Cambridgeshire 18 and under Tennis Girls get Promotion at Welwyn.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Cambridgeshire’s girls team of Zoe Douglas, Alice Taylor, Thalia Martin, Lizzie Pam, Kira Reuter, Stella Gordon, Natalie Bacon and Aisha Brown played some really good tennis over the weekend 28th Feb to 2nd March at Gosling Tennis Centre, Welwyn, Herts to win promotion to Group 2.

The four Counties in Groups 3a were Durham and Cleveland, Norfolk, Derbyshire and Cambridgeshire. Each match consists of 6 singles matches and 3 doubles matches.

On the Friday Cambridgeshire were first up against Durham and Cleveland. The first two singles matches saw the number 6 player, Aisha Brown (making her 18 and under debut), and Stella Gordon at 5 getting the team off to a flying start.

Stella beat Niamh Packer 6/1, 6/2 and then Aisha beat Ellisha Willis coming from 2/5 down to win 7/5, 6/0.

Next up was Lizzie Pam at number four and she outplayed Iona Amos 6/0, 6/3 to give Cambs a 3-0 lead. Thalia Martin at number three had a tough match and narrowly lost out to Nicola Tweedy 6/2, 1/6, 3/6. The top two players of Zoe Douglas and Alice Taylor then lead by example and beat Yasmin Tanfield and Lois Page respectively. Zoe winning 6/0, 6/1 and Alice at Number two winning 6/0, 6/0. Cambridgeshire had an unassailable lead of 5 – 1 after the singles.

In the doubles the top pairing of Zoe and Lizzie beat Tanfield and Amos 6/2, 7/5. Second pair of Alice Taylor and Aisha Brown won 6/0, 6/0 (great team work) against Page and Tweedy and third pair Stella Gordon and Natalie Bacon won 6/2, 7/5 against Packer and Willis.

This gave Cambridgeshire a 8-1 first day win.

On Saturday Cambridgeshire played Norfolk  (who had been unlucky to lose 6-3 to Derbyshire on Friday when one of their key players was injured). Cambridgeshire was strengthened on the Saturday with the inclusion of Kira Reuter who came in at number four.

Again Aisha Brown and Stella Gordon got the team off to a great start beating Bronte Farrage 6/0,6/1 and Katie McKenna 6/1, 6/1 at numbers 6 and 5.

Kira then had a tough match against Katherine Barnes before coming through 6/2, 6/7, 6/1. Lizzie Pam moved up to number three and despite trailing 1/3 in the first set then got her ‘A’ game going and won 6/3, 6/1. Next up was Alice Taylor at number two and she played very well beating Lorna Magrath in a good match 6/2, 6/1. Zoe Douglas then played her best tennis to beat local rival Maria Andrews 6/4, 6/2 with some excellent serving and aggressive play.

The doubles on paper looked as if it might be tough but the whole team came out firing. Stella and Natalie at pair three won 6/1, 6/2 against Farrage and Dayna Rice. Then Alice and Aisha continued their good from to beat McKenna and Talitha Rowan 6/2, 6/4 before the top pairing of Zoe Douglas and Kira Reuter played some really good doubles with great volleying and interceptions to beat Andrews and Mcgrath 6/3, 6/2.

This gave Cambridgeshire a 9-0 win over Norfolk to set up day three for a playoff to get promotion!

On the Sunday Cambridgeshire were up against Derbyshire who were also unbeaten. At the start of the day the team realised they were going to be without Lizzie Pam with an injured back so Thalia Martin came in at number three.

First on court were Aisha Brown and Stella Gordon playing Rebecca Williams and Hannah Davey respectively. Stella played a blinder of a match, chasing every ball down and not letting her opponent ever really settle. Despite some lengthy rallies she won 6/1, 6/2 to get the team off to a good start. Aisha was a little tense knowing the team needed a win but she knuckled down well and after a close first set, she ran away with the second winning 7/5, 6/2. Next up were Kira Reuter (number 4) and Thalia Martin (number 3). Kira played a really good first set winning it 6/1 but her opponent then started to play better in the second and Kira did well to hang it and take this 7/5. Thalia had a tougher match and lost 3/6, 4/6. This then left the top two players to try and win the match in the singles. Zoe at number one had a good match against the left handed Katy Wilson and managed to mix her game up so her opponent could not get into any rhythm and won 6/3, 6/2.

Meanwhile Alice Taylor at number two had a terrific match against the incredibly consistent Victoria Allen. Alice took the first set 6/4, but lost the second 2/6 and was looking very tired at this stage.

The third pair doubles of Stella Gordon and Natalie Bacon went on court against Sarah Ashcroft and Rebecca Williams and took the first set 6/3. Next door Alice took a 4/0 lead in the third set and things were looking good but then Victoria Allen started to pull back to 4/3 and at the same time Stella and Natalie lost their way and dropped the second set 1/6. Tension was mounting! Alice went 5/3 up but then 15/40 down in the next game and was on her knees but somehow she managed to find some energy to chase a drop volley to hit a stunning passing shot and then clung on to take the set and match 6/3 – Cambridgeshire were up as Group Winners. Stella and Natalie then relaxed and took the match tie break 10-2 to give Cambridgeshire a 6-1 winning lead!

With the match won the remaining doubles were not played.

The weekend ended with medals being presented and all smiles from the team!!

Well done to all the team – terrific result and great team spirit.

Sue Rich, captain said ‘the girls thoroughly deserved their wins and played extremely well all weekend and we had a great mixture of youth and experience in the team to create a really good team atmosphere which bodes well for the future’.





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