WOMEN at Hartford Tennis Club have used success on court last summer as a spur to improve this time around.

Kathryn Barnett rated the 2018 campaign in the South and Mid Cheshire League as a high point, an assessment she may have to revise if teams representing the Chester Road outfit continue their current course.

“We still have momentum,” she told the Guardian.

“It’s been a really positive first-half of the season and my message is clear; ‘same again, please.’”

Hartford A occupy second spot in the top-flight behind champions Nantwich A after winning six of the seven matches they have played to date.

At the level below, Hartford D are on course to be promoted back to Division One at the first attempt following their relegation last year.

Meanwhile the signs are encouraging that Hartford A can keep hold of a Mixed Division One title they claimed last term after prevailing in all but one of their eight games.

And Barnett, the ladies’ teams’ co-ordinator, believes confidence gained from developing a winning habit makes those combinations more dangerous to opponents from here on in.

She said: “They can relax, and play with less pressure, because of the position they’ve put themselves in.

“And if you’re enjoying yourself, which they are, then it’s more likely that you’ll produce your best.”

Hartford have three teams competing at the league’s highest level and a further two in the second tier.

No rival can match that strength in depth.

Each side have their own objectives, not just in terms of position, wins or points totals.

They will try to take more sets, and in some cases games, compared to last season’s corresponding fixtures.

Barnett said: “We’re all working towards something, however small a target it might seem, and those little gains to add up.

“For example, the A team are determined to narrow a gap to Nantwich.

“We’re not ready to overtake them, but they know we’re closer and we’ll keep chipping away.

“The girls in our D side wanted to get back to winning games again and restoring confidence, and it would be nice if they can step back up as champions.”

A commitment to weekly practice sessions remains unwavering, and Barnett is convinced they have contributed to a strong showing since April.

That should be ominous for opponents during the second-half of the campaign.

She added: “We had prepared properly, and we were match sharp.

“And we intend to stick at it.”

Results (selected ladies' teams only)

South and Mid Cheshire Tennis League

Week Nine

Division One: Hartford B 0-8 Nantwich A; Hartford C 3½-4½ Congleton A.

Division Two: Cuddington A 8-0 Hartford E.


Week 10

Division One: Nantwich A v Hartford A; Holmes Chapel A v Hartford C.

Division Two: Alsager A v Hartford D.