Buckinghamshire u12 boys narrowly missed out on going through to the finals of the County Cup last weekend on count-back after a three-way tie with Middlesex and Hertfordshire.
In a tournament affected by other events and some high level juggling of players, Buckinghamshire beat Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire all three matches to one. Barnaby Smith joined the team mid-way through the first day returning from international duty to maintain a 100% record in both singles and doubles. Michael Shaw played two rounds before jetting off to Scotland for the Scottish Open and Jack Molloy, Oscar Glenister and Jake Williams dealt with the necessary squad rotation system (normally only reserved for The Premiership) admirably.
However, the damage was done in the first round where Bucks and Middx, surely the two top seeds, were unfortunately drawn against each other and a slightly out of sorts Bucks team played below par and the tie was dead before the doubles. Buckinghamshire battled on with much better performances, knowing that there was still an outside chance that if Middx lost one match and we could win our remaining ones then, mathematically at least, there was still a chance. Bucks delivered in all their remaining matches with wins from Michael, Jack and Oscar (two and a half hours for a best of three shorts sets could well be a record!). Herts then made it a nail-biting finish by beating Middx on a doubles shoot-out.
Calculators out then! If Herts beat Bucks in the doubles and then the shoot out, then victory was theirs. Alas, all Bucks could do by beating Herts was hand it back to Middx who had a better win/loss ratio than both the other counties. Professional to the last, Bucks played a solid doubles to win the tie, take second and reflect on what could have been.
A salutary lesson then on the additional and unnecessary pressures we sometimes put on ourselves. My final thoughts then and to quote the great Tim Gallwey, author of ‘The Inner Game Of Tennis’, “Performance equals Potential minus Interference”. How often does that interference come from within ourselves?
Simon Dunford - County Captain
Buckinghamshire Boys 12&U Team