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Herefordshire and Worcestershire County Team Reports

18U Boys County Cup, 27 - 29 February 2020

Captains Mike Langston & George Southall
Team Max Hingley, Joe Hart, Stuart Shannon, Matt Sime, Sam Rayner, Antony Fordham, Sean Randle, Jim Round
Venue Shrewsbury

U18 boys

Day 1 vs Staffordshire 

The first day against Staffordshire started out with the first round of singles with Sam Rayner and Jim round at no5 and no6. Both players got off to a competitive start in their matches with Sam breaking serve early and Jim keeping things close.. Unfortunately that slipped away as the staffs players found their level and both Sam and Jim lost the first set. With a change up in tactics, utilising his net play, Jim was able to come back, and take the second. With a great performance in a marathon third set Jim managed to clinch the match in a total of 2 hour and 27 minutes! 

On the other court, Sam was playing well and had a very close game early in the second set to change the moment of the match, but just lost out with his opponent playing well to hold serve. The staffs player then played a very solid second set to close it out and take it to 1-1 in rubbers. 

Matt and Stuart were up next.

Matt stepped out on court not feeling 100%, but was generally too much for his opponent playing at 4. Matt played some good tennis and in the end took the match a comfortable 6-3 6-0. Stuart on the other court was having a much closer battle against staffs no3, taking the first set 6-4 and then the second set 7-6 in a close tie break. Another 2 hour + match finished taking us into the final round of singles.

Max and Joe were our final 2 singles matches to come on court. Playing at 1&2. 

Joe played a solid match against the staffs no2, allowing his opponent to make all the mistakes and cruising to a 6-1 6-1 win. Max playing at 1 got off to a good start taking the first set 6-4 against the staffs player, but then tightened up a little in the second set due to a change of pace and tactics from his opponent.. Max stayed mentally strong and adapted to his opponents game-plan well to eventually take the third set 6-4 in yet another match over 2 hours. 

Moving into the doubles, the team were 5-1 ahead, however everyone understood that there was no time for complacency as every rubber may county towards a potential promotion opportunity on the last day. Doubles nominations were made with Antony Fordham stepping in as the doubles specialist to pair up with Matt at no3, Joe & Jim paired at no2, with Max and Stuart at one.

H&W lived up to their doubles specialists reputation and secured 3 out of 3 doubles wins to claim the victory with an overall 8-1 against staffs.

Day 2 vs Gloucestershire 

After a good win the previous day, the team were very motivated to do well on day 2 against Gloucestershire. We knew it would be a more challenging day and the team weren’t going to take anything for granted.

At 5 & 6 were Sean and Jim who set out to try and get us off to a good start. Jim played a younger, but very good player from Gloucestershire.. and after taking the first set playing some quality tennis the Gloucs number 6 retired with an injury.. a shame for the Gloucestershire player & team, but none the less, took us to a 1-0 lead. 

On the other court Sean was having a great battle with the Gloucs number 5, very Narrowly losing out in a close first set in a tie break. Sean did well to keep in the second set, playing some really solid tennis, but losing out in the end 6-4. Taking the team to 1-1. 

Matt and Stuart were on next. Matt steamed into the lead in the first set playing some exceptional tennis.. unfortunately Matt couldn’t keep the momentum going and lost out in two sets.

Stuart on the other hand stayed very composed and steady, in the first set taking it 6-4. With relatively little pressure from the opponent, Stuart went up a couple of gears and managed to secure the second set 6-1.

Max and Joe were on court next. After getting off to a rocky start and going a break down early in the first set, Joe grit his teeth and stayed too solid for his opponent, to take the match in two sets, barely dropping a game! 6-2 6-0 was the final score. 

Max came up against a strong number 1 player from Gloucestershire, unfortunately he lost out in 2 sets.. the score not really reflecting Max’s performance and the quality of tennis on show.

3-3 and all to play for going into the doubles. 

Antony and Matt took on the number 3 pair from Gloucs and their reliable partnership stayed strong, taking the match 6-4 6-1 and 4-3 to H&W on rubbers. Joe and Sean played at second pair. With 4 very reliable returners on court, the match consisted in the end of who could hold serve first! 

Unfortunately for the H&W boys it was the Gloucestershire pair who came out on top.

4-4 in rubbers and Stuart and max were a set up and on serve in the second set.. the two teams were watching on from the side of the court cheering the pairs on.. a great atmosphere for the deciding rubber.

