Louth Tennis Club quartet help Lincolnshire to historic promotion

The history-making Lincolnshire squad EMN-180612-153822002
The history-making Lincolnshire squad EMN-180612-153822002

Louth Tennis Club players have taken a leading role in helping the Lincolnshire men’s county team make history.

The club made up almost half of the nine-man Lincs squad which clinched promotion to the top group in the national Men’s Winter County Cup for the first time in their long history.

Lincolnshire receive their medals after becoming Group 2A champions EMN-180612-153833002

Lincolnshire receive their medals after becoming Group 2A champions EMN-180612-153833002

Louth’s own Ed Allinson captained the side, bolstered by clubmates Seb Darke, Joe Woolley and Harry Burley.

The Boston trio of Will Mason, and Henry and Dom Beesley, and DLBW pair Sean Hodkin and Dan Cox completed the team which travelled to Grantham to contest three days of Division 2A matches.

“The magnitude of this achievement is hard to put into words,” said Allinson.

“Being one of the top four counties in the country is just incredible.

“Every one of the team gave everything they had, didn’t argue over decisions, supported team-mates throughout the whole event and were unbelievable.”

Opening against Berkshire, Louth pair Allinson and Woolley gave Lincs a great start by winning tight singles matches to put the hosts 2-0 up.

The Beesley brothers made it 4-0 before Dan Cox beat Marcus Willis, who has featured in the Wimbledon main draw, in three sets to give them an unassailable 5-0 lead.

Hodkin beat a higher-ranked opponent to make to 6-0 before Lincs won one of the doubles matches to complete a 7-2 win.

The following day against South Wales, Louth again provided the launchpad as Woolley took another close three-set match before Darke came in at five and won easily.

The Beesley brothers had contrasting fortunes as defeat for Henry, but victory for Dom gave Lincs a 3-1 lead, before Cox and Hodkin sealed the win.

Allinson and Mason, Cox and Woolley and Hodkin and Burley then took a clean sweep of the doubles to cap an emphatic 8-1 win.

It left Lincolnshire needing three rubbers from their final match against Norfolk to clinch promotion.

In a tough encounter, Mason lost a tight opener, but Woolley played well to grab the first point, and Darke was again unstoppable in a straight sets win to put Lincs ahead.

The Beesley brothers both lost close matches as Norfolk regained the lead, and when Hodkin lost the first set of his match, nerves began to jangle.

But an injury to his opponent midway through the second set forced him to retire and gave Lincs their promotion-clinching third point.

Lincolnshire will next season join Surrey, Yorkshire and Essex at the top table, an even more impressive achievement in the context of where they have come from.

“Eight years ago we just survived in Group Five and now we’re heading to Group One,” Allinson added. “It’s a truly mindblowing effort!”