U10 County Cup Report: Sat 1st & Sun 2nd June
Report by James McIntosh
Hampshire were in a Box of 3 with Sussex and Surrey
Sat 1st June: Hampshire V Sussex
Hampshire’s number 1 Ouyoung Dinapala had a tough first match against the Sussex number 1 Alex Ellison. Both players were made to work for every point with some aggressive baseline play from Ouyoung, with Alex showing great defensive skills. Ouyoung edged the first set 5-4 winning the tie-break 7-2. The second set then went to Alex winning it 5-3. The match was then decided by a 3rd set tie-break with Ouyoung showing great confidence and composure to close out the match winning 10-7 after Alex had saved 2 match points.
Result: Ouyoung Dinapala beat Alex Ellison: 5-4, 3-5, 10-7
Hampshire’s number 2 Rory Penrose had to play Lleyton Edwards. Lleyton started well at a fast pace not allowing Rory a chance in the set, he was taking his opportunities well when his opponent dropped the ball short and was hitting big forehands to finish the point. Lleyton took the first set 4-0. Rory started better in the 2nd set improving tactically by moving his opponent more which was putting him under more pressure. Lleyton was then making more errors and Rory went in to a 3-1 lead. Lleyton started to find his range again with some more punishing forehands and pulled it back to 3-3. The following 2 games were then shared to make it 4-4 to take it to a second set tie-break which Lleyton won 7-5, winning the set 5-4.
Result: Rory Penrose lost to Lleyton Edwards: 0-4, 4-5
Hampshire’s number 3 for this rubber was Zach Corner up against Thomas Beuttell-Triggs from Sussex. Both players in the first set were keeping good consistent depth from the back of the court with some long baseline exchanges. Zach was moving his opponent well during the point but was unable to close out the point. Thomas took the first set 4-1. Thomas in the second set raised his intensity and was hardly making any unforced errors from the back of the court. Unfortunately Zach was unable to hold his serve in the second set which meant Thomas was able to take the 2nd set 4-0.
Result: Zach Corner lost to Thomas Beuttell-Triggs: 4-1, 4-0
With Hampshire being 2-1 down after singles rubbers we needed to win the doubles to take the match to a shootout. It was up to Ouyoung and Rory taking on Alex and Lleyton. Sussex started well in the first set with Hampshire struggling to deal with the pace; Sussex then took the first 4-2. At the start of the 2nd set Hampshire changed their tactics which was forcing Sussex to make more errors. Hampshire then won the set 4-2 taking it to a 3rd set tie-break. Sussex once again started strong and at the second change of ends were 8-4 up. Ouyoung and Rory then dug deep and managed to pull it back to lead 9-8 to set up a match point. Unfortunately they were unable to close it out and lost the next 3 points with Sussex winning 11-9.
Result: Ouyoung & Rory lost to Alex & Lleyton: 2-4, 4-2, 9-11
Overall Result: Hampshire 1 Sussex
Sat 1st June: Hampshire V Surrey
Ouyoung Dinapala once again had a hard singles match playing against Krisnaa Mahunthakumar. Both players started the first set consistently not making many unforced errors. Both Ouyoung and Krisnaa were holding serve and were having some gruelling exchanges from the back of the court, once again Ouyoung was having to work so hard to win every point with Krisnaa defending so well with some great court coverage. Ouyoung managed to win a close first set 5-4 winning the tie-break 7-5. Ouyoung stepped up his game in the 2nd set with some great variety of using the drop shot and some great drive volleys. He then won the set 4-1.
Result: Ouyoung Dinapala beat Krisnaa Mahunthakumar: 5-4, 4-1
Rory Penrose in his second singles match had to play Max Basing from Surrey. Rory started this match much better and was frustrating his opponent by not giving him any opportunities to build by keeping him pinned back behind the baseline. The first set was very closely contested with Max winning 5-3. In the second set Max became more dominant and was able to dictate the points and managed to win it 4-0.
Result: Rory Penrose lost to Max Basing: 5-3, 4-0
Hampshire’s number 3 in this rubber was Alfie Reynolds who was playing against Harry Hewing. Unfortunately Alfie got off to a slow start in the first set and was getting frustrated when making errors. Harry was not making any mistakes and was able to take the first set 4-0. Alfie started off the 2nd set much stronger and was being more aggressive with his forehand working well to put his opponent under pressure. The 2nd set was tied at 3-3 before Harry was able to produce some good tennis to win the 2nd set 5-3.
