Qualifying 27th- 28th May
Venue – Lymm Tennis Club, Cheshire
Finals 9th – 11th June 2017
Venue – Sunderland Tennis Centre
The girls starting their quest to reach the National Finals at a very nice Lymm Tennis Club, throughout the weekend we had sun, wind, rain and thunder, testing the players skills in all weather conditions. On the first day we took on local rivals Cheshire winning with some straight forward tennis 8-0, then we took on North of Scotland with another 8-0 win. Sunday started off damp with us playing West of Scotland who beat comfortably and then Yorkshire the team who would test us the most. After the singles we were 2-1 down, quietly confident that our doubles pairing of Jade & Hima could win the doubles to make it 2-2. The girls managed to do this winning 4-0,4-2. Time for a doubles shoot out to 10 points. The girls were always ahead in the shoot out and impressed with some great doubles play. Off to the National Finals we go!!
On a dry Friday we set off to Sunderland with some very excited girls. In the afternoon we played Dorset, Jade Cole started off for us, Hima then won in a match tie break and Lily won the 3rd singles to give us a 3-0 lead. Abigail and Lily won a tight first set doubles 5-3 and then got into their stride wining the second set 4-0. A great start to the weekend.
Day 2 saw us take on South Wales in the morning a match which we knew would test us but we were confident we could win after the previous days win had given the team some confidence. Jade and Hima won their singles with 2 tie break sets keeping the spectators on edge, Abigail then played a tough match against their number 3 eventually losing out 5-4, 4-5, 7-10. This left Jade and Hima to win with the tie with another solid doubles performance 4-2 4-1. A great team effort. By this time it was 4pm and we still had to play Middlesex to decide who won our group and got into the finals! After a quick break it was time for Jade to take on Middlesex’s number 1. After a great first set Jade winning 5-3 despite being down initially the Middlesex play unfortunately had to retire injured. We were 1-0 up. Hima’s turn now to play their number 2 a very strong player who has represented Great Britain. Not to be for Hima who lost, 1-1. Lily’s turn to see if we could edge ahead before the doubles. It started well with a 4-0 first set but the girl fought back eventually wining 11-9 in the match tie break after some interesting line calls. If we were going to win we were going to have to do what we did against Yorkshire and win the doubles and the match shoot out. The team were motivated and ready to do battle. Up stepped Jade & Hima for the doubles which we won 5-4, 4-2 a very nervous match for the captain, parents and the other team matches to watch. The chanting from the balcony definitely pulled the girls over the line. Another match shoot out for a place in the final. By now it was 8.30pm, Middlesex made a change to their doubles brining the injured girl into the doubles team which caused some controversy. Our supporters were then told to calm down their cheering it was all very tense. The girls started the shoot out well after a nervy performance from the Middlesex girls we had done it we were into the Final!!!
9pm: after being on court since 8am straight back to the hotel for food and then to try and sleep which was hard with all the adrenaline pumping, the girls were rightly very excited!!
It was Finals day and the girls were tired after Saturday’s efforts but wanted to win and beat Kent. The effort put into beating Middlesex was showing Jade & Hima both lost their doubles pretty easily. It was time for the pocket rocket Lily to step up. What a performance from Lily, she was so aggressive in her play winning 4-0,4-1. The momentum had changed the girls were 2-1 down but confident in their doubles ability especially after being in this situation twice before and managing to get the win. Once again if we won the doubles it would be a shoot out for the title of National Champions. It was a really tough doubles with the Kent girls playing both back, making our girls work hard and fight for every single point. We lost a tough first set 5-4, heads never went down and we came back to win the second set 4-2 with some solid play from Jade and great volleying from Hima. Match tie break time! A few easy points for Lancashire and the girls battling hard meant we won the match tie break 10-4. It was 2-2 another match shoot out with Kent for a chance to win the title. At this point there was all to play for, we had come from behind and stunned Kent, their heads were starting to drop, could we get over the line!
After a quick refuel and toilet break it was time for the shoot out. 5-1 up at the change of ends we then made some silly mistakes with nerves showing but managed to keep ahead to 7-5, the girls saw the finish line and ran away with it winning 10-5!!!!! We couldn’t believe it we had managed to come back 3 times in shoot outs to win it! A great achievement and thanks to all the parents and players for never giving up and always supporting despite the score line. Great fight, well done to all the players, time for a well-earned rest!!
See all the results at: http://lta.tournamentsoftware.com/sport/team.aspx?id=F1CE39CA-C3A3-400F-8907-7689C01A1EEC&team=6