Red Lodge Tennis Club have enjoyed a season to remember after exceeding close season expectations by winning four individual tennis leagues.
In just their second full season in operation the club won the Aegon Team Tennis Suffolk Open Men’s Division Two title, the men’s doubles leagues in both Division Three and Four of the Norfolk and Suffolk Tennis League, and Division Two of the Norfolk and Suffolk Tennis Mixed Doubles League.
“We targeted winning one league so to win four is a big surprise,” said Paul Hope, Red Lodge Sports Club Manager. “Everyone really got stuck into it and worked so hard throughout the season and got what they deserved — I am immensely proud of all the players.”
While delighted to see four pieces of silverware head the way of the club, it is the success in the Aegon League that Hope feels particular stands out, with the club only clinching the title after defeating Haverhill Tennis Club in a last match decider.
With the teams locked at 3-3 following the completion of the four singles and two doubles games, the match moved into a play-off, which Red Lodged triumphed in 2-1.
“For a village team to win a division of the Aegon League is a massive achievement,” said Hope. “It is a league that no-one really expected us to win.
“After losing the doubles match in a play-off, the pressure was on the singles lads.
“In particular, Daniel De Niet showed focus beyond belief to grab the all-important win to secure the points.
“Next year will be tough as we will be up against some of the top boys in the county in Division One, but we are going to make sure we work hard over the winter.
“The target will be to stay up and we have the confidence we can do that.”
The summer season may now have come to and end for the club, but already plans are being drawn up for next year, along with the forthcoming winter campaign, which will see the club enter both men’s and mixed teams in the Cambs Winter League set-up, along with a junior team in the Suffolk Winter League.
“This will be a new venture for us going into the Cambridge League over the winter but it shows the direction the club is going towards,” said Hope. “Next summer we hope to have six men’s teams playing, two mixed doubles teams and a women’s team, which is very exciting and something we are all looking forward to.”