The Notts 12U county cup team travelled to Oxford on the 28th and 29th of June to compete against 4 other counties over the two days! The team comprised of Anna Buckley, Amelia Rajecki, Millie-Mae Matthews and Jasmine Ramsden. The team arrived at the club bright and early, and were excited by the sight of numerous grass courts before them! However were playing on hard courts on the other side of the club house, so we de-camped to the hard courts to begin our warm up!
At this point the sun was shining, the sky was blue and trackie Bs were soon being discarded! The girls were left to play some practice points while I attended a captain's meeting, where we were given the days draw of matches! For the second year running we faced Warwickshire, first thing on a Saturday morning! On paper the group favourites and our toughest test! Our team lined up in this order 1. Anna B 2. Amelia 3. Millie-Mae. All 3 girls took to court at the same time. After a fast start by Anna's opponent in the first set, Anna worked her way into the second set, tracking down balls and fighting to put every ball back in play! After a great fight Anna's opponent Tamara closed out the second set 5-3 to take Warks 1-0 up! The weather at this point began to change dramatically and the girls were playing in a steady drizzle! Meanwhile Millie-Mae making her 12U debut had taken a 3-1 lead in the first set against Savannah Yardley, was forced to a first set tie break. The Warks no2 showed her experience and went on the take the set! After a really close first set, the momentum swung in the favour of the Warks player and we found ourselves 2 rubbers down! Amelia was still in a battle with Lilian Mould. The girls were showing some impressive ball striking, the games were long and although she played some great tennis Amelia lost the match 4-2 4-2, against a the talented Warks no2! Although we lost the first 3 singles matches of the day, I was incredibly proud of the girls effort and commitment to their matches in the rain, the courts at times were very slippery underfoot and this hindered our chances somewhat to sneak a singles win from our very strong opponents !
Our second opponents of the day were Lincs, Millie-Mae and Amelia dominated their matches from the first point and proved too strong for their opponents winning their matches without losing a game! Anna B faced Lucy Hull, Lincs no1. Anna showed her resilience during the match to fend off Lucy 4-1 4-2, showing some great skills from the back of the court and being brave to mix things up when needed! With the team 3 rubbers up against Lincs, and the singles matches finished for the day! We moved onto the doubles, although we had lost the tie against Warks, Amelia and Anna played the dubs and showed some great doubles skills to take the win 4-1 5-3 .
The last match of the day was the dubs tie against Lincs, another debutant Jasmine Ramsden made her first appearance at U12 for the county partnering Millie-Mae! The girls played some great tennis, and showed good doubles awareness and net play to win the match 4-1 5-4 (5) . At the end of the first day we had secured a 8-0 win against Lincs and fallen to group favourites Warks 6-2.
The team member who stayed over in Oxford for the night went out for a team meal, I'm pretty sure the girls enjoyed the dressing up more than the actual meal!
Day two saw the weather make a dramatic change and the umbrellas were replaced with suncream! The club was full of England hockey players and members of the public making the most of the clubs Great British Tennis Weekend! It was great to see the courts so full and a buzz around the club!!
First up we faced Leics, Millie-Mae was ruthless and again didn't lose a game as she quickly stormed through her match, showing dominance from the back of the court and some real flair at times! Anna's match was also another quick affair, she showed great court coverage and consistency to also win her match 4-0 4-0. Amelia was pushed a little harder by Prianka, but showed her strength in depth, staying calm at crucial moments, and hitting some huge serves to secure a 4-2 4-1 win! The girls had a small break and made the most of the Great British Tennis Weekend by jumping on a grass court to have a go on the fastest serve game, the girls also showed their table tennis skills although they couldn't keep away from the tennis for long as the girls decided to go and scout their opponents for the match against Northants!! The girls again dominated their matches from the start, Millie-Mae beat the Northants no3 for only the loss of one game. Showing some great touches and skills on the mid-court ball.
Amelia secured another 0&0 win proving too strong for her opponent! Her serve being her big weapon all weekend, she definitely demonstrated some patience on court this weekend when building points and it was great to see her working things out independently on court! In Anna's last match of the weekend she faced the tricky Abigail Pearce! Anna was strong from the start, retrieving almost impossible balls from Abigail! Anna was like a brick wall, and ended up winning 4-1 4-2.
Onto our final doubles matches for the weekend, Jasmine partnered Millie -Mae against Leics and continued their successful partnership to take the win, although the match was very very close. After a really slow start in the first set, the girls began to work as a team and took the second set 4-2. The match went to a match tie break and the Notts girls snuck the win 10-8! Both teams demonstrated some excellent net play and team work!! The final match of the day, was the doubles match against Northants, Amelia partnered Jasmine for this match and after a lot of brave net play and ambitious line winners / player tagging and some tears the Notts girls managed to prevail! Which meant the day finished with two 8-0 wins!
Vs Warks 2-6
Vs Lincs 8-0
Vs Leics 8-0
Vs Northants 8-0
These results secured Notts a second place finish in the group!
I was proud to call the nNtts girls my team this weekend. They fought hard for their county on every ball struck and looked after and out for each other as a team should! The Notts girls also led the team building of the counties making loom bracelets in the rain delay.
A great effort and result from the girls, thank you to the parents for being the team cheerleaders and chauffeurs! We're definitely going for the number one spot next year after being second twice the last two years! Watch out 2015 were coming for you!!
Notts U12 captain