10&U Aegon County Cup 2012 (Bucks Girls), 2/3 June 2012
Team: Hannah Krasner (Halton) Darcey Roe (Halton) Emma Savage (Chesham 1879)Alexa Wilson (Halton/David Lloyd MK) Lilly Majewski (Iver Heath)
The Bucks under 10 girls team travelled to Oxford Sports LTC in North Hinksey, Oxfordshire for the qualifying round of the 2012 County Cup.
The players felt they had learned a great deal following some tough matches at the Lionel Cox inter-county event some four weeks previously, so there was great determination within the team to do well.
With regular number 1 player Lara Hill unavailable for the event it was down to Hannah Krasner to step up to play the best girls from the four other counties in Bucks’ group; Herts, Oxfordshire, Middlesex and Gloucestershire. Against Middlesex Hannah produced some great defensive tennis against Scarlett Hutchinson before succumbing 4-0 4-1.
Darcey and Emma too were trying to find their feet (literally!) on slippery courts in their opening singles matches, eventually losing by the same score as Hannah. Although there was a realisation here that they were facing their toughest opponents of the weekend.
With Hannah and Alexa losing the doubles 4-0 4-2, it wasn’t the best of starts for the Bucks girls.
Hannah was unfortunate in her next match against Laila Zugic of Oxfordshire, having got herself into great positions to take both sets, she narrowly lost out 4-2 5-3. However, Darcey took Bucks’ first rubber of the event, defeating Lois McNulty 5-3 4-1 with typically tenacious play!
Alexa’s narrow defeat to Grace Fully meant a win in the doubles for Darcey and Emma would produce a ‘shootout’ match tie breaker to decide the winner of the match.
Emma and Darcey combined brilliantly to come from a set down to win 4-5 4-0 (10-5), with Emma’s net play a particularly outstanding feature.
Sadly, they couldn’t repeat the trick in the shootout, going down 10-7.
With heavy rain forecast for the Sunday, it was decided to play the next match later on the Saturday. That meant Hannah kicked off with the daunting prospect of facing Indianna Spink of Herts, arguably the best player on show. Despite defeat, Hannah was unfazed and produced some of her best tennis, often matching Indianna from the baseline and playing some high tempo tennis herself.
Emma then lost to Mineli Cooray after being made to chase all over the court! Emma put in a great effort here on her County Cup debut.
Darcey was then to produce perhaps the performance of the event with a fantastic match against Rebecca Ahearne-Smith. After harshly losing the first set 4-2, Darcey went on to save several match points in the second with some truly courageous tennis; matching the taller, stronger girl from the baseline, and opening up the court effectively. She was very unlucky to lose the second set, and thus the match, 5-4, but Darcey took great heart from that display.
With the tie lost, Hannah and Alexa were able to enjoy the doubles against Indianna and Kiana Mokhtari, going down 4-0 4-2, and in so doing developed a good understanding on court together.
That left the final tie against Gloucestershire on the Sunday, with Lilly coming in to play in place of Alexa.
Lilly played well to win her rubber 4-1 4-2 as the rain started to fall heavily in the morning.
Darcey and Hannah won their matches convincingly against an inexperienced Gloucestershire team, some of whom still played under 9 matches.
That just left the doubles for Emma and Lilly, who enjoyed some good combinations at the net and a dominant performance throughout, to finish a resounding victory 4-0 4-2, and therefore secure a 4 rubbers to 0 win. It was great that such a tough but enjoyable weekend could end on such a high note.
It all meant the Bucks girls would finish the group in fourth place. The players all felt the event was a very important learning process, especially from the 2 debutants in Emma and Lilly. Some of their opponents were the best they’d ever played against so that is certainly a positive the girls can take into the summer season.
Team Captain: Tom Edis