U18 County Cup weekend 2nd – 4th March 2012

Thursday, March 22, 2012

This year’s team consisted of players aged between 14 and 18 years of age. We all set off to sunny Redbridge looking forward to a good weekend of tennis.

As captain I was lucky to have such a great team but team selection was not easy. The first 4 players picked themselves but I had  options with our order with 2 players with the same rating. After much thought I went with the following team order: Will Hyton, Jack Thorndike, James Morris, Chad Richard, Ben Clark, Tom Hands, Josh Llightowler and CJ Kindred.

The first day saw us up against overall favourites Northumberland. On paper this result could easily have been a white wash but every single member of the team performed well. Results to talk about were Ben’s win at number 5 James’s 3 set marathon at number 3 and Will Huyton’s superb performance against their number 1. At 4 all in rubbers we were 8 all in the final set tie break but unfortunately CJ and Will came out second best and the match was lost 5-4

Day 2 had the two losing teams going head to head which meant we played Leicestershire. This was a must win match to make sure we didn’t go down a division. Tom Hands came in for CJ at number 6 singles and we made some changes to the doubles bringing Ben in for Josh who developed a shoulder injury. The team got off to a slow start going 2-0 down but our senior players stepped up to the mark with Chad, James and Will all putting in first class performances. Going into the doubles we had our first time pair of James and Ben who were not dissimilar to the ‘Bryan Brothers’ and with CJ and Will playing at 3rd pair they took us over the winning line to win 5-4.

The last day saw us up against Buckinghamshire who were fighting for survival. Although the result couldn’t affect us I felt it important to go out on a high and I wanted to win the match. We went with the same team that beat Leicestershire. Tom and Ben got us off to a flying start winning at numbers 5&6. Going against form we lost at numbers 1,3 & 4 but a brilliant match from Jack kept us in the match. That said our senior players had all played a lot of tennis with an awful lot of pressure on their shoulders to perform over the weekend and without making excuses there was some fatiguing from those players. We did in fact have a point to beat Bucks with James Morris missing a volley he would make 999 times out of a thousand, but hey that’s tennis!

My players of the weekend were Ben Clarke and Will Huyton! Although everyone did there bit these 2 guys were different class with Will without doubt being the best player at the event!

We must also say goodbye to Jack Josh and James who will be too old to play next year. I must point out that James Morris AKA ‘Mr County Cup’ has only lost 2 rubbers in the last 3 years which is an amazing achievement.

Overall everyone played well and their behaviour on and off the court was impeccable. I can honestly say it was a pleasure to captain this team and every single one of them represented their county with pride. Well done guys and if asked I look forward to working with you again next year.

Hamid Hejazi

All results can be seen at http://lta.tournamentsoftware.com/sport/draw.aspx?id=DFA000B6-56B1-4BFD-8289-445DDF2CEEE4&draw=1



Hills Road Sports & Tennis Centre
Purbeck Road
01223 210111