Two former Kirkcaldy Lawn Tennis Club players have helped East of Scotland Ladies to a third-place finish in the top division of the Aegon Summer County Tennis Cup.
Mhaira Beattie (nee Brown) and Joanna Stevenson were key members of the side that travelled to Eastbourne last week, gaining the result that retains the team’s place in Group One for 2015.
This prestigious County Doubles event has been in existance since 1895, with East Ladies last making an apperanace in Group 1 between 1934 and 36.
Buckinghamshire won this year with Hertfordshire coming second.
East of Scotland narrowly missed out on the runners-up position, finishing with the same number of points and rubbers as Hertfordshire, but with two fewer sets.
In 2006, East of Scotland were in Group Seven, but have managed to gain promotion almsot everyyear over the last eight years to compete with the top six ladies’ teams in Great Britian.
Captain Mhaira Beattie from Kirkcaldy and Sarah McFadyen from Edinburgh are the only survivors of the Group Seven side and Sarah has played in 19 consecutive County Cups - a remarkable achievement in an event with no monetary reward and where players have to take a week’s holiday to compete.
From Monday to Friday, each day teams compete in nine rubbers - at toal of 45 rubbers in the week, with individuals playing up to three rubbers per day, totalling 15 in a week.
In 2013 Mhairi and doubles partner Emma Devine from Edinburgh won 15 out of 15 rubbers, an exceptional achievement which was rewarded with membership of the exclusive LTA 15-15 Club.
Doubles pairings were selected from a pool of eight players each day, with first couple, Mhairi and Emma, along with second couple, Sarah and Millie Stretton winning 10 out of the 14 rubbers they played during the week.
On the last day only six rubbers were played as the East had already beaten Kent after two rounds.
The third doubles pairing was selected from Joanna Stevenson, Kirsty Venter, Sonia Vickers and Anastasia Mikheeva.
The team’s main aim this year was to stay in Group One but they may well set their sights higher next year.