Hildred helps England to Home glory

Mark Hildred (third right) with his England teammates.
Mark Hildred (third right) with his England teammates.

Boston’s Mark Hildred made his debut for the England over 45s as he helped the team win the Home International Championships.

Playing in his last year of the over 45 category, Hildred opened the weekend’s proceedings in Nottingham,as he faced fellow fifth string Mark Beaumont from Scotland.

From 4-4 in the first game, Hildred was able to take control of the match, winning 9-4 9-3 9-0 to give England a 1-0 lead.

The rest of the team followed with four more victories as England ran out 5-0 winners.

Hildred (third right) opened the proceedings on the Saturday, being the first match on court against Welsh number five Richard Williams.

The Welshman ran into a 5-2 lead but Hildred won an excruciatingly long rally at 5-2 down in the first game, the first of seven consecutive points which saw Hildred home 9-5 in the first game.

This seemed to break the back of his Welsh opponent, with Mark winning the second and third games relatively comfortably 9-2, 9-0.

Once again the team ran out 5-0 winners, dropping one game in the process.

Having then played his two matches for the weekend, Hildred was able to sit back and relax and watch the team record another 5-0 victory against Ireland in the Saturday afternoon session.

This meant that England had retained the Home International Championship without dropping a match.

Hildred first represented England at under 19 level and also competed for the country’s under 23s.