RISING star Harry Lazell, from Warwick, and big-serving Oliver Plaskett, the former Stratford-upon-Avon player, excelled at second pair in Warwickshire Men’s emphatic victory over Somerset on day two of the Inter-County Cup Tennis Championships.
With the Bears now topping Group 4 in Worthing they look certain to secure promotion, despite facing strong opposition from Berkshire and Durham and Cleveland.
Lazell and Plaskett won all three rubbers including a tense tiebreak against the top Somerset pair Alistair Felton and former tour pro Richard Gabb.
The Midlanders’ top partnership, Mason Recci (Solihull) and Warwick Boat Club coach Cameron Malik, from Stratford-upon-Avon, were unbeaten on day one against Nottinghamshire and won two out of three rubbers on day two.
The pair were desperately unlucky to be edged out 11-9 in the deciding match tiebreak by their opposite numbers Felton and Gabb.
And the Warwickshire thirds, Alex Griffiths and Simon Ferguson, also won two out of three close rubbers, all of which went to match tiebreaks.
Captain and Warwick Boat Club senior coach, Gavin Henderson said: “It was another really encouraging day for Warwickshire.
“Harry and Olly have gelled brilliantly– unbeaten so far and with Olly in the form of his life, while Harry’s come into the side after winning the National Schools Championship for Reed’s School, Cobham.
“The rest of the team played some great attacking tennis too, I’ll definitely be sticking with this lineup for the next match against Dorset.”
Sadly, Warwickshire’s depleted women’s side suffered an 8-1 loss to favourites Middlesex who are strongly tipped for promotion from Group 2 at Manchester.
With six of the county’s top players absent through injury or tournament and coaching commitments, Katie Shaw’s youngsters struggled valiantly against higher-ranked opposition.
Warwickshire thirds Madison Rumney and rising star Lois Porter from Balsall Common lost a two-hour thriller to their opposite numbers, after the tightest of match tiebreaks.
The Warwickshire first pair of Summer Yardley and Tamara Malazonia clinched the county’s only rubber, beating the Middlesex seconds, on a match tiebreak, 10-7.
They will now need a convincing win over stragglers Avon in today’s (Wednesday’s) match, to stay in the hunt for promotion.
Inter-County Cup Women’s Group 2, Manchester
Warwickshire 1-8 Middlesex
Inter-County Cup Men’s Group 4, West Worthing
Warwickshire 7-2 Somerset