10U County Cup Girls Report

Monday, June 19, 2017
10U County Cup Girls Report

Girls 10U County Cup Qualifying 2017

Captain; Harry Bushnell

Vice Captain; Brett Spencer-Stephens

Team; Lois Newberry, Daisy Rowland, Eloise Newberry & Henrietta Jeer

As I was driving to Sussex I couldn’t believe that a whole year had passed since the great success of 2016 where we made it through to the national finals in Sunderland.

Time certainly does fly in the tennis world, groups of players come and go and achievements quickly forgotten as the treadmill just keeps going at such a high speed, but with the group of players that we had this year and with the reintroduction of county training, we were confident that we could keep the momentum going and once again challenge for a place in the finals.

Our first opponents were Gloucestershire who were one of two new teams in our group this year, we had been waiting off the first round which gave us a chance to scout the players as they had already played a match, they were solid and somewhat feisty.

Daisy Rowland and Lois Newberry were first up for Kent. Daisy had been so solid in the build up to the competition and she started off from the first point in the same way, cool, calm, calculated and just too good for her opponent. Lois, now an experienced competitor at this level, was oozing confidence and both girls raced through their matches to give Kent a 2-0 lead.

Eloise had a very long wait to get on court and when she eventually did, she too got off to a flyer, however, it was very clear that Gloucestershire had been creative with their nominations and her opponent who was playing at number three was their best player so we knew it wasn’t going to be a stroll in the park.

It was a real topsy-turvy match, momentum swinging one way and then the other and it was Gloucestershire who pipped it and whilst Eloise was disappointed, it was a great performance form her.

Going into the doubles we wanted to avoid a tiebreak shoot-out but we didn’t get off to a good start at all, dropping the first set, however, Lois and Daisy pulled themselves together and raced through the second set. They kept their heads and continued to dominate, winning the third set tiebreak with ease to give Kent a 3-1 win.

Our next opponents were Sussex, who are always difficult to play against as they are on home turf and this year was no exception.

Henrietta Jeer was playing at number three for us and got into her stride very quickly, winning the first set in no time at all. The conditions at this point were nothing short of horrendous and it was so tough to keep the ball under control, all the girls were struggling and in all of the matches it was proving to be a real leveller.

Lois and Daisy were also on at this point and were also finding things difficult in the wind.

Once the latter each won their first set, they took full control and did not look back putting us 2-0 up. Henrietta found herself in a third set tiebreak and whilst she battled hard, her opponent was playing her best tennis and she won it to give Sussex a chance going into the doubles.

Once again, it was down to Lois and Daisy and this time they didn’t take their time, completely dominating their opponents with some smart play, it was just what we wanted after a very long day.

We won the match and in turn beat Sussex 3-1.

The next day was similar to the first in the fact that we sat out the first round of matches, with conditions a lot more favourable for tennis, it didn’t take long for our girls to be called onto court against Wiltshire, the other newcomers in the group.

All three of our girls, Lois, Daisy and Eloise, who was back playing at three, dominated and wasted no time at all in wrapping up the wins to put us out of reach at 3-0, none of the matches lasted longer than 45 minutes, it was dominate from Kent.

Our doubles match against Wiltshire was a time for us to experiment a little, Eloise and Henrietta played it and played some good tennis, but their opponents, who had nothing to lose, were full of life and won a third set tiebreak to restore some pride and finish the match 3-1 to Kent

It was the best we had played all weekend and it meant that our last match against Surrey would be a ‘winner take all’ contest as they had also won all of their matches. We were reaching top gear just at the right time, Surrey had struggled in their opening match of the day so the girls were full of confidence but were not taking anything for granted.

Eloise was up first, again, her opponent had been strategically placed and she was strong, moving Eloise from side to side and in the process building up quite a lead.

Daisy, soon got her match under control, doing what she does best and whilst it got a bit squeaky, moved a set clear.

Lois was really being challenged by the Surrey number one but had more variety to her game and when the going got tough, she answered the question and moved ahead of her opponent.

