Congratulations to the 10U Boys team who won Group F to qualify for the National Finals.
The team was: Louis Bowden, Aaron Dawson, Daniel Prickett with travelling reserves Toby Samuel and Owen Martel. The Captain with Andy Sherdian with assistance from James Crawford.
The venue for this year’s County Cup was the excellent Weald Lawn Tennis Squash and Rackets Club and we started day one in bright sunshine.
Hampshire & IOW were drawn in group B with Sussex and Surrey which was a repeat of last year’s difficult opening day. We started really well with Louis Bowden routing Jonah Bryant 4-0, 4-0. Aaron Dawson scored a similarly convincing result against Finlay Edwards winning 4-1, 4-0. Next on was Daniel Prickett who sealed the result with a 4-1, 4-1 victory over Darcy Pycroft. With the match already in the bag, we teamed Aaron and Daniel in the doubles and they cruised to a 4-1, 4-1 win to give us a 4-0 result against the home county.
We were straight back on court to face tougher opposition in the form of Surrey. Louis came from behind in the first set to down Tom Dunlop 5-3, 4-2 to put us one up. Aaron Dawson won a tight first set against Dominik Hagmann before racing away with second. With the score at 2-0 to Hampshire, Daniel Prickett played great tennis to win the first set 4-1 against Surrey number one Freddie Plummer; the second set went the other way which gave Surrey the momentum going into the tiebreak. Daniel stepped up a gear to win 10-2 and secure our position as group winners and put us through to the semis.
The organisers’ decided to play the semi-finals singles matches on day one due to the horrific forecast for the following day. We squared up against old rivals Dorset and sailed through with three very clinical wins: Louis was rock solid dispatching William Pickard 1&0. Aaron won by the same scoreline versus Louis Cunningham so it was down to Daniel to seal the deal which he did with an easy 4-2, 4-0 victory over James Sclater. After a long day of tennis we were through to the final!
The weather on day two was a stark contrast to that of the first, which made the decision to play the semis on Saturday look like a stroke of genius. With the hard courts unplayable due to the heavy rain, we were lucky enough to have the clay courts available for the showdown with Kent.
Daniel got us off to a great start with a routine 4-1, 4-0 win over Matthew Pickering. Aaron went down fighting to Oliver Evans 5-4(6), 4-2 to square the tie at 1-1. Next up was Louis who came out with all guns blazing beating Hugo Coquelin 1&0. With Hampshire leading 2-1 after the singles, the doubles would prove pivotal. We paired Daniel with Aaron and it paid off as the two Hampshire & IOW boys produced an almost perfect performance to beat Matthew and Oliver 4-0, 4-0 to put us through to the National Finals in Bolton.
This was a fantastic weekend and a well-organised event. Thanks to all the players and parents involved. Special mention to Deputy Captain James Crawford as well as our two travelling reserves Toby Blackwell and Owen Martel for some great support.
Bring on Bolton!!
Andy Sheridan – Team Captain