9-1.
The team boasted four ever-present players this season - Charlie Griffin (with a 92 per cent win record), Di Burdett (88 per cent), Amelia Coltman (85 per cent) and Georgie Ashmore (52 per cent).
Jess Gadsby made seven appearances, Laura Morley made five, there were four from Sibella Chew, and two from Corinne Blythe.