HOLCOMBE Brook Sports Club ladies team suffered a disappointing defeat in their opening match in the Aegon National Team Tennis Championship at Rawdon, Leeds on Sunday.

Just like the men’s team last week, they were forced to field a weakened team, and were up against one of the strongest teams in their northern group.

The pivotal point in the match was when, already 2-1 down, Natalie Wall lost the fourth singles 8-6 in the third-set tie-break and was forced to pull out of the remainder of the match with a recurrence of a pelvic injury.

Dannielle Hock and Jessica Ren showed what might have been with a scintillating doubles victory over the number one Rawdon pairing, sisters Joanna and Georgia Craven.

But with no substitutes available the overall match was lost.

Team captain Tony Lawson said: “If Rawdon are able to field that team in each of their remaining fixtures they are unlikely to be beaten.

"That means we are already looking to qualify through the play-offs. It is not where we wanted to beat this stage.”

The ladies regional team also suffered a surprise loss to Manchester Northern. From a 3-1 lead after the singles they lost both doubles and the resulting tie-break shoot-out.

The men’s regional team came through their opening match against Markland Hill with an emphatic 6-0 win.