Cambridgeshire 18 and under girls just miss out on Promotion at Birmingham on 2 to 4th March

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Cambridgeshire’s 18 and under girls team of Sophie Watts, Anneka Watts, Alice McGee, Vicky Nicholas, Eilish Mackie, Stella Gordon, Alice Taylor and Natalie Bacon all played their part in a very exciting weekend at Billesley Tennis Centre, Birmingham and narrowly missed out on promotion to Group 2 and will stay in Group 3 for another year.

Cambridgeshire were up against the Counties of Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Durham and Cleveland. On the Friday the girls faced Staffordshire. Each match consists of 6 singles matches and then 3 doubles matches. First on court are the number 5 and 6 players with Alice Taylor at number 6 getting the team off to a good start beating Megan Davies 7/5, 6/3 shortly followed by Eilsih Mackie beating Elif Gabb 6/3, 6/2. Although Vicky Nicholas suffered a reverse against Francesca Wilkes 4/6, 3/6, Alice Mcgee at number 3 notched up another win beating Hayley Marshall 5/7, 6/3, 6/2. The Counties top two players Sophie and Anneka Watts played very well to win two really tight three set matches. Anneka at number 2 beat Amy Ellis 7/5, 6/7, 7/5 and then our top player, Sophie Watts battled very well to beat Elle Stokes 6/4, 6/7, 7/5. This gave the County an unassailable 5/1 lead. All three doubles pairs then won in straight sets to end the day on an excellent 8 – 1 overall win.On the Saturday Cambridgeshire then played Derbyshire. The team was slightly strengthened with the availability of Stella Gordon at number 6.

Stella beat Rebecca Williams 6/2, 6/2, Eilish Mackie played her best match at number 5 and won 6/2, 6/1 against Sarah Ashcroft. Vicky Nicholas then won at number 3 against Emily Hewland 6/2, 6/3. Alice McGee then beat Katy Wilson 7/6, 6/4, Anneka Watts played really well to beat Louise Holtum 6/0, 6/0. Sister Sophie at number 1 beat Danielle Pym 6/1, 6/3. Natalie Bacon come in for her first match in the third pair doubles with Alice Taylor and they beat Ashcroft and Hewland 6/3, 3/6, 10-3. Second pair Eilish Mackie and Vicky Nicholas beat Williams and Wilson 6/2, 7/6 and then the top pair Sophie and Anneka Watts beat Pym and Holtum 6/4, 6/2 to complete a 9 – 0 match score.

 All was set up for the final day on Sunday against the equally unbeaten Durham and Cleveland. Unfortunately Cambs had an injury with our number 3 player Alice McGee although she valiantly tried to play her singles until forced to retire with a shoulder injury.

First up was Stella Gordon who got the team off to a flying start with a really good performance against Nicola Tweedy wining 6/2, 6/2. Eilish Mackie then had a really tight match against Yasmin Tanfield but was not quite able to clinch this losing 6/4, 2/6, 4/6. Vicky Nicholas then played very well to beat Iona Amos 6/1, 6/1. Alice McGee played with an injury but was unable to complete her match against Charlotte Derbyshire retiring 4/6, 1/3. This left the overall score at 2 matches each. In reality Cambs needed to win these two matches to stand a chance in the doubles as Durham and Cleveland were very strong at doubles. Anneka started off very well winning the first set 6/2 against Farah Abdel-Aziz but could not quite sustain this and lost the next two 1/6, 3/6. Sophie Watts then played an excellent match

against the higher rated Caitlin Hindmarsh winning 7/6, 7/6 and saved set points in the second set. This left the tie resting on the doubles and despite a great effort from Alice Taylor and Stella Gordon at number three pair they narrowly lost 6/2, 4/6, 5-10. Without Alice Mcgee Cambs were then a little understrength in the doubles. Vicky Nicholas paired up with Natalie Bacon in the second match but lost 1/6, 4/6 to Farah and Bethany Smiles so meaning Durham and Cleveland just beat Cambs into first place.

Captain Sue Rich said ‘It was a great team effort from all the girls and they all played their part in some excellent matches. Sophie did extremely well winning all her matches at number one. With a little bit of luck the team could have finished top. Well done everyone’.



Hills Road Sports & Tennis Centre
Purbeck Road
01223 210111