With a break to Gloucs and then a break back from H&W, the boys had to hold their nerve in a second set tiebreak.. eventually getting over the line 10-8 to everyone’s relief, meaning an overall 5-4 win. Stuart later revealed he had no idea it was the deciding rubber at the time!

Day 3 vs Devon

Going into day 3, we were up for promotion against a strong Devon side who had also won the last two days.

The team put in their best efforts throughout all the matches, but unfortunately Devon were too good on the day. Devon went 6-0 after the singles to claim the tie and to seal their place at the top of the division. 

A mention to Joe Hart and Jim round who managed to take a doubles rubber at no2 to avoid the Bagel!

All in all the weekend was packed full of quality tennis from all of the H&W team who did a fantastic job in finishing second place in the division, securing a place in div 4 next season. 

All of the boys worked well together as a team on court and off court over the weekend and made captaincy for George and I a pleasure. 

Well done team H&W!

Mike Langston

18U Girls County Cup, 27 - 29 February 2020

Captains Tony Ravenscroft & Natalie O'Brien
Team Latesha Grant, Paulina Jurkowska, Josie Ward, Sally Lewin, Caoimhe Guppy, Bethany Pye, Kiyyah Grant, Georgia Marrett.
Venue Wrexham

The first tie on the Friday was against Oxfordshire. Numbers 6, 5 & 4 ranked players were up first which were Beth, Caoimhe & Sally respectively.

Caoimhe was first to notch a rubber in favour of H&W beating Elizabeth Cairns 6-2, 6-0. Beth was next off court with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Darcy Herring Johnson. Sally had a tough match against Athina Schlepphorst losing the first set 3-6. Sally wasn’t done and fought back executing her tactics brilliantly to win the next two sets 6-4, 6-3.

Great start to the first day, and it continued with Josie, Paulina and Latesha all winning their singles matches in straight sets to give us a 6-0 lead. The tie was won and some important doubles still to be played with a match against Durham and Cleveland in mind which was already looking like it could be a title clincher on the final day. The pairings of Latesha/Sally as no.1, Paulina/Josie as no.2 and Caoimhe/Beth as no.3 continued the winning formula to gain a 9-0 victory.

After dinner and bowling on Friday night the girls were well rested come Saturday morning and ready to take on Cornwall. Beth, Caoimhe and Sally once again started preceding and what another great start. Between the three of them they only dropped 6 games getting us off to another 3-0 lead. Josie and Paulina didn’t want to hang around against Cornwall’s number 3 and 2 respectively both winning double bagels(6-0, 6-0). Latesha was up against their number one Holly Drew who was aggressive from the start. This didn’t faze Latesha who soaked up the pressure and gave as good as she got to take the victory 6-2, 6-2.

With another victory secured we mixed up the doubles pairings. Paulina and Sally paired up against their no.1 pair Holly Drew and Poppy Kirkman and were ruthless in their execution of commanding the baseline and dominating the net to gain a convincing 6-0, 6-0 win. Caoimhe and Georgia took on their no.2 pair Morwenna Tonkin and Annie Watson. The H&W girls communicated well and won the side line battles winning 6-2, 6-1. Beth and Kiyyah were up against their no.3 pair Zoe Body and Kelly Laing. They dominated the first set winning 6-1. The 2nd set was tougher and after going behind Beth and Kiyyah turned it round with some solid doubles play to take the 2nd set 7-5 and to complete another 9-0 victory.

With the convincing win against Cornwall we had plenty of time to do our homework on Durham & Cleveland players to help us gain an advantage on the final day.

Saturday night the girls enjoyed dinner and a few games of pool before having some down time until lights out. 

Sunday morning we were up in good time and at the tennis centre nice and early. Shame someone didn’t open up in time so we had to improvise with an off court warm up outside as preparation was key. 

Durham & Cleveland were looking strong winning their first two ties 9-0. We were confident with our game plans that we could cause them some problems. Sally, Caoimhe & Beth were once again first on court. Sally had a tough battle and lost out to Isobel Le Clerc. Caoimhe had to be solid on her backhand to fend off Francesca Simpson, producing some strong serves and winning more forehand battles to win H&W’s first rubber 6-4, 7-5. Beth was up against Tanya Charu Sharma and took the first set 6-3 before losing the 2nd set 4-6. Beth refocused and combined some attacking play, exploiting her opponents backhand as well as nailing her own backhand down the line to see off the threat winning the 3rd set 6-1.

