On Saturday 17th August the Norfolk 9/Under team of Esme Artherton Howlett, Amy Jackson, Amelia Bednarska, Rufus Snelling, Teddy Curtis and Henry Thomas played County Cup at Hills Road Cambridge supported by County Captain Sam Howlett. The event saw 4 counties Norfolk, Suffolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire compete against each other in ties comprising of 9 individual matches 3 boys singles, 3 girls singles, 1 boys doubles, 1 girls doubles and 1 mixed doubles.
In the opening tie Norfolk played against Suffolk, this was a tough introduction with the team struggling against the experience and fire power of the opponents, the team battled hard but were beaten 9-0.
Next was Bedfordshire, this was a more competitive affair with the Norfolk players beginning to find their feet and get used to the pace of the opponents. Whilst we lost the tie 7-2 the team showed good resilience with notable performances from Teddy claiming a singles win at number 2 and Henry and Amelia winning a hard fought 3 set mixed doubles, all the team though deserve praise for the way they went out about this tie and didn’t give up.
Our final tie was against Cambridgeshire, sadly the team went down 9-0 again, but the way the players competed in this final tie was a stark contrast to the opening fixture, the children all learned from their previous matches and their level improved.
It was a tough day for this comparatively inexperienced team, but hopefully one they can all take positives from and try to work on individual areas to improve. The overall results were 1st Cambridgeshire, 2nd Suffolk, 3rd Bedfordshire and 4th Norfolk.
Report by Captain Sam Howlett
Playing County Cup at the lovely Frinton LTC over the last weekend in June, Norfolk Boys produced some fine tennis against Essex, Suffolk, Lincolnshire and Bedfordshire.
The five counties played each other with the top team being invited to the national finals in Bolton in two weekends time.
Based on player rankings, the expectations of the Norfolk team were modest. A win or two would be a good result. The team wasted no time achieving this target with a comfortable win over Bedfordshire. Singles wins for Oscar Webster, Eaun Sparkes, and a doubles win for Eaun along with captain Jayden Durham gave the team impetus ahead of the match with favourites Essex.
Despite a lot of courage and the introduction of an extremely focused Max Dewsbury the boys could not quite match a team boasting players ranked in national top 15. At the close of saturday Norfolk had beaten Beds 3-1 and lost to Essex 0-4.
Time for a trip to Clacton pier and a well earned Ice cream. The boys showed off their shooting skills to win a couple of soft fluffy toys! Only joking boys!
On the Sunday we played against Lincolnshire. Jayden Durham produced his best ever performance at a county cup to win the no.1 singles but it would take a doubles win to force the match into a shoot out tie-breaker. Despite some flashes of brilliance the pair went down 8-10!
The match against Suffolk was over very quickly and unfortunately the boys were unable to secure a rubber against our arch rivals.
Congratulations to Suffolk who beat Essex to qualify for the national finals. With Beds beating Lincolnshire, Norfolk finished a creditable 3rd place and can be proud of there efforts and conduct.