Shropshire tennis teams set to compete in next week's LTA County Cup as event celebrates its 125th anniversary

Shropshire’s men’s and ladies tennis teams are both heading to the coast next week to take part in the 125th LTA Summer County Cup.

One of the oldest competitions in the annual British domestic sporting calendar returns with hundreds of tennis players taking to the courts to represent their counties across the country, following the cancellation of last year’s event, owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

First played in 1895, County Week is one of the longest running tournaments in the tennis calendar, with the pandemic meaning that last year was the first time other than during the two World Wars that the competition had not taken place. 

The event will take place throughout next week, with 44 counties across Great Britain competing to earn promotion and avoid relegation from their respective groups at 13 grass court venues around the country.

Shropshire's ladies, captained by Holly Mowling, travel to Norfolk to play in Ladies’ Group 6 at Cromer Lawn Tennis & Squash Association.

The county team face matches against Dorset, North Wales and Staffordshire. As there’s four teams in the group, the matches will be played on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Shropshire’s men’s team, captained by Alex Parry, are off to the south coast to play in Men’s Group 6 at Havant’s Avenue Lawn Tennis & Squash Club.

It will be a busy week of tennis for the county team with matches between Monday and Friday against Avon, Cumbria, Hereford & Worcester, Staffordshire and Wiltshire, the other teams in Shropshire’s group.  

Each tie consists of three doubles pairs, with this year’s event set to feature more than 200 ties and almost 2,000 rubbers played during the week.  

The two leading counties in each group earn promotion to the group above them for the 2022 competition, with the bottom two counties relegated to the group below. 

Tennis Shropshire chair Simon Jones said: "I wish both our ladies and men’s teams good luck for the forthcoming week.

"County Cup is demanding as it’s three matches a day, so it’s very testing, but I hope all the players representing Shropshire have a really enjoyable and successful week.”  

Pictured: Here’s the Shropshire team photos from the last time the LTA’s Summer County Cup was played in July 2019. The ladies team played at Folkestone, with the men’s team at Cheltenham. 
Shropshire's ladies team, back from left: Cheryl Evans, Joanna Fowler, Natalie Freegard, Chloe Hughes; front: Imogen Cowper, Joanne Bowen, Holly Mowling (captain), Mia Loney.
Shropshire’s men’s team, back from left: Ian Gillespie, Luke Henley, Matt Jones, Matt Lee; front: Tom Loxley, Jordan Evans, Alex Parry (captain), Ed Gibbs.