Technically speaking this was the Team’s third fixture but would be only the second time they have played. This is because Great Baddow unfortunately were unable to field a team, meaning Hylands got the win without anyone so much as looking at a racquet. We wish them all the best in their remaining fixtures, and perhaps we could even arrange a friendly with them sometime. Because of this bye however, the anticipation and excitement for Hylands’ first home match was greater than ever! And my goodness it was a day that did not disappoint!
The sky was filled with clouds and there was a distinct chill in the air, but the team (unchanged from last time round) arrived early for some crucial pre-match practice in order to dispel those initial jitters helped along with a laugh and a joke; all the while looking the part and very smart thanks to the arrival of the new Team Jackets.
During the warm-ups the fans began to flock to the club from all over – down the road, round the corner, other side of Hornchurch...oh and Cornwall. It was great to have such support and it made for a very motivating atmosphere. The case was especially so for Coach Luke Ellis, whose parents travelled from Cornwall to come and watch him (amongst other things), and here’s what he had to say on the matter after a long embrace with his parents after all the matches of the day were done with, “My parents don’t get to watch me play very often and as I kid I know they didn’t enjoy it much either when they did, because when things weren’t going my way the world knew about it....something I’m embarrassed about now when looking back. So I thought ‘Luke, mate, today they are here, today is down to us, now go a give them a performance to be proud of!’ and I believe we did, and I honestly can’t think of a better victory than that!” Luke E and his partner Luke G won both their matches, each displaying some utterly inspiring tennis at times, with the 7-5 7-5 victory against the first pair of Thurrock warming them up perfectly for the quick 6-1 6-1 showcase against Thurrock’s second pair.
The pairing of James Y and Joe G, had a bit of a mixed bag of a day. After swiftly taking their first match 7-5 6-1, they then went on to be on the receiving end of some amazing team work and doubles play from Thurrock’s first pair, losing 6-2 6-1. You could say their opponents had the advantage to begin with as they were brothers and if Bob and Mike Bryan (the most successful doubles team of all time) are anything to go by that’s a pretty good start for a doubles pair!
So to summarise Hylands won the day 3-1, but nobody got too wrapped up about that, and speaking of wraps quickly moved onto all sitting down and enjoying the spread of food Captain James Youngs went and got earlier that day. This is a great part of the day because all the tension and competitiveness is left at the door and we all just chill out and have a good laugh with everyone. We wished Thurrock all the best in their other fixtures and they left us with the fantastic comment “Not only are you a good group of players but you are a lovely, polite and friendly group of people. Have fun with the league guys!” Thanks very much Thurrock, you too!
Finally to round the day off a group of us all went to the cinema to watch a very funny film as well as a few games at the arcades. With Luke G expressing the success of today when he said “It was a wicked day! To be honest I have not had that much fun for a while!”
We haven’t got a game for a couple of week now, so it’s back to the training ground for us, and time to work hard in order to continue to push through the rest of the season!