The Nottinghamshire U12 girls were the first to arrive at Caunton for an early morning practice. The team spirit was high (even at 8:30am) and we were ready for battle on our own turf!
First up, Northamptonshire! We played three singles in the first round with Jessica Spencer at number one having a hard hitting and high quality battle. Olivia Corfe showcased her resilience and athleticism in her first Under 12 county cup and Emily Trease fought until the end at number three. Unfortunately, we lost all three singles against Northamptonshire. The final doubles rubber was due to be played after all the singles matches were completed.
After a rest we were ready to take on Leicestershire. With the same team order, Jess showed her mental toughness and pure class to beat the Leicestershire number one 4-1, 4-0. Olivia worked hard and demonstrated her potential but could not quite clinch the win. Emily won an epic three set match against Leicestershire’s Maisie Smith 4-2, 3-5 and 11-9 in the third set tie-break. Emily showed her grit to win and implemented her tactics successfully. So we were 0-3 down to Northamptonshire and 2-1 up against Leicestershire with the final rubber doubles to play against each county.
Jess & Olivia lost to Northamptonshire, but they played some great doubles and tried out some important doubles tactics (captain’s orders!!). Jess & Emily then took on Leicestershire for a must win rubber in order to beat Leicestershire. Jess & Emily slowly got into the match but their doubles skills and experience proved to be too strong and we took the victory....beating Leicestershire 6-2 overall.
A great day with plenty of rain showers to keep us on our toes.
Sunday’s play kicked off after a huge rain shower but we were confident the weather would hold off for the day. There was no stopping Notts when we took an early lead over Lincolnshire with our top three singles players Jess, Millie Wileman & Olivia winning. Jess made the win look easy, Millie kept her composure against the Lincs number two and Olivia confidently swept passed the number three. Jess and Millie played in the doubles to give Notts an 8-0 win over Lincolnshire.
As we went into the final round against Warwickshire everything was to play for as Warwickshire, Notts and Northamptonshire were all still in the running to win the group. Emily went on first at number three; she fought long and hard to take the first set but Warwickshire found their form to beat Notts in the third set. Jess and Millie then went on to play their singles matches. Jess was competing against a player who is ranked 8th nationally. Jess played an excellent first set but eventually lost in the third set. Millie took on the number two and played some tactical tennis but this could not clinch the win. At 0-6 down to Warwickshire, Olivia & Emily went on the play the doubles. It was what I can only describe as the most entertaining doubles match I have ever seen......finally losing in three sets against two very experienced and highly ranked players.
So finally from me in my first county cup captains role, I want to say a big thank you to the players for making my job easy. I could not have been prouder of the girls. Also a big thank you to Caunton Tennis Club who hosted with a great venue, catering and smiles, so well done to Dawn and the team!
Steph Barling (Capt)
Team: Jess Spencer, Millie Wileman, Olivia Corfe, Emily Trease
For full results see http://lta.tournamentsoftware.com/sport/draw.aspx?id=19655A4B-05E3-49CF-94E7-5EEEC662446B&draw=1