HOLCOMBE Brook Ladies' team came within a whisker of winning the National Aegon Team title at Bournemouth last weekend.

Played over three drama-filled days, the Brook representatives included three teenagers in Freya Christie (17), Lauren Dowling (16) and Bolton's Eva Siskova (18). They took on teams that included world ranked players to the very edge with tie-break shoot-outs on succesive days.

In Friday's quarter-final they took on Virgin Active from Surrey – who had former Brook player Jane O'Donohue up against Christie. O'Donohue, has recently mentored the Nottingham teenager for the LTA, but the youngster showed her no mercy, winning in straight sets.

Anna Fitzpatrick, the "old lady" of the team at 25, also won her singles but Dowling and Siskova both lost and with the doubles also shared this set up the first best of three, first to 10 tie-break shoot-outs, two singles and one doubles.

Freya Christie, a surefire star of the future, crushed O'Donohue 10-1, and Dowling, who plays with a permanent smile on her face, went 5-1 down before winning 10-6 to move the Brook into Saturdays semi-final where they took on Cumberland LTC from West Hamstead.

Once again the singles were tied with this time Dowling and Christie taking the honours for Holcombe. Christie beat Harriet Dart 7-5 6-1, who has a world ranking of 360, in a fractious match with the Cumberland player challenging several line calls.

Both doubles went to the the tie break shootout stage with Dowling and Siskova holding their nerves to seal victory with a 10-8 win after their team-mates had scored a 10-4 victory.

In Sunday's final the Brook found themselves up against another former player, Beth Askew, who, since her move south, has played for Wimbledon club Wilton.

Incredibly this match was also level after the doubles and went to a best of three tie-break shoot-outs, after the Dowling/Siskova partnership had just failed to close out their doubles match.

Team captain Tony Lawson, who was praised by the tournament director in his closing speech for his continued support of the tournament, chose Christie and Dowling to play the singles. And when Christie led 9-5 and Dowling was up 8-4 the title was in their grasp.

Unfortunately neither player, who were both up against experienced ladies, were able to win another point and their challenge fell just short.

Reflecting on the defeat, Lawson said: "It was very disappointing to get so close and then just miss out. However, we were short on numbers.

"If we can keep this team together, who are only going to get better, and add a couple, other teams will not fancy playing us.

"We were a bit handicapped because Anna Fitzpatrick has carried a shoulder injury all summer."