Josie was next on against Farah Yossry. Josie’s consistency and quality from the baseline as well as dealing with the lefty spin and angles helped her take the victory 6-1, 6-2. Paulina was up against Lydia Packer who defended well and had a good short game from what we saw on the previous day. Paulina’s attacking first strike tennis and perseverance in longer rallies helped her secure the win 6-3, 6-1. Latesha fought hard against the power of their no.1 Halle Pringle and lost out in straight sets. 

4-2 up after the singles and one doubles win would give us the victory and see us crowned champions. Caoimhe and Beth paired up to take on their no.3 pair Isobel Le Clerc and Isabella Paluzzi. They won the first set 7-5, meanwhile Paulina and Josie lost their first set 1-6 against no.2 pair Farah Yossry and Francesca Simpson. While these two battles were going on Latesha and Sally took to the court to start their match against No.1 pair Halle Pringle and Lydia Packer. With all 3 pairs battling it out for a victory Caoimhe and Beth went up 3-0 in the 2nd set before losing the next three games levelling the set at 3-3. The H&W duo had to up their game and be solid from the baseline as well as making the most of opportunities at the net to take the 2nd set 6-3 and secure the title. Seconds later Paulina and Josie also took the win after taking the 2nd set 6-3 and the match tie break 10-6 with some much improved doubles play in the last two sets. With the victory now confirmed Latesha and Sally’s doubles match was stopped as the girls celebrated their 6-2 victory over a strong Durham and Cleveland team to take the title and promotion next year.

We had a fantastic three days and It was a pleasure to captain this team. The girls were amazing all weekend on and off the court. They had some tough situations to overcome especially on the final day and all their hard work, determination and willingness to learn helped them come out on top! 

Thanks to Natalie O’Brien who was captain alongside myself and instrumental in the success of this team.

The team should be very proud of themselves and promotion next year will be another challenge for them. I believe with continued hard work and commitment to their tennis they can cause some more trouble next year.

Tony Ravenscroft

county cup tennis

County cup tennis

 

18U Boys 12 Counties, 2 February 2020

Captain Mike Langston
Team Max Hingley, Joe Hart, Stuart Shannon and Matt Sime
Venue Corby

Match 1 vs Notts: 2-2 Draw

First up for H&W were Max Hingley and Joe hart #1 & #2 players.

Both of the boys were up against tough opponents from Notts. Joe managed to win the first set 4-2, but Notts pulled it back in the second and third set to seal it 2-4 7-10.

Max, after a bit of a slow start in the first set, upped his game to take make it close in the second set, narrowly losing out 7-5 in a tie break at 4-4. Stuart who stepped on court knowing his opponent from a previous encounter managed to secure his first win of the day taking the match in two relatively comfortable sets. The final match against Notts was with Matt Sime, in what turned out to be a bit of a mismatch. Matt comfortably took both sets, without breaking a sweat!

Match 2 vs Cambs: 2-2 Draw

The match against Cambridge was a tough one, which everyone knew going in.

Max Hingley played the no.1 player in the country for 14U, who trains full time. After losing the first set, Max became more accustomed to his opponents style and ball speed and put in a great effort to go 9-8 up in the second set tie break.. Max was up in the point, only to have a ball land in on the back of the baseline to take it back to level At 9-9. The Cambridge player then played a very good two points to claim the rubber.

Meanwhile Joe was once again battling away on the next court. After going a set down, he managed to pull it back to one set all. Unfortunately for Joe the Cambridge player got off to an excellent start in the breaker and managed to get over the finish line for his team.

Stuart had a tougher match against Cambridge and went down a set early on, to an big hitting opponent. Second set was a different story as Stuart made some brave plays and tried to assert himself more in the match. He then went on to win the second set and the tie break.

Final match of the round saw Matt playing a solid opponent. After going 3-0 down in the first set and losing it ultimately 4-5 he didn't lose a game from then on, taking the second set 4-0 and winning the tie break in the third set to claim the win and another overall draw for the team.

Final match vs Beds: 3-1 Win

Final round of the day saw Max narrowly lose out in a well fought 2 sets against beds no.1 player.

The unmistakable high pitch squeaks from the court next door could only be Joe hart, sliding around the acrylic on his way to another 3 set epic against the beds no.2, this time managing to pull off the win, putting the team in a good position going in to the last two rubbers.

