Our 18 and under boys team travelled to Taunton for their winter County Cup matches in Division 3B against Somerset, Devon and Cambridgshire.
The team pictured from left to right:
Callum Chivers (vice capt), Jamie Praditngam, James Defusto, Jonny Higham, Jonathan Burke, Saul Abbiss, Chris Wood, Jacob Clarke, Donavon Cellupica-Towers, Ben King and Simon Ashmore (Captain)
Day 1 v Somerset.
The weekend in my opinion was always going to be a close tournament with 3 teams being evenly matched. Somerset was on paper was the weakest team so we had a great start with Jonny Higham and Jamie Praditngam winning the first 2 matches both 6/1 6/0. Ben King played a good hard first set to take it 6/4 and ran away with the 3rd set 6/0. Donavon Cellupica-Towers worked a close match 6/4 6/3 and James Defusto beat a very tricky left handed smooth ball striker 7/5 6/1. This was a great win as the other player won all his matches over the weekend. Chris Wood in his 4th year playing for the team won a routine match 6/3 6/2. So 6-0 after the singles it looks like we will be staying up this year, going into the doubles over the weekend we are looking good with strong pairs and great reserves. Pair 3 Saul Abbiss and Jacob Clarke won 6/4 6/2; pair 2 James Defusto and Jonny Higham won in style 6/1 6/0; and pair 1 Jamie Praditngam and Chris Wood won 7/5 6/2.
Day 2 v Devon.
We had a very strong start with Jonathan Burke winning 6/3 6/4 and Jonny Higham winning in 2.5 hours in the match of the weekend 4/6 6/2 7/6 (8). Jamie Praditngam was the banker for our team and beat a very good player in second gear 6/3 6/3. Ben King had to play a higher ranked older player and lost 1/6 3/6. James Defusto was winning 6/0 4/1 and the day was looking like ours but then the Devon player didn’t miss a ball for the rest of the match winning 12 out of the last 14 games and winning 2/6 in the 3rd set. Chris Wood had to play the ringer of the weekend with ATP points Jack Findel-Hawkins, Chris played well but lost 1/6 1/6. In the doubles, pair 3 Saul Abbiss and Jamie Praditngam lost 7/6 6/7 (10/4); pair 2 James Defusto and Jonny Higham won 7/5 6/7 (10/5); and pair 1 Jacob Clarke and Chris Wood lost 1/6 3/6.
Day 3 v Cambridgeshire
If we won 5/4 or better we would get promotion but we had illness and injury in the camp for the last day. It was going to be so hard and this was to sadly be the case. We lost the first two matches with easy 6/0 6/2 in 45 minutes. Jamie Praditngam of course won 6/3 6/0 but Donavon Cellupica-Towers had a injury problem and retired at 1/6 0/3 down in the second. James Defusto won in style 6/2 6/2, but Chris Wood lost against a very strong player 3/6 1/6. We needed to win all the doubles to go up as champs but sadly we lost at pair 3 Saul Abbiss and Jacob Clarke 3/6 4/6.
Well done boys! As usual you did Nottinghamshire, myself and Callum Chivers (vice captain) proud over the weekend. We had a great time and yet again they were a credit to Notts tennis.
Simon Ashmore (Captain)
Nottingham V Somerset / Nottinghamshire won 9/0
Nottinghamshire v Devon/ Devon won 5/4
Nottinghamshire v Cambridgeshire/ Cambridgeshire won 6/2