Result: Alfie Reynolds lost to Harry Hewing: 0-4, 3-5
Hampshire was once again 2-1 down going in to the doubles. This time it was Alfie and Zach to play Surrey’s number 1 pair Krisnaa and Max. Both Zach and Alfie played some great tennis in the 1st set and were competing well against Krisnaa and Max. The 1st set was poised at 4-4. The Hampshire pair saved a set point in the tie-break at 5-6 down to make it 6-6 at the change of ends. Unfortunately they then lost the 1st set tie-break 9-7. Zach and Alfie were more aggressive in the 2nd set and were once again producing some great tennis with some good net play from Zach. The boys showed great teamwork and determination to win the 2nd set 5-3. Surrey was then dominant in the deciding set winning the tie-break 10-3.
Result: Alfie & Zach lost to Krisnaa & Max: 4-5, 5-3, 3-10
Overall result: Hampshire 1 Surry 3
Sun 2nd June: Hampshire V Buckinghamshire
Hampshire had to come back the next day for the 5th and 6th play off against Buckinghamshire.
Ouyoung Dinapala was up against Joel Good from Buckinghamshire. Ouyoung was once again producing some fantastic tennis and was building the point well with his forehand. Joel was finding it difficult to deal with the pace from Ouyoung as he was finding the lines and moving his opponent well. Ouyoung was once again using his drive volley to great effect and won the match comfortably 4-2, 4-2.
Result: Ouyoung Dinapala beat Joel Good: 4-2, 4-2
Alfie Reynolds was playing at number 2 for Hampshire today and was playing against Rory Lawson. The first set was very close with both players playing well. It went to a tie-break in the first set which Rory edged 7-5 winning the set 5-4. Alfie in the 2nd set started to be more aggressive using his forehand to dictate the point. Alfie was stepping up the court taking the ball earlier in the 2nd set to give his opponent less time. Alfie went on to win the 2nd set 4-2. Alfie was not holding back in the 3rd set tie-break and was once again using his forehand to great effect and producing some great winners. Alfie raced in to an 8-1 lead just needing 2 more points to win the match. His opponent Rory showed good character to win the next 4 points before Alfie closed it out to win the 3rd set 10-5.
Result: Alfie Reynolds beat Rory Lawson: 4-5, 4-2, 10-5
In the 3rd rubber of the match Zach corner faced Orlando Roberts. Both players started very well with some great exchanges from the back of the court. Neither opponent was giving up anything with both Zach and Orlando chasing down every ball. The first set was decided with a tie-break with Orlando managing to win it 7-4, taking the first set 5-4. In the 2nd set Zach started to produce some great angles with his forehand and came in to the net more often to hit some clinical finishing volleys. Zach won the 2nd set 4-2 taking the match to a 3rd set tie-break. Orlando played well in the tie-break winning it 10-5.
Result: Zach Corner lost to Orlando Roberts: 4-5, 4-2, 5-10
For the first time Hampshire were going in to the doubles 2-1 up. Representing Hampshire was Ouyoung and Rory playing against Orlando and James. Both Hampshire players were more relaxed going in to this match and looked like they were enjoying themselves. Rory was consistent from the back of the court hitting some good deep returns which was setting up his partner to finish the point with the intercepting volley. Ouyoung and Rory showed good teamwork and confidence in this match winning comfortably 4-1, 4-0.
Result: Ouyoung & Rory beat Orlando & James: 4-1, 4-0
Overall result: Hampshire 3 Buckinghamshire 1
Round up of the weekend
All 4 players for Hampshire this weekend thoroughly enjoyed their experience of playing in the U10 County Cup competition. It was a great experience for the players to be involved in the event. The competition gave the boys an opportunity to compete against the top players in the region/country.
Hampshire were unlucky not to qualify through to the semi finals after day 1 after losing both doubles matches in a 3rd set tie-break, one of which Hampshire earned a match point. This would have taken both matches to a 10 point tie-break shootout. If Hampshire did qualify it would have given them a chance to compete at the top level by taking on Dorset the overall winners of the competition.
Over the weekend all 4 players showed great commitment and determination in all of their matches. They also showed great team spirit and encouraged each other, especially during their doubles matches. I think that all of the players would love to be involved in future County Cup events.