Tennis: East women savour their clean sweep in county cup

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East tennis women are celebrating promotion to Group Two of the AEGON county cup after winning all five matches at Ilkley this week.

And while East men only just missed out on promotion from group three at Cambridge after a 7-2 win over Lancashire there was a remarkable achievement from top pair Alan Macdonald and Graeme Dyce who won all 15 matches.

The women’s tour de force was completed in convincing fashion with a 5-1 rout of South Wales.

For the East women it was a fifth promotion in six years.

Captain Mhairi Brown said: “Division Two is by far the highest position the team have occupied in the near 20 years I have been involved.

“We went into the Group Three expecting the standard to be significantly tougher but we took it in our stride.

“It was also good that Millie Stretton gained her first summer county week experience.”

As for the men, captain Macdonald was philosophical.

“We have consolidated our position and could be even stronger next year. Euan McIntosh had an excellent week and is now very much part of the squad while James McKie and Ross Murdoch are due to return,” he said. McKie is at university in the United States and Murdoch has been spending time in New Zealand.

Scottish ranking star Macdonald added: “Our promotion hopes were dashed by a 5-4 defeat against Middlesex on Thursday but even then we could have gone up if results elsewhere had gone our way on the concluding day.”

It is the first time that Graeme Dyce, a former Australian junior Open doubles champion, has gone through a complete county week unbeaten and Macdonald also acknowledged reaching a new high.

“I had an unbeaten week in partnership with Jonny Barr a few years ago but it is the first time I have done that at as high a level as Group Three,” said the Craiglockhart-based coach one of whose pupils, 14-year-old Stretton, came into the East women’s team midweek as a replacement for 
Liana Park.