The Aegon 10U Boys County Cup was held over the weekend of May 27th & 28th and Hampshire & IOW were in Group C at North Oxford Lawn Tennis Club
The Hampshire and Isle of Wight team were drawn against the home team of Oxfordshire in their first match of a round robin group which also included Hertfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire.
Charlie Donnison got us off to an absolute flyer with a solid 4-1, 4-2 win over John Cairns. Eddie Sanders competed well against Oliver Veal but didn’t manage to win the big points. I t was the same story for Sam Cawood in his match with Jack Veal; again a really competitive match despite the 4-1, 4-1 scoreline. We were hopeful going into the doubles but the Veal boys were too polished for Sam and Eddie, Oxfordshire won the tie 3-1.
Our next match was against a very strong Hertfordshire team who were also coming off the back of a convincing win against Berkshire. This was a tough one for the boys; Luke and Eddie both getting beaten fairly comfortably. In one of the best matches of the weekend, Sam pushed Theo Mcilvenna all the way to a tight third set tiebreak before going down 2-4, 4-2, 10-8. Charlie and Luke were overwhelmed by a really strong performance from the Herts pair in the doubles and we lost 4-0 overall.
After a difficult first day we were looking to improve against Berkshire at the start of the second. Charlie played against Josh Aston, probably the toughest number three in the event. It was a gutsy performance from our lad but couldn’t quite break through Josh’s defences losing 4-1, 4-2. Eddie had a tough one vs William Af Ekenstam but Sam managed to turn the entire tie around with a superb 4-0, 4-0 win over Tom Harris. We needed to take the doubles for the match to go to a shootout and Charlie and Luke came really close, playing really well as a team but lost 4-2, 5-4. Their doubles match was a huge improvement over day one so it was good to see the boys learning.
Our final match was against Buckinghamshire who were also strong. Luke and Eddie both competed better than in their singles the previous day but came up short. Once again, Sam kept the match alive with another 4-0, 4-0 win over Tom Matcham but he and Eddie couldn’t quite pull off the win in the doubles so we lost this one 4-0.
At the end of the weekend we finished fifth overall and it was a tough weekend for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight team; there were some good performances and hopefully some experiences to learn from and build upon. The boys were an absolute credit to the County and I was proud to be captain of such a hard-working and positive group of players. Thanks to all the parents who provided such great support from start to finish.
Hertfordshire finished as deserved winners of the group, with Oxfordshire second.
Andy Sheridan – Team Captain