Cambs U12 girls through to the Aegon County Cup Finals at Bolton

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Cambridgeshire’s girls’ team of Megan Carmichael, Sama Malik and Laurie Cruikshank played above themselves to win their group at Frinton over the weekend. The team were without the injured Chaaya Malik, or Neya Kebria or Charlotte Laing so were totally reliant on three players all weekend. 

The girls were in a group with the Counties of Suffolk, Bedfordshire, Norfolk and Essex. Both Suffolk and Essex had strong team members so it looked as if it would be a tough weekend. Each match consists of 3 singles and 1 doubles match and if the score is then tied a tie break shoot out to 10 points is played. 

The girls travelled down each day so it was an early start. On the Saturday they played Suffolk first which on paper was going to be a hard fought match and so it proved to be! The girls were pumped up and ready for action though. Number three Laurie Cruikshank got the team off to a great start beating her school training partner Georgia Parker 5/4, 1/4 and then 10-8 in the match tie break.

Sama Malik then played Isabelle Eaton, whom she had previously lost to 5/4, 4/2 with some excellent hard hitting tennis. In the top match Megan Carmichael was on great form as she beat rival Maddie McLoughlan 4/2, 4/2 to give Cambridgeshire an unassailable lead even before the doubles. Laurie and Sama played the doubles and beat Georgia Parker and Justice Hall 5/3, 4/1 to give the County a 4- 0 win.

The next match up was against Bedfordshire and although in the end this was a comfortable win it was not without incident! Megan beat Maddie Axford at number one 4/1, 4/0. Sama beat Breeanne Peer-Bonsu 4/0, 4/1. Laurie struggled at number three and lost the first set 0/4 and trailed 1/2 but then started to play better, caught up to 2/2 and was 30-40 up when her opponent Jessica Matthews hit her foot quite hard with her racket and had to have a long time out. When play resumed she also lost the score so it was quite an ordeal for Laurie! Laurie won that game and then her opponent retired to give Laurie the win! Megan and Sama played the doubles and beat Maddie and Breeanne 4/1, 4/2.

With all 8 matches won on the Saturday, Cambridgeshire then played Norfolk and Essex on the Sunday with all to play for. Essex had won both their matches by the same score.

In the first match against Norfolk Sama beat Ellinore Widdows 4/0, 4/0 in very quick time as did Laurie against Elissa Wood 4/0, 4/0. Norfolk’s top player Emily Barrett had a great game with Megan and in the end a very determined Megan won 4/2, 5/3.

Sama and Laurie again played doubles against Elissa Wood and Hannah Kemsley and won 4/0, 4/0. 

This meant the whole result was dependent on the match against Essex and the girls needed to be on top form.

Laurie started against Kayleigh Hale who was a little stronger than Laurie. Kayleigh won the first set 4/2, but Laurie came back strongly to take the second 4/1 and then just kept ahead in the match tie break to win this 10-7.

Sama had an equally close match. She played a great first set against Evie Smart winning it 4/2 but then lost her way in the second losing this 1/4 but then regrouped in the match tie break and was very steady and controlled and won this 10-7 to give Cambs a 2-0 lead.

Megan fought very well against the powerful hitting of Sarah Skaria but narrowly lost 3/5, 2/4.

The whole match then rested on the doubles which Megan and Sama played against Sarah Skaria and Lucy Dawson. This was a great match and very exciting throughout. If the score reached deuce then a sudden death point was played. Megan and Sama played really well and went into a 3-0 lead only to be pegged back to 3/2 and then a sudden death deuce point – so set point for one team and point for 3 all for Essex. The girls played a great point and won the set 4-2 (three of the games had gone to deuce points!).

They then went 0-2 down in the second set only to pull back to 2/2, lost the next game on a deuce point to trail 2/3 but had the same situation at the first set and won the next game on a deuce point to level at 3 all! They won the next game on a deuce point and then took the decider to win 5/3.

They played their hearts out and fully deserved to win the group and get to Bolton and the County Cup Finals.

Captain Sue Rich was over joyed with the great team effort and was delighted with how all three girls had played.



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