On Sunday 17th March 10 counties met at Cambridge Hills Road to play the 8u inter-county event. The counties that played in our event were Essex, Suffolk, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Northamptonshire, and Norfolk. The teams had to get 6 girls and 6 boys in each team. The girl’s event was in the morning and the boy’s in the afternoon. The counties were split into two boxes, and the children were numbered 1-6, each county played the other counties in their box and the players played their corresponding number.
The girl’s had Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire, Suffolk, and Northamptonshire in their box. Playing for the girls were Khensani Pfute, Esme Atherton-Howlett, Sophia Butwright, Anna Clayton, Amelia Berdnarska and Mollie Howard. It was a tough start for the girls losing to Suffolk 1-5 with Anna having the only win. Then we played Hertfordshire which were a league above the rest in our group, and we lost 0-6. Next up was Northants and the girls had some closer matches but just Esme managed the win making it a 1-5 loss. We could see the girls getting a little down now so we had a team talk and picked them back up as every game counts. Lastly in the box was Oxfordshire, a must win match if we didn’t want to play off for 9th and 10th place, which we didn’t! Mollie, Amelia, and Anna all losing close matches they could have won. So we were 0 -3 down with a lot of work to do. However Sophia, Esme and Khensani picked their games up for the team and all won very close matches. This meant we drew 3-3 with Oxfordshire but managed to finish above them in the group as we won one more rubber than them.
The girls therefore then played a play off for places 5-8. They had to play Bedfordshire first, this round was probably the round the girls played their best, they had all picked their level up. Unfortunately we lost 2-4 with Amelia and Esme winning. We then played Northamptonshire again for 7th and 8th place which again the girls tried really hard and played some of their better tennis but lost 1-5 with Sophia winning this round. Overall Norfolk girls finished 8th .
The boy’s team was made up from Raffy Pantazis, Mark, Devaney, Austin Richardson, Theo Chipperfield, George Head and Elliot Seadon. In the boy’s box were Suffolk, Hertfordshire, Berkshire, and Bedfordshire. The boys started with Berkshire, Norfolk got off to a great start and went 2-0 up with Elliott and George both winning close matches 10-8. Unfortunately none of the others in the team managed to convert their matches to wins, therefore Berkshire winning 2-4. Next up was Hertfordshire which similarly to the girl’s the Hertfordshire boys were a league above the rest in our box. Hertfordshire won 0-6 however all of the boy’s worked hard and didn’t give up. It was a similar story when the boys had to play a very strong Bedfordshire team with Austin having the closest match narrowly losing 8-10. Lastly we had Suffolk who had also struggled a little in their box matches. Elliot had a fantastic close match which he won 10-8, unfortunately no one else was able to convert their matches. Mark losing a very close match 9-10!
The boys finished 5th in their box so were playing for 9th and 10th place. They had to play Northamptonshire; we were 1-1 after the first round with George winning convincingly 10-1. Theo and Austin had close matches but both narrowly lost so we were 1-3 down. Mark and Raffy both won their final matches to make the score 3-3. The boys won on points against Northamptonshire to finish 9th.
Both the girls and boys teams worked really hard, and learnt a lot on the day. It was high level competition and great for the children to experience. Thank you very much to the parents for their support.
Report by Kim Burgess
The competition took place at the Sportspark with 5 Complex Needs schools, 40 children in 9 teams taking part in a variety of tennis activities. It was an official LTA Team Challenge event, sponsored by Busseys, with GB’s junior wheelchair player from Norwich, Ben Bartram, attending as an NLTA ambassador.
CLARE School – Group 1 Winners ST ANDREWS School – Group 2 Winners
The WHERRY 1 Group 1 – Runners Up The WHERRY B – Group 2 Runners Up
This year the boys team were playing at Easton & Otley College in Division 3a of the LTA County Cup. They faced Hampshire & IOW, Leicestershire and Dorset. The girls were playing in Shrewsbury also in Division 3a, along with Somerset, Staffordshire and Cambridgshire.
