Cambridgeshire 14 and under girls just miss out on finals

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Cambridgeshire’s 14 and under girls team of Anna Loughlan, Aisha Brown, Ellie Coleman and Sama Malik finished second at the Aegon 14 and under County Cup at Woodford Wells Tennis Club over the May Bank holiday weekend. The team were missing the number one player Kira Reuter with injury and 11 year old Sama Malik stepped in to take her place.

This event consists of groups of Counties playing at venues around the country and the winners of each group then progressing to the finals. Cambridgeshire were in a group with Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Middlesex. Each match consists of 4 singles and 2 doubles matches.

On the Saturday Cambridgeshire started against Berkshire with number 4 player Sama Malik making her debut against players three years older than her. Despite battling hard she lost 3/6, 5/7 to Sophie Dargan. Ellie Coleman played a solid match at number three against Kiran Dhull winning 6/2, 6/2 to level the scores. Aisha Brown at number two played an excellent match to beat Sasha Southgate 6/0, 6/1 and then top player Anna Loughlan, now training in Nottingham beat Megan Foster 6/3, 6/2 with some smart tactical play to give Cambridgeshire a 3-1 lead.

In the doubles top pairing of Anna and Aisha comprehensively beat Southgate and Dhull 6/0, 6/0 combining very well with some excellent team work. The second pair of Ellie and Sama looked on course for a loss but then battled away and despite losing the first set 3/6, came back strongly and took the second set 6/4 and then amazingly managed to win the match tie break 10-8 to give Cambs an overall 5-1 win.

On the Sunday Cambridgeshire played Oxfordshire who on paper were the weakest team. Sama Malik and Ellie Coleman were first on court again but made to work very hard for their wins. Sama beat Lauren Keeler 7/5, 6/4 in a tense match and Ellie beat Evie Phillips 6/3, 6/3 but had to battle hard. In the second string match Aisha beat Annabelle Denly 6/0, 6/1 playing some very attacking tennis. Anna won the top match against Raia Jagger 6/0, 6/1 and again showed the great repertoire of shots she has and her competitive spirit. Anna and Aisha won the top doubles against Denly and Olivia Christie 6/1, 6/1 and then Ellie and Sama won the second doubles against Jagger and Keeler 6/0, 6/1. This gave Cambs an overall 6-0 match win.

On the Monday Cambridgeshire were up against the very strong Middlesex team who had not lost a match and hardly lost any games! In reality the match was going to rest on Cambs top two players.

Sama Malik played against Gauri Gautam who was rated 4 ratings above her and despite trying very hard lost 0/6, 1/6. Ellie had an equally hard opponent and lost 0/6, 0/6 to Essence Martins. Next up were Aisha and Anna who again played higher rated players but both put in brave performances but eventually lost. Aisha lost 4/6, 3/6 to Danielle Daley and had some good opportunities and played some very exciting and attacking tennis. Anna got off to a good start against Martina Jennings but could not sustain this and lost 2/6, 2/6.

The second doubles pair of Ellie and Sama were out hit by Martins and Gautam losing 1/6, 1/6 but the top pairing played a very good doubles and narrowly lost to Jennings and Daley 7/5, 4/6, 11-13 in the match tie break. Although the overall result was 0-6 there were some very good performances and the girls fought hard.

Captain Sue Rich was pleased with the girls performances and they pulled out some good wins over the course of the weekend but in the end Middlesex had too much strength in depth.



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