U18 County Cup Girls Report;
Group 2B, Redbridge Essex;
2-4 March 2012
Laura Deigman ( C ) (Chesham Bois)
Hollie Davies (David Lloyd Milton Keynes)
Claudia Marsala (Halton)
Tor Pisani (Halton)
Liberty Crawford (Halton)
Alice Patch (Great Missenden)
Georgie Sanders (Tennis Avenue Academy)
Abbie Reynolds (David Lloyd Milton Keynes/Milton Keynes TC)
Jemima Hayward (Captain)
GOAL OF THE WEEKEND: TO GAIN PROMOTION TO GROUP 1 FOR THE 2ND TIME EVER IN BUCKS HISTORY.
FRIDAY 2/3/12 vs KENT
The Bucks girls started the day fired up after a fearsome game of handball in the morning warm up. We knew that playing Kent would be a battle and potentially the toughest day of the weekend because of the depth in their team. Liberty and Alice kicked off the tournament playing five and six singles. After an absence of three years, Liberty started the winning ways with a straight sets victory over Ellie Murphy showing aggression and poise. Alice fought hard but lost two tight sets to level the match 1-1. We then split the next four singles with Claudia and Laura showing punishing performances (Laura not even allowing her opponent to win one game) and Tor and Hollie coming up short against very tough opponents. 3 -3 going into the doubles, needing two out of the three to seal the victory. Third pair Liberty/Alice and second pair Tor/Claudia both ended up in deciding set tie-breaks after both being a set and break up in their matches. Pressure at its greatest with both counties cheering wildly for their teammates, knowing that if they won both matches they would be champions for the day. Liberty and Alice played an unbelievable tie break beating Nicole Daisley and Gabi Paul 10-3. Tor and Claudia couldn't gain the momentum back from their opponents and lost to Rebecca Finch and Devon McCluskey. So all down to the number 1 doubles: Laura and Hollie versus Mari Takino and Francesca Faulkes. A slightly tense affair with both teams playing scrappy tennis, however the Bucks Girls took control from the start and never looked back. Bucks won 6-3 6-1 to seal a 5-4 victory over Kent. This match would turn out to be crucial over the next few days.
The Bucks girls tried to pass on their momentum to the boys team, but sadly the boys lost 5-4 on the first day. Mixed emotions over dinner that night.
PLAYER OF THE DAY: LAURA DEIGMAN
SATURDAY 3/3/12 vs NORTH OF SCOTLAND
After another energised warm up with handball, the girls were ready to stamp on Scotland knowing that Scotland had lost to Warwickshire 6-3 the day before. With the same line up as Friday, we dominated from the start. Stand out performances from Claudia and Liberty in the singles; both girls moving gracefully around the court, playing smart aggressive tennis and not letting up. 5-1 going into the doubles, giving us a slightly different picture than the day before. We knew that every rubber counted because Kent and Warwickshire were battling it out on the next courts and the whole weekend could come down to how many matches had been won. After a mediocre performance in the doubles versus Kent, the girls were keen to show their opponents that they could play 'proper' doubles, intercepting, playing smart/simple doubles and letting them know that they could be worthy of a place in the Senior County Week team this Summer. We wanted Warwickshire to look over and quiver in fear about playing us. Liberty and Alice didn't even let their opponents get out of the blocks and won 6-2, 6-1. Claudia and Tor played well and after a nail biting 3rd set tie break with one point over 20 shots the girls won 10-7. 7-1 up in the match and we couldn't quite get a clean sweep in the doubles. Laura and Hollie came back from a set and break down to take their experienced opponents (been playing together since U10 age group) to a third set tie-break. Unfortunately experience took over and our girls lost 10-8 to Shona Graham and Lisa Munro.
Day 2 over, Bucks needing a win against Warwickshire to gain promotion. However the pressure was on because if Bucks lost 5-4 then Kent would gain promotion and if Warwickshire beat us 7-2 then they would gain promotion.
PLAYER OF THE DAY: CLAUDIA MARSALA
DAY 3 4/3/12 vs WARWICKSHIRE
Come the third day, you would have thought that the intensity of the swedish handball game would have decreased, with fatigue creeping in, but, but oh no, it was as intense as usual and they were ready to show Warwickshire that Bucks girls can perform under pressure. We knew that Warwickshire were very strong at the top end so wins were important 3-6 in the line up. The saying of the day seemed to be 'you are ok', 'believe in yourself', 'you have got this', it was a nail biting affair. Alice decided to wait until the last day to bring her best tennis to the court. Alice showed no signs of nerves and took down Katie Malazonia 6-4 6-2. Liberty showed nerves of steel when Hannah Porter showed signs of a comeback 4-0 down in the second set. Lib held on with emotions flying high and won 6-4 6-2. Three more matches needed!!! Tor and Claudia next up into the lions' den. Tor showed true heart and fight in an epic 2hr match but couldn't get over the line first and lost to Ellie Hanna 5-7 6-4 4-6. Claudia played Ashwini Foster who was willing to be out on the court for a long time. It was a tense affair and Claudia finally relaxed at 6-4 4-4 to break Ashwini with a massive drive volley backhand. Claudia won 6-4 6-4 to take Bucks to 3-1 up. Two matches left. We knew Hollie would have a battle against Emily Smith number 2 in the U14 National Rankings. 2 hours 10 minutes later and we were right. At 4-4 in the first set, puddles started emerging on the courts due to the heavy rain outside. The girls had to come off court, had time for a quick debrief and then they continued the match on a dry court. After some blistering returns and a few loose shots from Emily, Hollie broke Emily and served out the set 6-4. A break down in the 2nd set, Hollie played courageous tennis, taking time away from Emily and brought it back to 4-4. Unfortunately a few points went against Hollie and Emily took advantage winning the 2nd set 6-4. The final set began with both girls smacking the ball side to side, serving and returning big, but it was Emily who established a 5-2 lead. But, if you know Hollie you know it wasn't over. 5-2 down quickly became 5-5. Hollie did so well to come back but again couldn't quite find the points at the end of the set and lost 5-7. 3-2 Bucks. At the same time, Laura was playing against Hollie Reid, a strong player. The Bucks captain led from the top and showed the team how to play smart and simple tennis under pressure. Hollie came out with some magnificent line ball winners to save two match points but we had no doubt and Laura won 6-3 6-4 to bring Bucks one match away from victory.
Down to the doubles and our 2nd and 3rd pairs went on. It was a race to see who could get to the finishing line first. Both pairs stepped up after shaky starts and again showed off their skills on the doubles court. Warwickshire saw volley after volley pass them. Tor and Claudia finished first 6-2 6-1 to seal the victory for Bucks, Liberty and Alice finished shortly afterwards and won 6-3 6-3.
Bucks 6 Warwickshire 2, PROMOTION FOR BUCKS!!!!
PLAYER OF THE DAY: ALICE PATCH
PLAYER OF THE TOURNAMENT: LIBERTY CRAWFORD 100% record.
A big thank you to all the girls in the team, true team spirit from the beginning. Abbie and Georgie unfortunately didn't get to play but they supported the girls throughout the weekend and were prepared and ready to play if needed. I am very proud to be part of this team and I feel we won because the team believed in each other, trusted each other and wanted to win for each other. They all showed such pride in representing the county and we are so fired up to play Group 1 next year.
PLEASE COME ALONG AND SUPPORT US IN BATH NEXT YEAR – MARCH 1st -3rd 2013
You can see all individual results at http://lta.tournamentsoftware.com/sport/draw.aspx?id=680B4625-D880-4D93-BDC5-9D69C6BDF90C&draw=1