This report may be a little late to get to the website - with apologies from the editor - but it is well worth reading of the valiant efforts made by our 18U County Boy's team with their first experience of playing in Division 1.
Report by the captain, Simon Ashmore.
Team picture from l to r:
James Defusto, Andrew Higham, Luke Smith, Alasdair O Bradley, Phillip Peters, Christopher Wood, Aaron Banasik, Simon Ashmore and chilling out Joshua Bexon
County Cup Report
Bath March 2011
With the boys now in the 1st Division this year for the first time in our history, we are now facing our hardest challenge to date. Our thoughts are not about winning the competition but how can we stay up!!!!
Day 1 Middlesex
With rumours regarding the Middlesex team our fears came true, their number 1, Oliver Golding, was being flown in from the Czech Republic at 6am on match day morning. Not only was that a problem but he ranked number 4 in the world at under 18 and won the silver medal at the last junior Olympics. Going down to their number 3 player who had world ATP tour ranking points, it was going to be one of those days.
First matches on 6+5: At (6) Chris made a good start to his match but lost out 6/4 6/1. At (5) Aaron was looking like the player who could win all 3 of his matches this weekend; Aaron won easy 6/3 6/1 matches. 4+3: (4) Phil lost out 6/3 6/2 against a very solid player. (3) Alasdair lost by the same score 6/3 6/2 to Oliver Hudson. Matches 2+1: (2) Joshua was hit off the court with no chance at all by a player that none of the boys had heard of (I’ve never seen a player push a ball at such speed for so many winners and make it look like he’s not even trying ) - Josh lost 6/1 6/3.
Now for the big match Luke Smith against the current world number 4, Oliver Golding! With all the Notts boys shouting after every point, the noise was deafening. Luke played out of his skin hitting 3 or 4 aces to get to 3-3 in the first set, then his opponent stepped it up a gear to win 6/3 6/1 but the one game in the second was a break of his serve for a 1 all.
Doubles: Middlesex split up the top 3 players. All three doubles matches went like a shooting gallery, the problem was our boys were the targets!. It was an impressive show of power play with Josh taking the worst of it with 120 mph first serve to the leg and had to dive on the floor for cover as balls whizzed past his ears. We lost all 3 matches 6/1 6/0 - 6/3 6/1 - 6/0 6/4.
Match day score 8-1 to Middlesex
Day 2 Kent
Kent won on day one 6-3 so we now need to win both days that are left to stay up. 6+5: (6) Chris lost a close match with a bad back 6/2 7/5. (5)Aaron, cruising like the real tennis player he is now starting to becoming winning 6/3 6/1.
4+3: (4) Phil had a hard match against a player who never missed a shot losing out 6/3 6/4 his opponent played number 1 for Yorkshire last year. (3) Alasdair lost a close first set 6-4 then hit the wall and lost 6-0 in the second.
2+1: (2) Josh played a great lefty ball striker and went down 6/2 6/2. (1) Luke played a great match against a 6'5" serving machine (known by his team mates as 'The Terminator'). Luke did so well to hang on, but lost in 3 sets 6/3 4/6 6/0.
Doubles : Alasdair and Philip go on first and take the first set with ease 6-1 but lost a good quality second set 3/6. So down to the champions tie break, this was a to and fro breaker which we just lost 12/14. As the second set was underway Aaron and Andrew 3rd pair lost out 6/1 6/2. The last doubles didn’t need to be played as by now we had already been relegated due to 2 teams dropping out of Division 1.
Kent won 7-1
Day 3 Hertfordshire
It was always going to be an uphill battle, tired and battered after the first 2 days, Chris and Aaron had bad injuries and couldn’t play on the last day, so Andy came in at 6 and Jamie at 5. Andy found his first set very tough and lost out 0/6 then after a chat about what to change in this match and future matches, he made it up to 5/4 and just lost out in the last game. It was a great effort at such short notice. Jamie also had a hard start to his County Cup career and went down 4/6 in the first but with grit and determination he won the second 6/3. He went down 5/1 in the 3rd and yet again he came back to 5/4 to get to deuce, but lost out after a suspect line call (4 inches inside the baseline?). Such a shame because I think Jamie would have gone on to win the match. Phil played at 4 and lost out in two easy sets 4/6 2/6. Alasdair had a very similar match to James losing out 4/6 6/1 4/6.
Luke went on but had a bad arm and couldn’t really play and lost 0/6 0/6. Josh had a close match losing the first set by missing too many balls but tightened up on the mistakes to take the second set 6/3, then into the third set it was to and fro with Josh just losing out 6/4 in the last. As we are down 6 by matches to 0, we decided to miss out on the doubles.
Hertfordshire won 6-0
It unfortunately turned out to be as hard as we had expected, but I must say that you would never have thought we had lost all 3 days as the 3 hour drive back passed in no time at all with laughs and smiles. This group of boys held their heads high under incredible pressure and never lost their cool. It was a joy to take them as my team mates. A special thank you to James D for his jokes and outlook on life that made everyone LOL.
Roll on next year