Report by Mitch Dale
Leicestershire v Northants under 18 Shires – 11th December 2016
The match kicked off a bit late as the manager was “running a bit late”, the washing up hadn’t been done (thanks though to Sam) and there was a certain lack of a willing match reporter.
With Cameron Collins ably supporting Chris Hall, and Laura acting as ‘mum’ the match eventually started at 10.19am.
11 minutes later at 10.30 Eve and Ryan disposed of the number four pair 21-2, 21-4. Just 3 minutes later Jas and Tom walked off the court too. One minute later a similar story with Ella and Martin, and with the final match finishing after just 16 minutes with a closer match with Hritika and Nikhil winning 21-18, 21-11. Leicestershire winning all four matches in 2. Leicestershire 4-0 up. A great start.
After a quick turnaround the singles commenced. Hritika, Eve, Martin and Tom started their respective matches at 10.42. Again, 11 minutes later Eve shook hands with her partner after a 21-4, 21-3 victory. One minute, later at 10.54, Hritika beat the number one girl 21-6, 21-6 and again, one minute later (the reporter struggling to keep up) as he then spotted Martin walking off the court (blister appearing to be intact!) following a proficient 21-11, 21-9 win over the number one boy.
The reporter was able to have a quick slurp of his hangover curing second black coffee as Tom was having some longer rallies with his opponent. Whilst Tom was still battling away in his focussed manner, at 10.59, Ella, Izzy and Nikhil started their respective singles matches. Ryan, patiently waiting on the sidelines for Tom to start the final eight single tie. Tom’s battle eventually finishing at 11.08, after a gruelling 26 minutes winning 21-16, 21-12.
By the time Ryan was to go onto the court, Ella and Izzy were already one nil up and it took just 13 minutes in total for Izzy to win hers convincingly, following 6 minutes later by Nikhil and Ella again winning theirs both 2-0, with very few games going to double figures.
By 11.18, Ryan was the only one still in a match on court. By 11.30 the overall tie was effectively all over with Ryan securing the final singles win in a tighter first game finishing 21-15 and then fully in control in the second winning 21-4.
With just the doubles to go Leicestershire were 12-0 up. The notepad was passed over to Laura as the first stage reporter had got a date with Santa at Twin Lakes. Northants seem to getting frustrated at the strength and depth of the Leicestershire squad being forced into errors.
Text and social media updates followed to Eve during the doubles with the satisfying text being received from Laura confirming the 20-0 victory after all eight mixed doubles were won.
At 2.30pm Santa was visited and at 10.04 (pm this time), the report was all typed up! (And Matt has won the X Factor!)