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The men’s first tennis team celebrated their third victory in a row after beating Huddersfield at home in their latest BUCS match. The doubles teams had a very strong start, with Abdulrahman Al Janahi and Daniel Fabish taking their match easily with the score 6-0 6-2. Despite the fact that it was their first match, the performance was solid and left their opponents with no chance to get back in the game. The pair later admitted that Huddersfield did not give them a lot to do as they benefited from a lot of unforced errors made by the Yorkshire men.
Ryan Berry and Dominic Liddell-Crewe recorded the second victory of the day for Lancaster with a 6-2 6-3 victory shortly after the end of the first doubles match. Solid and powerful strokes were the key elements that brought the Red Roses to victory. The cold and windy weather conditions undeniably affected both sides’ performances but it only brought a nominal effect to the Lancaster players. They barely had to get out of first gear after the great margin of advantage built by the doubles player; indeed, they were hardly challenged by the Huddersfield representatives. The final score ended: Lancaster 12 Huddersfield 0. This victory meant that Lancaster progressed to the last 32 stage in the BUCS Northern Conference Cup. The Red Roses will now face Leeds Beckett Carnegie fifth on Wednesday Week 6. With Leeds currently sitting in the leading position of the Northern 5A league table, this could be a difficult match for Lancaster.
According to many, the new Just Play initiative is one of the major reasons behind the success of the tennis teams this year. Dominic Liddell-Crewe and Jemma Cardy, the organisers of the Just Play campaign within the tennis club, believe that Just Play is not merely a social event for tennis fans in the University. Instead, they think that it can also contribute to the tennis teams in the long term. There has never been a regular tennis session among non-team members in the University before the start of the campaign – Just Play has changed this.
After the game, SCAN spoke to Jemma Cardy, who reported that: “the turnout rate is really good. We had about fifty-five participants in the first week and we had about thirty people came down these two recent weeks. We have players with different abilities in the campaign, from beginners to those who narrowly missed out from the team.” Cardy also believes that Just Play will bring favourable outcomes for the women’s tennis team in the future. There is currently only one female team in Lancaster. Just Play allows the team to pick new members for the team – it is therefore hoped that in the near future the ladies will be equipped to set up a second team to take part in university competitions.
Dominic Liddell-Crewe , who played in the doubles match and also spoke to SCAN after the game, suggested that the campaign helps to maintain fitness for players who narrowly miss out on getting into the team. He also argued that it brings a friendly network among tennis players in the University – something very important when trying to foster a team ethic. Just Play has many important effects apart from the promotion of the importance of health and fitness in the University – it is clear from the tennis club that Just Play means a lot more than “just play”.