Thanks to everyone involved with the Kevin Hoey Memorial Mini Orange Festival event on Saturday – we had another fantastic day of excellent tennis which saw 32 x 9Us play 80 matches. 24 of the players were Orange 1 Stars, and the level of tennis was as high as you would have expected. The standard of behaviour was also extremely high both on and off the court, and the support of the parents and coaches was terrific. Play began at 10.30am sharp, and finished at approx 2.30, with every player taking part in 5 matches each.
In Stage 1, we had two groups of 4 teams – 7 of which were County teams, and we (Corby Tennis Centre) managed to put together another team to make the numbers right, to ensure all the players got their full quota of matches. I have attached details of both stages, but in a nutshell, the Murray Group consisted of Herts, Here & Worcs, Notts and Northants, whiel the Djokovic Group had Cambs, Warks, Bucks and Corby.
The Murray Group was dominated by Herts who won 10 of their 12 matches, although a great effort by Notts No1 Phoenix Weir, who won all three of his matches helped see Notts pip Northants into 2nd place. Despite drawing 2 matches each with Notts and Northants, Hereford & Worcs finished in 4th place. The Djokovic Group was won by Cambridgeshire, as they won 1 more match than Corby. Warks came in 3rd place and Bucks ended 4th.
This took us through to Stage 2 , where the winners and runners up from Stage 1 (Herts v Corby & Notts v Cambs) went into the semi finals, and the 3’s and 4’s (Northants v Bucks & H&W v Warks) went into a consolation draw. In the consolation, Northants and Bucks ended up dead level after 4 matches, so a head-to-head had to be played between the No1’s and ended with a win for Jakob Bonnet from Northants. They would be up against H&W who beat Warks, and that ended up being a 3-1 win for H&W to secure 5th place, and Northants 6th. Warks beat Bucks in the 7/8th place play-off.
In the semi finals, Herts proved too strong for Corby and won 3-1, while Notts beat Cambs in a countback of tiebreaks won. This resulted in the 3/4th Place Play off between Corby and Cambs, which was a repeat from Stage 1. This time around, Corby secured the win by 3 matches to 1, with 3 x 3set wins. One exceptional note was the performance of Harrison Abraham, who playing for Corby, went undefeated all day, including wins over Herts and the previously undefeated Hannah Read from Herts.
In the Final, Herts shifted up a gear and won all 4 matches against Notts without dropping a single set. The other outstanding individual performance of the day came from Herts No2, Fabio Nestola, who also won all 5 of his matches with the loss of just one tiebreak.
The runners up, Notts and the winners Herts all received Mini Tennis prizes from Tournament Referee and Organiser, Craig Haworth, who congratulated all the players, parents and coaches for the way they conducted themselves throughout the day. A big thank you also went out to Justin Chacksfield – Head of Performance 12U programme at Corby, who was Assistant Referee, and to all the court supervisors, who were teenagers from the Corby programme. Without exception, the feedback from the players, parents and coaches was extremely positive about the whole day, with particular reference to how much they enjoyed the experience of the Team environmment, and how well run the event was.