DERBYSHIRE 2 v LEICESTERSHIREU15 SHIRES MATCH REPORT by Debbie Bullock
Sunday 22nd March and the final qualifying round of the U15 shires matches. Our Leicestershire team are at home playing against the 2nd DERBYSHIRE team.
An early 9.30am prompt start sees our mixed doubles start their games with Eve taking the first shot and winning the first point. Ella & Martin sail through to a 2-0 victory with their opponents gaining 27 points in the two games and similar with Tom C and Jasmin & Tom L and Hritika both winning 2-0 with their opponents achieving 25 points over the two games. Eve and Ryan take their opponents to 3 games and all eyes are watching from court side, great play and manoeuvring their opponents around the court and the final game score 21-12.
SCORE … Leics 4 : Derbys2 nil
Singles next with Hritika starting her game at 10.05 and achieving a 2-0 victory against her Derbyshire opponent. Martin played some good long rallies and gets his opponent to the back of the court achieving a 2-0 win. Tom C’s match went to two winning games and Ella too with a convincing 21-9 and 21-7 score.
Nikhil had great speed around the court and with strong smashes from Tom L saw them both win their singles in two games. Jasmin and Issy both played well with some excellent shots especially their drives just above the net and both beat their opponents who scored 23 points in both games.
SCORE UPDATE Leics 8 – Derbys2 nil
Doubles games commence at 10.50am and we see our girls in some fast action play. Eve and Issy are first off court with a 2-0 win closely followed by Martin and Tom C and Tom L and Nikhil. Ella and Hritika take their opponents to three games closely losing out in the first game, but winning the next two games to 8 and 13.
11.20am and all doubles matches complete, a short refreshment break and knock up begins between the doubles swap overs. Ella and Hritika finish first with a 21-14 and 21-6 win. Eve and Issy follow closely behind with their opponents gaining 26 points in the two games and Martin and Tom C have a good two games winning to 17 and 15. All eyes are then on Court 1 where Tom L and Nikhil are finishing their second game, which, with a 22-20 win in the first it was going to be close, but a 21-16 win in the second game sees our Leics team finish on a high.
FINAL SCORE Leics 20 Derbys2 nil
Well played Leicestershire and we find out we’re through to the play-offs against Warwickshire on Saturday 4th April – congratulations Team Leicestershire!
Leicestershire U15 versus Warwickshire
Match report by Gary Lund
We knew we were respected when Warwickshire decided to field their strongest team in the crucial U15 Shires round. Many of Warwickshire’s U17 regulars were pulled back to the U15 team to ensure they progressed to the playoffs by a win over our ever improving Leicestershire team.
And so started the mixed doubles. The first games were all lost by Leicestershire but there was no doubting at this early stage that Warwickshire had to fight for every point! After great encouragement by Eve the fightback started by the spirited partnership and great shots by her and Ryan brought the game to one a piece. Jasmin and Tom C achieved the same result and both pairings had it all to fight for in the final game. Ryan and Eve dug deep and won the final game 22-20 which brought the match to 3-1 to Warwickshire.
After a brief but well deserved rest by both teams it was straight in to the singles. This unfortunately saw Ryan withdraw so Tom L stepped up to the plate. Superb play by all players and time after time saw point winning shots by Leicestershire taking the Warwickshire players out of position and then killing the point! Nikhil took his capable opponent to three games which resulted in a Warwickshire win but Nikhil fought gallantly and should be proud of his achievement. The battle of the round was a superb and well deserved win by Izzy taking the set in 2 games. The match was now standing at 10-2.
Level doubles remaining and Leicestershire well aware a win was impossible and a draw a tall order but none of these facts detracted the immense effort the team collectively gave and left their all on the courts but no more wins were achieved so the match result was 18-2 to Warwickshire. The team spirit, which has been mentioned numerously was again evident and this result had meant the final game, the following weekend against Derbyshire 2, had to be won 12-8 or better.
Well done team and the other counties are now standing up and taking notice as the nucleus of the team still have another year at U15!