Maintaining the momentum of last years success was always going to be a big challenge for a young boys team. With 4 players having moved out of junior tennis, the squad bedded in 4 debutants. All of whom will have at least two more years of competition in this age group.
On day 1 the team lost 0-9 to a solid Hampshire team. The only real resistance being put up by Joe Henden in the No.5 singles match which Joe eventually lost 2-6, 7-5, 4-6. A great performance by Cameron Whiting and Ethan Terry was also not quite enough to secure a win in the doubles. They can be proud of the performance despite the 3-6, 6-4, (6-10).
The final match score being a resounding 9-0 to Hampshire & IOW.
On Day 2 Norfolk faced Leicestershire. In the singles Norfolk managed to win a single set, with No.1 Fred Withers unable to close out after winning the first set, eventually losing 6-4, 4-6, 3-6. The team faired better in the doubles, with Will Stoppani and Fred Withers going on to win a deciding tie-break in the No.2 match to clinch a Norfolk win. Final match score Leicestershire 8-1 Norfolk.
The boys would go into the final day needing to win 9-0 to avoid relegation. There was a change to the line up with Ethan Terry coming in, making his singles debut at this age group.
Playing in his last county cup, Harry Ketteringham competed hard to win the No.4 singles match, coming back from losing the first set to win the next two, 6-2, 7-6. But again this was the sole consolation with defeats in the other singles matches.
Co Captain Nicky Crawley was full of praise for his team despite the results: “The boys could not have worked harder, sometimes you just have to except that on the day the opposition were better than us. That said we are a young team who will only get stronger at this level. I must also mention the efforts of Cameron and Harry who have played some great tennis for the county over the years and were superb in mentoring the debutants throughout the doubles matches in particularly. We wish them well at University and hope they continue to support the county in Mens tennis”.
The Girls team were also missing a couple of older players and also had to content with injury during the weekend itself.
It was a tough first day, losing 0-9 to Somerset. Despite the scoreline there were many encouraging performances. Sian Stoppani and Hannah Wilson-Kemsly were playing there first u/18 county cup. Eleanor Widdows also had a close singles match.
On Saturday the girls competed well against a strong Cambrigeshire team. Singles wins for Vianne Palffy, Emily Barrett and Hannah meant it was 3-3 going into the doubles. All three doubles matches went into a deciding set but on this occasion it was Cambridgeshire who came out 6-3 winners.
So like the Boys, the Girls knew that only a final day win against Staffordshire would secure another season playing in this division. Vianne and Emily both managed to win in the top two matches but without further wins the team went down 2-5.
Captain Derek Perry said: “There are many positives to take from the weekend. 3 of the girls were making there debut in the competition. The experiences they will have gained will help develop there tennis. A special mention to Eleanor who tweaked her ankle on the first day and supported the team in all their matches despite the disappointment of not being able to play. We will rebuild and plan for next year.”
Back row (LtoR: Fred Withers, Scott Whiting,Regan Bessey, Cameron Whiting, Harry Ketteringham) Front row (LtoR: Will Stoppani, Ethan Terry, Joe Henden)
Back row (LtoR): Alix Jermey, Millie Brooks, Emily Barrett, Vianne Palffy Front row Hannah Mann, Hannah Wilson Kemsly, Eleanor Widdows, Sian Stoppani.
This is now the second year we have run this match. The final result ended in a 21-3 win to Norfolk in the Girls and a 15 – 9 win for the boys so all round a very successful day.
All players gave their all, behaved impeccably and were a credit to the County
Girls L – R
Hannah Mann, Darcie Jarmy, Isabella Taylor, Anghela Sionosa, Daisy Waddison, Chloe Youngs, Ruby Syer, Evie Williams.
Boys L – R
Jayden Durham, Stanley Birchill, Charlie Jones, Luie Valentine, Remi Pilgrim, Joseph Philpott, Jacob Gandy, Gabriel Overton.