This year saw the Bucks girls in Group 3A at Graves Tennis Centre in Sheffield, along with Cheshire, Derbyshire, and Northumberland. Day 1 brought the challenge of Cheshire, and after swearing to be the loudest county all weekend, it was show time. Abbie lost a tight 2-6, 5-7 at number 6, Alice won comfortably 6-0,6-2 at 5 and Tor won a close 6-4, 7-6 at 4. So 2-1 to the Ducks after the first round. Claudia then lost in what was to be her first of three 3 set matches 3-6, 6-1, 2-6, and Hollie at No.2 won a nail biting tie from a set down, 5-4 40-0 down to prevail 6-7, 7-5, 6-3. Alex then put Bucks 4-2 up going in to the doubles with a 6-2, 6-3 win. Cheshire knew that they must win all three doubles rubbers, and the stage was set for more close matches. This showed in their play, with their no.3 doubles pair really stepping up to beat Alice/ Ruby 2-6, 3-6 and their no.1 pair beating Claudia/Alex in a very tight match 4-6, 3-6. The last rubber left was Hollie/Tor’s and despite a comeback from Cheshire in the second set, Bucks won the rubber 6-4, 7-5, meaning that we had won the tie overall 5-4.
Day 2 dealt us Northumberland, who had lost the previous day to Derbyshire. We knew that their number 1 and 2 were very strong, but that they didn’t have the same depth in their team as we did, and that we needed to exploit that. We got off to a great start, with Abbie winning her first three setter 7-6, 4-6, 6-0, Alice taking the second three setter of the morning 3-6, 6-3, 6-1, and Tor winning a relatively comfortable 6-2, 6-2. Claudia then won her second three setter in two days 3-6, 6-3, 6-3. Hollie lost a close match against Amy Hoburn 3-6, 4-6, and Alex lost 4-6, 0-6. This still meant that we were 4-2 up going in to the doubles, and we only needed to win one rubber to win the match. There were a few changes to the first day’s doubles pairings, and they needed to pay off! Ruby/ Annabel lost 6-2, 6-4 against a strong no. 3 pair, and Hollie/ Alex lost despite putting in a great match against a very good no.1 pair 3-6, 1-6. This left the tie to be decided in the last doubles match, but poor tactical pairing from Northumberland allowed Claudia/ Tor to take the match comfortably 6-1, 6-2.
Day 3 was set to be the hardest yet, a straight play-off for promotion to Group 2 against Derbyshire. Abbie and Tor both lost tough matches 6-2, 6-2, while Alice won another three set match, coming from a set down in the process, 5-7, 6-3, 6-2. 2-1 to the Ducks. Hollie and Alex then pulled vital wins out of the bag winning 6-3, 6-2, and 6-2, 6-4 respectively. Claudia then pulled through her third three setter 7-6, 2-6, 6-3, putting us 4-2 up going in to the doubles for the third day in a row. Alice/ Annabel lost their doubles match, despite it being very close, 7-6, 6-1. 4-3 Bucks. Alex/ Hollie then confirmed the win and promotion for the team with a breezy 6-1, 6-2 win. Claudia/ Tor were the last match to finish and it went right down to the wire, with them eventually winning in the match tiebreak 6-2, 5-7, 11-9. YEEEAAAHHHH!!
Promotion to Group 2!!!!
I would like to thank the rest of the team, Alex, Claudia, Hollie, Ruby, Annabel, Alice and Abbie for being so great all weekend, it was a real team effort. I would also like to thank Captain Jemima and Stef for taking us and putting up with us all weekend! Quack Quack!!!! J
By Tor Pisani