With all three matches reaching a climax, Eloise made a real come back, could we win it after the singles? It was looking possible for a moment! However, this is county cup and there is always drama and that means it usually always comes down to a game of doubles!

Lois and Daisy once again won, Eloise was just squeezed out meaning it was 2-1 Kent, if we were to win and repeat last years qualification to the national finals we had to do it by winning the, you guessed it, doubles rubber.

Brett and I pondered on who would play it for what seemed like hours, there was a great case for each of the girls as they all had such great individual qualities and had all given so much in training and at the actual competition.

In the end, we decided it would a pretty bold decision to not go with our top two, they had won their previous two doubles matches, hadn’t lost all weekend and had beaten the two girls that Surrey had nominated.

After a good old-fashioned team talk, Lois and Daisy took to the court and they did not disappoint. Whilst it seemed tight at the time, they won with ease and were better than their opponents in every area and were deserved winners.

We were once again through to the national finals for a second year in succession.

As the girls celebrated and the parents congratulated them, both Brett and I sat back in our chairs, looked at each other and both uttered the words ‘Sunderland’ or something along those lines!

 Girls 10&U County Cup National Finals 2017

 Captain; Harry Bushnell

Vice Captain; Brett Spencer-Stephens

Team; Lois Newberry, Daisy Rowland, Eloise Newberry & Henrietta Jeer

After a long drive to Sunderland, we were underway against Northumberland in our first and only match on Friday afternoon.

Our plan was to play the same team as in qualifying, Lois, Daisy and Eloise.

After the singles we found ourselves 2-1 behind after we had lost two singles matches from the brink of victory! The girls were disappointed but we were confident that Lois and Daisy could take the doubles which is exactly what they did in emphatic style with the loss of just one game. We then had to play a doubles tiebreak shootout and once again the girls won with ease, 10-1 to give us the win 3-2 overall.

The Saturday was always going to be a gruelling day, we arrived at 8am and we didn’t finish until gone 830pm, but it was worth every second.

We started against Leicestershire, last years champions who were not as strong this year, we won each of the singles matches in style, Lois and Henrietta then teamed up for the doubles and they too won a very entertaining match in straight sets to give Kent a 4-0 victory and avenge our defeat from last year.

We had now put ourselves in a great position and when lay finally got underway against Hertfordshire, there was a real belief that we could get the win and get into the final which would have eclipsed last years achievement.

Lois lost but Daisy and Eloise won, we were 2-1 ahead going into the doubles and the match was very much in our hands.

Lois and Daisy stared a little slow, but once they got going there was no stopping them, we won the match and we were in the final.

In the final we faced last years runners-up, Lancashire. They had a great win over Middlesex in their last match and we knew they’d be tough.

Lois got us off to a flyer, absolutely demolishing her opponent in double quick time, it was her best performance of the competition and she saved her best until last.

Daisy put us 2-0 ahead after a very long, intense battle, meaning she had won every one of her singles matches in both qualifying and the final which is a massive achievement.

Eloise was next on, her opponent was just too strong, the tie was poised at 2-1 to Kent but it was very obvious that there was a lot of tennis left to play.

The doubles was very tight, the momentum shifting back and forth and it was Kent who took the first set on the tiebreak, however, we were under pressure and Lancashire seemed to grow in confidence and started to take a real grip on the match. The took the second set and then the final set tiebreak to force a shootout.

After a brief team talk the girls went back on but Lancashire were just too strong and in the end their quality showed, they beat us 10-5 to take the title.

It was tough, we’d done better than we would have ever imagined, we bettered last years performance, which at the time was considered huge but we of course didn’t enjoy finishing 2nd, however sometimes you just have to accept that the better team one and this was the case here, well done to Lancashire.

I would like to thank all of the girls and their parents for making it such a fun and memorable weekend, the commitment they showed was incredible.

And of course, to vice-captain, Brett Spencer-Stephens for his unbelievable support throughout and for keeping me under control, I know it’s not easy!

Harry Bushnell



Bromley Tennis Centre at Newstead
Avebury Road
Kent BR6 9SA
01689 880757