Aegon 12U Boys County Cup

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Players for Qualifying event held over the weekend of 1st and 2nd July 2017 were:

  1. Owen Martel 
  2. Louis Bowden
  3. Aaron Dawson
  4. Jack Curtis (reserve)

Team Captain:  Colin Jakeway

For the first time in many years we were given a new group to play in (Group C) and it made for a refreshing change and we had a great venue up in Windsor… It almost felt like the old South region as we played our old neighbours Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire with Hertfordshire thrown in for good measure.

On paper we looked strong, but that means nothing on the day so we went into our first match wary!!  Playing Oxfordshire, we got off to a great start and in a relatively short space of time won all 3 singles and made our mark…. Next up were Berks, who proved to be a much sterner test with Owen dropping his singles in a very tight deciding t/b set 8-10 and Louis at no.2 coming through 2 very close sets against a very determined leftie, but we led 2-1 before the doubles which was played at the end of the day.  The doubles went extremely well and we won both of them wrapping up the day very well with wins of 4-0 vs Oxon and 3-1 vs Berks.

Day 2 saw us start early against Herts with a slight challenge for the captain (me) as all 3 singles matches went on together at the same time leaving me having to split myself to give advice where needed most, and to run across a car park which separated the courts!!!!  But as a team we played very solid and performed well with our No.3 Aaron doing a great job and not dropping a game as he won 4-0,4-0 in record time! Thus leaving me time to watch and advise the top 2 as they went onto win their matches.  That left us Bucks and as they were also in the same position as us with 3 wins under the belt, whoever won would be celebrating victory… and the Hampshire & IOW boys did the County very proud and overcame all opposition convincingly and won all 3 singles and to wrap things up, we won both the doubles matches as well!!!!

This meant that we had won 15 out 16 matches and were clear winners!!! Up next the National Finals in Bolton from Friday 14th – Sunday 16th July 2017.

Players for the National Finals:

  1. Louis Bowden
  2. Owen Martel
  3. Aaron Dawson
  4. Jack Curtis (reserve)

Team Captain:  Colin Jakeway

Just a small change from the qualifying event in that Louis changed places with Owen due to their rankings changing in the 2 weeks between events.  First up on the Thursday afternoon was Lincolnshire, expectations were good and the team was feeling positive.  Louis played a great match and despite a little wobble 2nd set came strong in the deciding t/b and won 10-6 to take us into the lead… Next up – Owen, who had a tough long encounter and despite working hard missed a couple of chances in a 2nd set t/b and lost narrowly, leaving us 1-1 with Aaron and a live doubles still to come… Aaron played great and after a gruelling match it came down to a couple of points in the deciding T/b which went the way of Lincolnshire, which left us the doubles… so I sent Louis and Aaron back on to see if we could tie the match and send us into overtime against Lincolnshire

We started absolutely brilliantly and won the 1st set 4-0 and looked on course, but then the wheels came off, lost the 2nd set 1-4 and lost the deciding T/b 2-10, it all slipped away very quickly and the boys were devastated, it now meant we had to win the next 2 matches convincingly to stand a chance.

Next day, we played the no.1 seeds in our box, Warwickshire and with Louis facing the GB no.3, it was a tough match from the start.  Louis played an absolutely fab match and had chances but in the end the consistency and power of the opposition took its toll and he lost 2-4, 1-4.  Next up Owen in a match that was winnable if he played at his very best.  The Warwickshire no.2 was a very determined young man and looked like he was prepared to camp out all day on the court and it was going to be down to Owen to win the match with some hard hitting and deft drop shots, and it was close, very close, but not quite close enough and it was a couple of small mistakes that cost Owen the match.  It was a good effort against a very stubborn opponent.  This left Aaron coming out at no.3 knowing he had to win to keep the match going.  He started well, played positively and finished the match superbly taking it in 2 straight sets giving us a chance in the doubles.  Louis / Aaron then went back on court for the doubles and in an extremely high quality contest gave everything and nearly got the result we were looking for, narrowly losing 4-5, 1-4. The T/B was awesome tennis and hopefully something they will remember for a while!!!

This left us playing Kent last and we desperately wanted to win this one as we normally play them in the regionals and wanted to prove that we were stronger… and we didn’t want to be playing for the wooden spoon!!!  We actually went down 0-1 in the match as Owen at no.2 played first due to courts and who had rested longest.  He played well, but was against a stronger boy who was on form and hardly missed… then came Louis, who played out of his skin and won a fantastic match against a boy higher ranked than him in a brutal match.  The first point alone was a 25+ shot rally and much of it continued in that way, gruelling rally after gruelling rally in which Louis held his nerve and quality and finally ground the opponent down to win 5-4, 5-3.  Aaron was next up and he continued his good form with a very solid performance and dispatched the Kent no.3 with ease… 2-1 up and with time dragging on, I sent Louis and Aaron back out again to wrap up a positive day for them which they did in style due to Kent being unable to field their best doubles pair due to tiredness!!!  If nothing else we proved we were fitter than them, but also better tennis players as we won 3-1 which left us fighting for 5/6 on Sunday.  A good day for us really as we pushed Warwickshire and slaughtered Kent

Our last match was against Essex for 5th/ 6th place and we were determined to finish on a positive. Louis first up continued his positive run with a very solid and disciplined effort and removed the Essex no.1 with style.  Next up was Owen who got stuck into his match with gusto taking the first set well and looked on course to finish the weekend well, but nothing runs smoothly in tennis and with a couple of errors and some good play from the opponent, Owen found himself locked in another deciding T/B.  A couple of stern words and re-enforcement of what he could do on the court from myself got him back on track and he eventually won the T/B 10-7 with a classy winner up the line… Phew!!!!!  This left Aaron with the opportunity to wrap the match up which he duly did with yet another great performance against some interesting opposition and even more interesting supporters!!!  The doubles was played and I’m pleased to say that our long waiting reserve Jack Curtis finally got his chance and he didn’t waste it winning the doubles with Owen 5-4, 4-2.  Jack should get a special mention as he was such a great support to the boys and me.  He helped warm the boys up for each match, clapped and drummed loudly when required and generally was just around to help with everything.  Thank you Jack and to the boys and the parents who made the weekend what it was… fun!!!

Colin Jakeway, Team Captain



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