May 4, 2021

14U Girls County Cup

Venue: Manor Park
Date: 1/2 May 2021

Team:

  • Tony Ravenscroft (Captain)
  • Katy Lewin (Assistant)
  • Oliwia
  • Ruth
  • Lilia
  • Izzy
  • Maddie

The event was held over two days. The Herefordshire & Worcestershire Girls competed against the best players from Shropshire, Derbyshire, and Staffordshire in a shortened Fast4 format.

The first match was against Shropshire. Ruth, Lilia and Maddi got off to a great start all winning in straight sets. Oliwia had a battle on her hands against Shropshire’s number one Imani Shah. Oliwia had the upper hand at the start and took the first set 4-0 but the fight wasn’t over. Imani was firing on all cylinders and Oliwia was giving as good as she got. With many close baseline battles and both players finding good touch in a thrilling encounter Imani had the slight edge at the end beating Oliwia 14-12 in the match tie break.
3-1 up after the singles. We needed one more win to secure the tie. Oliwia and Izzy lost out to a strong number one pair. Lilia and Ruth paired up as our number two pair and were consistent with their cross-court battles to secure the victory with a 4-1, 4-1 win.  

The 2nd match was against Derbyshire who had a strong number one player ranked 30 in Great Britain and other players with similar rankings to us. The number 4s & 3s were first for their singles. Maddi was up against Jessica Peel, a player she was yet to beat, until now. Maddi played solid groundstrokes and forced Jessica to make errors with good tactical play exploiting her weakness. Maddi played with confidence and composure to win the match 4-3, 4-3.
Lilia was up against their number 3, Casey Mauro. This was a hard-fought battle against an aggressive opponent. Lilia defended with everything she had and won the first set 11-9 in the tie break after many long encounters. The match went to the wire, Lilia lost the 2nd set and the match tie break. Oliwia and Ruth also lost their singles against strong opponents which meant we were 1-3 down after the singles.

The girls had a good rest and were ready to fight back in the doubles on Sunday. We arrived early for some doubles practice and the girls got off to a winning start. Ruth and Izzy won the first set 4-0, then lost the second set 2-4. They held strong and were bulletproof from the baseline, not giving their opponents any free points. This alongside some attacking volleys when needed won them the match finishing the tiebreak 10-7.

With another rubber secured we needed one more win to force a shootout. Oliwia & Lilia were up against Derbyshire’s number one pair. They we unfazed by the powerful Derbyshire duo and took the first set in a tie break. They continued with some solid groundstrokes and attacking down the line winners but lost in both the 2nd set tie break and the match tie break in a battle that did not go in our favour.

The final tie was against Staffordshire who were unbeaten. The singles matches were close. Lilia secured a win against Staffs no.3 Amber Smit. Both Oliwia & Maddi lost out to their no.1 & no.4 respectively. Ruth played Damilola, a strong no.2 and lost the first set 2-4. Ruth fought hard and showed great focus in the 2nd set. Ruth changed her tactics which ultimately won her the 2nd set 4-2. Ruth was close to causing an upset but lost out 6-10 in the match tie break. Izzy and Ruth paired up for the doubles, the comeback was almost on. The H&W pair lost in a match tie break 7-10. Oliwia & Lilia lost their doubles against the no.1 pair 4-1, 4-1.

We finished in 3rd place. The girls had some strong opponents and came close to causing trouble. With a few more tie breaks going our way we would have challenged for the top spot.

It has been great to see the girls compete and make improvements in some areas over the weekend. The girls should be proud of themselves.  They have worked hard this weekend and put in some great performances. Looking forward to training and competing at the next event.

Tony Ravenscroft

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