NLTA spoke to county player Ruby Syer about her life in tennis. This is what she said:
“I’ve been playing tennis since the age of 5, and I’m now 12. I am thoroughly enjoying it so far and hoping to turn professional in the future.
As I have been playing tennis for so long I have attended many tournaments. I currently have 50 medals and 10 trophies. I have represented my county of Norfolk on many occasions which makes me proud.
I have training squads at Easton Tennis Centre and one to one sessions with my coach at Acle Tennis Club. My weekly regime is squads Mon and Tues night, Wed and Sat at Acle and strength and conditioning on Thursday.
This year I had the opportunity to go and play on the famous grass courts at Wimbledon. I am very proud of this achievement as 9,000 children entered “Road to Wimbledon 2019” tournament and I made it to the last 24. Unfortunately I lost my round 1 match 10-2 in the third set tie break. It has been the most amazing experience!”
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
Despite some incredibly close matches in both the Mens and Ladies events, Norfolk teams will be competing in lower divisions next year.
The Mens team were returning to Southsea, Portsmouth for the first time since 2003, when they were in Division 6! This year, Group 2 would prove too strong for a team in transition.
The Ladies were also in Division 2, being played in Manchester. Like the Men, they were also fielding a young squad with no fewer than 4 players still involved with junior tennis.
On Day 1, the Men suffered a 3-6 defeat to East of Scotland. In years gone by this would have been a devastating defeat but the Scots ended up gaining promotion by the end of the week. The Ladies pulled off a dramatic win against Cheshire, 5-4 with Amy Partridge ad Maddie Brooks winning all three of there matches. At 4-4, the decisive match was won by Sam Noble and Emily Barrett to clinch victory.
On Day 2 the Men put in a much better performance against Cheshire. The match score was 3-3 going into the last round, which unfortunately ended 4-5. The Ladies would suffer the same fate. In extremely hot conditions they were unable to continue the momentum of the first day and despite 2 wins for Maddie and Amy, lost 2-7 to Hampshire.
The Men were digging deep on wednesday with relegation fears started to increase. Again the guys were on the losing end of a 4-5 defeat, this time to Cambridgeshire. A 3-6 defeat to Leicestershire also meant that the Ladies were chasing one more victory to avoid relegation.
On Day 4 the Men faced Derbyshire and the Ladies were up against Lancashire. Maddie and Amy were again undefeated and leading from the front, as were Tom Fisher and Will Davies who won all three rubbers during the day. This would not be enough however, with both teams losing 4-5!
As a result the Men were relegated but the Ladies could stay up by beating Kent on the friday. It wasnt to be however with the team losing 4-5 once again. It was a really close affair for the Ladies who ended up being relegated by 1 rubber overall!
Congratulations and thank you to all of the following team members who played some superb tennis throughout the week: Sam Noble, Amy Partridge, Maddie Brooks, Emily Barrett, Rosie Pooley, Frances Evans, Eleanor Widdows, Alix Jermey, Will Foster, Johnnie Wynne, Dan Wynne, Alex Mcnaughton, Richard Bloomfield, Kris Jenkins, Will Davies, Nicky Crawley, Tom Fisher and Alex Watkinson.
The U14 Girls Norfolk team travelled to Harlow for the 2019 County Cup.
The team of Chloe Youngs, Daisy Waddison, Ruby Syer, Isabella Taylor and Darcie Jarmy. All of which will be eligible to play in the event next year.
The team started the event with a close fought win over Bedfordshire 4-2. The match was tough as conditions continually disrupted play. The girls kept their focus and managed to get the win despite a very late finish.
Day 2 saw the team play against a very strong and experience Middlesex team who went on to win the event. The girls gave everything they had but Middlesex were too strong and prevailed 6-0.
The final day started with a close match against Isle of Man. With good singles wins for Ruby and Chloe it went to the doubles to decide the result. Again despite pushing them all the way Norfolk narrowly lost both doubles meaning a match result of 4-2 to Isle of Man.
The event finished with a final match against Essex who were out to finish second behind Middlesex. Essex having a more experienced and older side proved to strong for Norfolk running out 6-0 winners.
Norfolk ended the event finishing 4th. All the girls should be proud of their efforts and attitude towards every match. With all the team being able to go back next year they have all gained valuable experience for the future.
This year Norfolk boys were competing at Sutton Tennis & Squash Club in south London.
The team of Ethan Terry, Oli Buckingham Green, Ludovic Valentine, Charlie Jones, Jayden Durham were up against strong opposition from Surrey, Hampshire, Cheshire and the Channel Islands.
On Saturday the team faced Surrey, who on paper were the highest ranked team. It proved to be a tough match with the boys losing 0-6. The stand out performance coming from Ethan who pushed a national level opponent all the way, losing 5/7, 5/7.
On Sunday Norfolk played both Hampshire and Cheshire who both could field national level players.
The boys competed hard and despite going down without a win can be proud of there efforts. In particular Oli Buckingham Green who was on court for over 2 hrs, eventually losing the no.2 singles match against Hampshire 8-10 in the deciding tie-break.
On bank holiday Monday it was all to play for against the Channel Islands with both teams determined to get there first win.
Norfolk deserved a comfortable 5-1 victory to finish on a high. It was a difficult weekend for a young Norfolk team who will have learned a great deal from this experience.
Coaches Stuart Silvester and Ashley Swift were very proud of how the boys conducted themselves throughout and look forward to seeing the boys in action very soon.
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.