THE chances of Holcombe Brook’s ladies team maintaining their record of continual qualification for the Aegon National Team championships at Bournemouth were on a knife edge after dramatic developments last week.

The team were unbeaten and heading the Northern League comfortably when captain Tony Lawson was told two of the team’s victories had been erased because they had played a suspended player. Lawson, like most other captains, was unaware that the Lawn Tennis Association had recently published online a list of suspended players. And included on that list was one of his star players, Jessica Ren.

The 17-year-old did not know of her suspension, thinking it applied only to singles competitions.

But a furious Lawson blamed the LTA for not notifying him that one of his registered players was not eligible.

“There was no communication at all,” he fumed. “I feel badly let down. The LTA have acted as judge and jury over this issue, and we have no right of appeal.

“The club have a blemish-free record over 20 plus years in this competition. The two matches in question were a full week apart, why did they not notify us during that period, then we would have lost only one match.”

“It is not just about me though, the club have lost out financially through this.”

The LTA have subsequently emailed a link to all captains to make them aware of the suspension list.

The team have an outside chance of qualifying via the play-offs, but their destination is in the hands of others, principally the outcome of the match between Thongsbridge and Wrexham.

The Yorkshire club, who now have an unassailable lead at the top of the league must beat the Welsh club for the Brook to have any chance. The concern is whether they will field a strong enough side.