Boys 18U County Cup Report
Notts County teams are sponsored by Brenntag
24th – 26th Feb at Taunton
Team: Daniel Blackburn; Joel Hemmings; Gabriel Johnson; Matty Jovic; Aiden Law; Jack Mclachlan; Costi Nita; James Wood
Having the youngest squad ever, for a county cup event and without our top four players, this year, it is looking like it will be a hard weekend. We are however keen and determined to do our best, so let’s see what we can do.
Day 1 - Nottinghamshire v South Wales
First match Matty Jovic made a great start (no Mickey Mouse tennis on show today). It was a very entertaining start to this year’s event but the opponent made too many balls and won 2-6 3-6.
Gabriel at just 13 years old, so how would he get on in the big boy league? The answer - very well after a hard first set losing 2-6, he continued playing to win the second set 7-5, his opponent then found some form at the right time to win 3-6 in the 3rd set.
Jack and James were up next.
Jack won the first 3 games in his match in around 8 minutes but then lost the next 6 games 3-6, and the second set didn’t go much better losing it 1-6.
James, after just coming back from a bad injury, had a very difficult match and lost 2-6 1-6.
Now for our top 2 Dan and Joel
Joel was out classed by a massive serve and lost 1-6 1-6.
Dan had a few chances but lost 2-6 3-6.
Now for the doubles
Pair 1 Dan & Jack lost 0-6 3-6
Pair 2 Joel & Gab lost 1-6 2-6
Pair 3 Matty & James lost in 3 sets 2-6 6-3 (7-10)
All of our players were much lower ranked, than all of their opponents’. Let’s keep the high spirits as day 2 looks even harder still.
South Wales won 9-0
Day 2 - Nottinghamshire v Lancashire
With Lancashire winning well on day 1, it was due to be another hard day at the office.
Matty and Gab were on first
Matty made a good start, but could not live with his opponent, and lost 2-6 2-6
Gab went on and raced to a 5-2 lead, he then found it hard to finish it off and lost the set 5-7, he then raced again in the second set to win the first 4 games but, yet again couldn’t get over the line and lost the next 6 games losing 5-7 4-6
Jack and James on next
Jack had no answers for his opponents’ power and accuracy, losing 0-6 1-6
James played well but was beaten 1-6 1-6
Joel and Dan
Joel also had no answers for his opponent, and Joel lost 1-6 0-6
Dan pulled out some great points but lost 3-6 0-6
Pair 1 Dan & Joel played great, they lost 4-6 2-6
Pair 2 Jack and Gab played well, but lost 4-6 3-6
Pair 3 I had the 2 boys wanting to play from the bench so let’s give them a run out and try to get them ready for next year and following years. Aged just 13 and 14 Aidan and Costi went on, and found the pace (let’s call it that) an experience!!!! losing 0-6 0-6
Lancashire won 9-0
Day 3 the relegation battle.
With what was possibly the worst nights, sleep (if you could call it that) I have ever had in my life, starting at around 2am with the hotel fire alarms going off, and a mad rush outside, the boys were great, having to go and sit in the van, then back inside to then be woken and endure a further two more evacuations that night, and with drunken people screaming all night, this was not a great start to day 3.
Day 3 - Nottinghamshire v Hampshire and IOW
I made changes for this day as Jack, had a bad shoulder, and could not serve;
We pulled Aidan in at 6 and Costi in at 5.
It was always going to be a hard battle for the boys being 6 ratings lower.
Costi put up a good fight but lost 0-6 0-6
Aidan hit some great shots but lost 0-6 2-6
Gab at 4 and James at 3
Both made a good start
James made it 2-2 but could not get another game and lost the fight 2-6 0-6
Gab had another good close match losing 5-7 3-6
Joel lost to a massive serve again 0-6 1-6 but did avoid getting killed by any of the bombs and bullets that his massive opponent hit. He looked around 25 years of age and clearly went to the gym. I will always remember the boys’ faces and comments, when he walked onto court.
0-5 in matches on the day.
With relegation now a reality, we wanted to set off home asap due to the lack of sleep the night before, and a four-hour drive ahead of us.
The LTA allowed us to leave early. The boys were still in high spirits and had all enjoyed a great team building weekend, but they were just out classed in the positions they had to play in. We don’t lose any of the players due to age for next year, so let’s hope we bounce back next year.
Simon Ashmore (captain)