Hampshire & IOW 18U Boys were in division 4A at Bromley in Kent for this year’s County Cup competition.
The other teams in our division were Bucks, Devon and Suffolk.
The team was:- Miles McDowall, Cem Ortel, Taylor Vane, Sam Bird, Maxton Cook, George Barfoot, Harvey Reed and Angus McDowall.
The 1st day was against a very strong Bucks team. George got us off to a great start at number 6 singles with a good win, but we were unable to get another win in the singles until Miles, at number 1, leaving us at 2-4 going into the doubles.
We knew winning all 3 doubles was going to be a big ask and so it proved as we went down in all 3 giving us a 2-7 loss on the first day.
On the 2nd day we were up against a strong Suffolk side who had had a comfortable win against Devon on the first day. Once again George at 6 got us off to a winning start but we were unable to get another singles win until Miles got us a win at number 1, leaving us trailing 2-4 going into the doubles.
We changed the doubles around with Angus playing with Maxton at number 3, Sam continuing with Harvey at number 2 and Miles and Taylor at number 1.
We had a good win in 3 sets at number 3 but unfortunately we lost a close one at number 2 leaving us trailing 3-5 so the last match was halved.
Sunday therefore became a battle for survival against a Devon team who had also lost the 2 previous matches, we stuck with the same team as the previous day which, on reflection, could have won if chances had been taken.
Once again we got off to a good start with Maxton winning at 5 followed by win at 3 for Taylor and another win at 1 for Miles, Cem fought bravely at 2 and took it to 3 sets despite a painful shoulder injury, but couldn’t quite get the win.
This made it 3 rubbers all with the doubles to play. Despite having chances at 3 we couldn’t convert enough of the sudden death deuce points to get over the line and win and unfortunately a similar story happened with our 2nd pair of Sam and Harvey who played some great tennis but didn’t take their chances on the big points. The 1st doubles was halved as it was now a dead rubber and I did feel we would have won that match.
So in terms of results it didn’t go our way partly, I think, due to having a young team which did lack experience when it came down to the wire on those sudden death deuce points.
Despite the loss we had a great weekend, thanks to all the lads for a good effort and my assistant James Mackintosh. Next year I’m sure will be a different story.
Mike Booth – U18 Boys County Captain