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Lancaster 0-12 Liverpool JM
Conditions were tough in Lancaster on a bright yet bitterly cold day in the North West, as the Lancaster Men’s tennis Firsts came up against a strong Liverpool John Moore’s Firsts team in the last sixteen of the Northern Conference Cup.
After a convincing win against Liverpool Second’s back in November, a run in the cup could have been just what Lancaster needed to take back into the league, and start picking up points to take themselves off the foot of the Northern 2a League table.
The two doubles matches started proceedings with Teddy Bennett and Martin Eyre losing in straight sets 2-6, 2-6 to a well-organised LJM.
Chris Bell and Nathan Worrell fared better going the full three sets. After losing the first set 5-7, Bell and Worrell made LJM work hard for their victory taking the second set 6-3. Bell and Worrell’s serve and volley game proved particularly effective. The third set proved decisive and the difference between the two sides as Lancaster fell short in the second doubles game of the series 5-7, 6-3, 8-10.
In the singles, Lancaster hoped to pull back the deficit in an attempt to reach the last sixteen of the cup. The captain and number one Bennett got the singles underway against an accomplished player in LJM’s number one. Bennett with a strong backhand, dealt comfortably with the serve of his opponent throughout. Only unforced errors seemed to hold back the Lancaster number one from a closer score line. In a match that had numerous breaks of serves, LJM took the first singles game 2-6, 1-6.
Bell was next up against an LJM side now growing in confidence. One more win and LJM would have an unassailable lead. Bell, Lancaster’s number two, ultimately lost 2-6, 1-6.
LJM were now looking a good bet for the Cup, whilst Lancaster were playing merely for consolation and to avoid a whitewash against their Merseyside neighbours.
The final two singles matches saw Eyre and Sandford play out proceedings. Eyre played LJM’s third seed and couldn’t manage to secure a maiden victory for Lancaster, losing 4-6, 3-6. James Sandford played the number four seed finishing off play. Sandford lost the match 4-6, 6-7 in a closely fought encounter.
Captain Bennett summed up Lancaster’s efforts after the match; “It was a disappointing performance on the day, but Liverpool John Moores deserved their win.” Lancaster came up against worthy winners in LJM but after seeing progress on the court, hopefully it won’t be too long before Lancaster’s firsts climb the 2a Northern League and in doing so avoid the drop.