Stuart was on next against beds no.3. A relatively self explanatory match with the score speaking for itself 4-1 4-1 to H&W and 2-1 up going into the final rubber of the day giving Matt a good opportunity to take us over the line with our first win of the day.

After a bit of a slow start, dropping the first set, Matt upped his game to claim the second and was untouchable in the third set breaker going 9-1 up and taking it over the line in comfortable fashion.

The team had a great day at Corby, the boys finished a well deserved second place overall. They put in 100% in every match & got a deserving result for their efforts.

18U boys corby

9U 12 Counties, 1 February 2020

Captains Chris Marlow with Lucy Sanders (assistant) and Holly Stevens (scorer)
Team Harry Emmett, Oliver Stevens, Kiah Probert and Grace Hadley
Venue Corby

The Herefordshire & Worcestershire 9U Mixed County Team played in the 12 Counties Championships 2019/20 on Saturday 1st February 2020 at Corby Tennis Centre. There were 8 teams represented on the day with Essex, Nottinghamshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire and Northamptonshire all taking part.

The team arrived in good time for everyone to do a warm-up and have a knock up. Looking around there are a lot of good young players from 8 counties. H&W flags were out, pictures taken - we are looking forward to a great day. The referee holds his briefing and we are underway on time.

Corby conditions were cold (as usual!)

Round 1 v Northamptonshire:
Boys: Harry and Ollie go on for the first match of the day. Harry gets into some good rhythm straight away and gets a good 2 sets to 0 win. Ollie starts slowly with a few more nerves. However, battling hard he finds a way to win in 3 sets 8-6 2-7 7-5 in a match that looked like it could go either way.
Girls: Kiah and Grace take to the court. Kiah loses in 3 sets to a tough opponent 2-7 7-2 3-7. Grace starts confidently and played positively winning in 2 sets.

3-1 H&W -A great start to the day!

Round 2 v Essex
Boys: Both Ollie and Harry played very good opponents. After both players losing the first sets they both fought back to take the second sets. Ollie playing more freely and an excellent standard on both courts unfortunately neither player could convert the 3rd set. 2- 0 Essex
Girls: Grace played a great match against an opponent with some great slice backhands and touches. Grace competed well but lost 3-7 4-7. Kiah’s opponent made very few errors and won comfortably 1-7 4-7.

0-4 Essex -A good result needed to get us into the semi-final playoffs!

Round 3 v Buckinghamshire
Boys: Playing some great attacking tennis Harry out hits his opponent to take the match 7-5 7-4 winning match point by reacting fantastically well to a tricky net cord. Ollie's opponent produced some good hard groundstrokes to beat Ollie 3-7 5-7.
Girls: Kiah plays a great match against Tessa. Kiah had all the answers to win 7-4 7-3. Grace had to win her match to guarantee taking us through to the semi-finals. She plays a strong first set and is looking comfortable. She then battles through the 2nd set which contained some very long rallies to win 7-5!

3-1 H&W -In to the semi-final playoff!

Semi Final v Hertfordshire (winner of Group A)
Boys: Both Harry and Ollie have tough opponents. Harry is playing positive attacking shots but somehow his opponent keeps getting the ball back, with great defensive skills making it very hard for Harry to finish the points. Harry is disappointed to have lost but played a great match. Ollie's opponent, Xander, was another attacking player with lots of weapons all around the court. Ollie, playing his best tennis of the day is serving well and driving through the ball better but unfortunately loses the match in 2 sets.
Girls: Kiah and Grace go on to face Tara and Ava. Kiah loses her first set but battles through the next 2 sets with excellent consistency and aggressive baseline hitting to win. A great result for the team! Grace is under pressure from the start of her match and loses the first set. She fights back in the second set with some excellent attacking tennis to 6-6, but a big down the line backhand winner from Ava at sudden death 6 all, takes Hertfordshire to the Final.

3rd / 4th Playoff v Essex (again!)
The Essex team are gutted not to have gone through after a 2-2 match with Cambridgeshire. However, Cambridgeshire got one more set taking them to the final.
Boys: In a repeat match of the group stages the boys fight hard but the results go the same way with both boys losing to very good opposition.
Girls: Grace and Kiah go out and compete hard but both lose their first sets. Grace’s opponent uses her drop shots and short slice very effectively and takes the match. However, Kiah will not go down without a fight, and having lost comfortably first time to Sophie comes back to win the match in 3 sets with an extremely gutsy performance.
1-3 Essex.

