East Glos padel team reaches semi-finals of regional tournament

The Regional Division 2 play off tournament took place on 2nd and 3rd October 2021 at the National Tennis Centre. Teams were competing for promotion to the National Division 1.

East Glos team captain Ben Heuzé takes up the story.

The tournament started on Saturday with a round-robin stage consisting of two groups of four teams each. Three group matches were to be played in the group stage. Only the first two teams could move on to the semi-final and the final stages of the tournament on Sunday morning.

East Glos A was drawn in Group A, which started Saturday morning. The three other sides in the group were Montrose, Stoke Park, and Rocks Lane, all London-based clubs.

We had a great start and managed to win the first fixture comfortably against Stoke Park, with all pairs winning their matches. This gave us a lot of confidence for the rest of the day.

East Glos padel team

The East Glos padel team. Back row: Jaime Guinot, Mikko Sarantola, Alistair Morgan, Ben Heuzé. Front Row: Jesus Padillo, Lumi Vinegla-Barroso, Neil Howitt

The second match on Saturday morning was more difficult for East Glos, as we played the group’s strongest team, Montrose. We ended up losing the matches at 1, 2 and 3.

However, as the pairs spent more time on court together, I was still confident that we would raise our standard for the final and deciding group match against Rocks Lane.

The team did brilliantly, and we all managed to win our matches, meaning we finished second in the group and qualified for the semi-finals the next day.

We achieved the captain’s secret goal: Finishing second in Group A meant that we would have to play the first team of Group B.

This group was very level, and three teams ended up in a tie in the group stage. With a better percentage of sets won, Middlesbrough (North East) finished top of their group. Thistle Padel (Scotland) was second.

It was a tough match for us, and we didn’t manage to produce our best padel. A comprehensive loss meant that we would not qualify for the final. Well done, Middlesbrough.

There was a match left to play for the 3/4 place, and we met our friends from Montrose once more.

The match went to the wire, and the third pair match was the deciding rubber. Although we had one match ball in the third and deciding set, we lost in a heartbreaking tiebreak. We were so close to ending up on the podium.

All in all, it was a great experience, and there is a lot to take from this weekend.

East Glos is a new entrant on the UK’s padel stage, having opened its padel courts in April 2021, yet we were just one point away from finishing 3rd of Div 2. This alone is a superb result. Now all the London based clubs know where East Glos is on the map!

We will certainly come back next year, and we will train to take the title.