In their last match of the season on Sunday Caesarean defeated Hampshire TC in a tie-break shoot-out to win the South Division title.Player/coach Pablo Gicaopelli said it was a deserved victory, especially as the last time Jersey played the Hampshire side they lost.
‘We were desperate to win this time, it wasn’t just the divisional title we were after, it was victory against Hampshire,’ he said.The day didn’t start as they had hoped with Josh Goodall losing 6-4, 7-6 to Guy Thomas and Paul Hand being beaten 6-7, 6-4, 7-6 by Blake Hutchins.However, Rhys Hanger and Giaopelli turned things round in their matches, beating Dave Gaterell 6-4, 6-2 and Heinner Heitz-Fielding 6-1, 2-0 (conceded due to injury) in their respective matches to level overall at 2-2.The No 1 doubles pair of Hand and Goodall took on Hutchins and Thomas but lost in close sets 7-5, 4-6, 7-5.
In the second match Hanger and Giacopelli won by default as Heitz-Fielding was unable to play and the Hampshire team could not get a substitute in time.A tie-break shoot-out had to be played to decide the winners and Jersey won 2-1.The matches lasted five and a half hours and were of a remarkably professional standard, with particularly good tennis from Hand, Hutchins, Thomas, Hanger and Giacopelli.The Jersey side’s victory means they are now through to the last 16 clubs in the UK and will play against their opposite numbers on 12 July for places in the last eight – the grand final in which they will play for the national title.The Caesarean team made it to the last 16 last year and will be hoping to go one better this time.
The team is looking good and will have been boosted by their second divisional win in three years.However, Giacopelli commented that while he was very pleased with the win against Hampshire and the league title, for all those involved in the success, his sights are firmly fixed on the play-offs.’We must win the next game to progress further than before.
We now have to wait to find out who our opponents will be and whether we’ll be playing at home or away.’