In short:

  1. Great team spirit – all players and parents stayed until the end
  2. H&W finish in 4th place out of 8 teams. Hertfordshire win overall.
  3. Great tennis throughout the day. Overall a fantastic experience with lots to be taken away.

Well done everyone!
A special thank you to Holly Stevens who did a great job scoring matches all day!

handwtennis

18U Girls 12 Counties, 2 February 2020

Captain Tony Ravenscroft
Team Paulina Jurkowska, Latesha Grant, Josie Ward and Sally Lewin
Venue Corby

Thanks to Captain Tony Ravenscroft for his report.

The teams we competed against were Nottinghamshire, Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire.

The first tie was against Notts. Paulina gained the first win of the day beating Jessica Spencer 4-1, 4-2. Latesha lost out to Ellie Fitzsimmons. With the tie levelled at 1-1 Josie and Sally stepped up to play the last two matches. Josie commanded the points from her first serve and beat Sophie Cassidy de Falco 4-0, 4-2. Sally secured the 3-1 victory beating Naomi Szczur 4-1, 4-0.

The next tie against Cambs was to be our closest. Paulina got us off to a good start against Cambs number 1 Chaaya Malik. Paulina’s attacking play off the serve and from the ground proved two much for her opponent in the 4-1, 4-2 victory for H&W. Latesha, Josie and Sally all went one set down against strong opponents. They showed grit and determination and all fought back to win their 2nd sets but all lost out in their match tie breaks.

The final tie was against a depleted Beds team who only managed to field two players. Paulina lost to Jaquelyn Ogunwale and Sally beat Sofia Amodu winning the baseline battles to finish the day with a 3-1 victory.

The girls did really well and so close to finishing 1st with the match tie breaks not going our way. We can learn from these situations and they will stand us in good stead for the 18U County Cup in Wrexham at the end of February.

Thanks to all the players for their hard work and commitment to the team!

18U Girls handwtennis

12U 12 Counties, 1 December 2019

Captains Luke Pettit (Captain) and Lucy Sanders (Assistant)
Team Alfie Mills, Toby Ward, Jack Bulbul, Christian Vatahov, Lilia Mico, Macy Denney-Richards, Ruth Teale, Oliwia Sztorc
Venue Corby

tennis handw

Girls Report

First match of the day H&W were up against Nottinghamshire who had a UK top 10 ranked girl at number 1. Lilia put up a good fight but ultimately the Notts girl had too much. Macy lost a close 4-2 4-1 and Ruth managed a fight back but lost the match tie break 10-7. Oliwia pulled a strong 4-0 4-1 win meaning a 3-1 loss.

Next up was Cambridgeshire who again came out with a fast start against our number 1 Lilia. Macy pulled us back level with a quick fire 4-2 4-1 win with some good tactical play. Ruth came out second best and Oliwia lost in a close 10-4 tie break. Another 3-1 loss.

Into the last round against Bedfordshire. Lilia had a 4-0 4-0 win, but the scoreline didn't show the numerous rallies over 50 shots with the girls battling it out! Strange one for Macy who won the first set 4-1, then the girl decided she didn't want to play anymore and just walked off giving her the walkover second set!! Oliwia won a quick match 4-0 4-0, leaving Ruth as the last player on court and she delivered a solid win for the team. A 4-0 victory.

Boys Report

Nottinghamshire up first, Alfie lost a close match 4-1 5-3, putting a stronger second set performance but couldn't quite get it over the line. Toby and Christian both came out second best to strong opposition. Jack managed to get stronger as the match went on in a 4-2 4-0 win tactically improving as he went. A 3-1 loss

Next up was Cambridgeshire who had a strong number one ranked 11 in the UK.   Alfie fought but in the end didn't quite have the weapons in a 4-1 4-1 loss. Toby put a much improved second match performance but went down 4-2 4-1. Jack went down to a big hitting player and Christian came up against an inspired player. A 4-0 loss

Lastly was Bedfordshire who gave us a 1-0 advantage with no number 4 player. Jack had a strong win 4-0 4-2 against a player who didn't play conventionally. Toby battled but lost out 4-2 5-4, and Alfie lost 5-4 4-1. A 2-2 draw

Overall Girls came 3rd
Overall Boys came 3rd

We came up against some good opposition who played above the rating band they were in. A valuable experience where the players need to learn that tactics can play an important part in the matches. Many thanks to the parents for trekking across to the cold Corby bubbles and their support.

Luke Pettit (Captain)

 


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