Great results at the 8U Inter-County Team at Gosling on Sunday 6 April 2014 as the girls got to the finals and lost to Herts on count back points so came 2nd and the boys lost to Herts in their semi final but beat Northants on count back points to take 3rd place! This meant Bucks came joint 2nd overall with Essex out of the 10 counties with Herts taking the overall trophy!
FULL REPORT BELOW:
Bucks Team: Aneka Patel (GXBL), Millie Day (Chesham Bois), Ashni Sangha (GXBL), Esme Ivory, Isabella Adams (Chesham 1879), Atalanta Binnie (Halton), Joshua Oakley (Halton), Fraser Reeves (Halton), Robbie Spittal (GXBL), Sebastian Mellows (GXBL), Tom Chapman (Bisham Abbey) and Joseph Norford (DLMK) with Team Captain Jo Head.
On Sunday 6th April 2014 the 8&U intercounty event took place at Gosling IHPC. This year there were 10 counties involved in the regional event with Berkshire and Oxfordshire recently joining the East region. They joined the usual counties of Hertfordshire, Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire Bedfordshire and of course Bucks. Each team consisted of 6 girls and 6 boys with the girls event taking place in the morning and the boys in the afternoon. At the end of the day a county would be named overall champ depending on the final position of the girls and boys teams in their separate events.
The 10 counties were split into 2 round robin boxes of 5 with the winners and runner ups playing semi finals and final with a 3rd/4th play off. The 3rd and 4th place teams would do the same draw to decide 5-8th place and finally the 5th place teams would play to decide on 9th and 10th. During the group stages counties got 2 points for a match win and 1 point for a draw.
In the girls event Bucks were drawn against Suffolk, Oxen, Northants and Essex. Our very competitive team of Aneka Patel, Millie Day, Ashni Sangha, Esme Ivory, Bella Adama and Attie Binnie were nervous going into the first match. Their nerves were settled with a 5-1 win which included Millie (no 2) winning 10-0 and Esme (no 4) winning 10-1! Next up was Oxen with Bucks getting a convincing 6-0 win with the girls really gelling as a team as they supported each other. After playing Oxen the girls had to sit out the next round so they took a well deserved break off the court but were soon back on the court to watch their next opponents in action. As they went onto play Northants we tried to get the teams concentration back that they had lost slightly during their break. As they got back into their matches their concentration soon came back as they again took the win 5-1.As we moved to the last match against Essex we knew a win would guarantee a semi final place. Aneka our number 1 went to sudden death and held her nerve to win 10-9 and give us a great start. With Millie and Ashni taking convincing wins with 10-3 and 10-1 consecutively one more win would give us a final victory. Esme had a battle at number 4 whilst Bella at number 5 won 10-5. With Esme winning the battle 10-8 and Attie finishing with a 10-5 win, Bucks took a 6-0 win to finish the group stages unbeaten. We were into the semi finals against Cambs and the girls were excited. The mood soon changed when our first 3 players lost their matches and the girls had decided that we had lost the match. We still had a chance if we could pull it back to a draw as it would go down to points, so the girl supported our last 3 players who pulled the match back to 3-2 with the last players on. We all supported Attie (no 6) knowing if she could win then we had a chance. As Attie shook hands after winning 10-4 the numbers were counted and Bucks won by 2 points- we were in the final! Herts were our final opponents and as all 6 players were put on at the same time Matt and myself were busy running from court to court to see what all the scores were. Millie was first off losing 10-5 and then Ashni again losing 10-6, so we were suddenly 2-0 down with cheers of keep going Bucks ringing from the balcony. As Aneka finished at number 1 we were only 2-1 down with her winning 10-4 but then Esme (no 4) finished having lost a tight battle 10-8, so it was down to our last 2 players to force a draw and take it down to points. As Bella (no 5) finished with a sudden death point to win 10-9 all the girls congregated by Attie's court as she also won 10-9. As the points were added up Herts won by 4 points leaving the Bucks girls slightly disappointed but also happy that they got the silver medal!
As the girls finished the boys arrived and were soon on court warming up. The boys were drawn against Suffolk, Essex, Berkshire and Oxen. In the first match against Suffolk the boys started well with Joshua Oakley (no 1) and Fraser Reeves (no 2) winning their opening matches. Then Suffolk closed the gap when they won 2 close matches against Robbie Spittal and Sebastian Mellows at number 3 and 4 respectively. As Tom Chapman (no 5) finished with a win we all cheered on Joseph Norford (no 6) to victory, so Bucks started with a 4-2 win. Next up was Essex with 6 closely fought matches that included Robbie winning a sudden death point and Sebastian losing on a sudden death point! The final result was a 3-3 draw, which was repeated against Berkshire in the next match. As the boys prepared for their last group match against Oxen we found out that there had been a lot of draws in our group, so felt that one more victory would see bucks progress to the semi finals. The boys went out determined to get the win but found the matches tough especially Joshua who lost 10-5 with his opponent having 5 net cords! As Fraser had 2 net cords against him in his 10-5 defeat we did start to wonder if the Oxen team had been practising hitting the net cord! Suddenly we were 3-0 down and the best results we could get was a draw, so all the boys supported the players really well which pushed the final 3 .Bucks players to victory to get a draw. We were all wandering where we came in the group and then it was announced that we were playing Herts in the semi finals- we did it, Bucks were second in the group so were guaranteed a top 4 finish! The boys were elated as we took to the court against Herts and both Josh and Fraser started with wins to put Bucks 2-0 up. Herts pulled the score back to 2-2 and then went 3-2 up with Tom still playing and as it went to sudden death point we cheered him on to take it to points count back, but unfortunately after a long rally his opponent hit a great winner to make Herts the winners 4-2! In the 3rd and 4th place play off we took on Northants. As the first 2 players came off the teams were tied at 1-1 and we were still drawn as Robbie (no 3) won 10-7 but Sebastian (no 4) lost on sudden death. Tom at number 5 came back from 5-0 down to lose 10-8 so again we were looking at Joseph to win to make a draw. As the whole team cheered Joseph on he pulled out a great display to win 10-4 and after adding up the points Bucks won by 5 points. The boys knew they were playing for a medal as only the top 3 got medals and were ecstatic when the final result was announced!
After the boys presentation the overall trophy was awarded to the county with the best results from both the boys and girls competitions put together. Herts having won the girls and coming second in the boys took the trophy but Bucks ( 2nd girls and 3rd boys) came joint second with Essex (4th girls and 1st boys) which is a fantastic result! A very well done to all the players and thank you for all your hard work in training and on the day. A massive thank you goes to all the parents and Venetia for their support and cheering throughout the day. Finally a special mention goes to the other 15 players that have taken part in the training sessions this year, but were not selected for the event as you helped to make the training sessions fantastic.
Let's see if Bucks could go one better next year and take the overall trophy!