Berks U13 County start the season with a win!
On Sunday 18th October Berkshire were up early for a 9am start away to Hampshire (yes that was 9AM start AWAY in Hampshire on a SUNDAY!)
The team selected was Annouska McIntosh, Hannah Sheridan, Sanjana Shyam Prasad, Vidisha Sahoo, Toby, Dillingham, Alex Dillingham, Lukas Di Mateo and Luke Weston.
As neighbours, and the fact that each county knew a little about each other’s players, the contest was expected to be close. And for the first 4 mixed games the fixture did not disappoint, with all 4 matches going to a deciding 3rd set. Lucas and Vidisha finished first winning and giving Berkshire the lead, Hampshire then made it level and then went ahead as they took the next. It was now up to Toby and Annouska. The players and parents all moved down to the other end of the hall to give their support and sure enough the Berkshire duo calmly and convincingly got over the line to make it 2-2
Boys singles was up next. Lucas was again first off but although he fought hard the Hampshire player just came through. Luke came off next with a big smile, he had won his match by taking the deciding 3rd set. Alex was going to be the next to finish. He had taken a close first game and was down 16-20 in the second. However, Alex kept his nerve and served all the way through to take the second game 22-20. It was a great comeback and indeed crucial because shortly after on the next court his brother Toby had just shook hands, not being quite on his game the Hampshire player took the win 24-22 in the decider. The fixture still tied at 4-4
It was now time for the girls singles, could they match the boys and keep the match close? With 7 out of the 8 matches played going to 3 we were set for another long session. But no, first off was Hannah winning very quick and comfortable in 2 sets, next was Sanjana also winning with ease in 2 sets. Attention turned to court 3 where Annouska had a tough ask against their number 1 lady, unfortunately she was just too good today and took the match from Annouska. It left Vidisha all on her own on court 4. Again the team shifted seats to lend their support, no-one had a clue what the score was, whether it was close or not. Suddenly a tight net shot winner led to a fist clench by Vidisha, she had won the match. The girls had won their session making the fixture 7-5 to Berkshire.
Attention turned to the first session of doubles. I think it would be fair to say that a bit of expectation had been placed on the shoulders of Toby and Alex to win their doubles games, and in their first game they did not disappoint winning the 3rd set very comfortable. Lucas and Luke had also gone to 3 but could just not find enough to get in front of the Hampshire pair who eventually won. On court 4 Annouska and Hannah were playing very well and managed to win in 2 sets. However, Sanjana and Vidisha were in a very close match indeed, they and won the first but had then lost the second. The 3rd set was anyone’s for the taking, again supporters had no idea what the score was as no-one called it out but finally another fist pump from Vidisha and shout of YES from Sanjana meant the match had gone our way. With the score know 10-6 Berkshire could not lose the fixture, at worst draw.
The second session of doubles was noisy!, Hampshire tried everything to try and get the draw however the Dillingham brothers soon put an end to their dream wining their second match exhibition style ! Lucas and Luke were up against it from the start against the Hampshire number 1 pairing, they worked hard and stayed close but Hampshire just did enough to win in 2 sets. Annouska and Hannah were in total control, never looked like they were in trouble and it was just a formality to secure the win. The final match left on was a game of 2 halves. Hampshire had won the first end very quick and convincingly but Sanjana and Vidisha would not lie down. The second game was completely different and very close until Hampshire did manage to win 23-21.
The fixture had finished, Berkshire had won 12-8
A massive well done to the players and parents who got involved supporting.
Captain Scott Ellis
U17 Worcester bronze - Ben Hudson
Results for this year are listed by event shown on the left side of this page, just click on the relevant tournament to show the results.
Berkshire have finished in a fantastic 2nd in the 2015 U17 ICT tournament following a final day of play beating Surrey 6-4. This is the highest ever result for Berkshire in our history of the competition, which had over 30 counties competing over 4 days.
This is an extremely tough competition, attracting many of England's top players to the compeletion including 4 of Berkshire's own players who have played for England - David , Max, Abi and Lucy. They and all the other Berkshire players played outstandingly throughout this competition.
Berkshire had reached the final by beating every team they played in the 1st two rounds. They were seeded 4th and joined the other top seeded teams - Bucks, Surrey and Yorkshire to compete for the top 4 places. Berkshire drew with the top seeds, Bucks, 5-5 and lost on games count back. We then drew with Yorkshire 5-5, equal on games and narrowly lost on points. In our final game against Surrey Berkshire beat the 2nd seeds 6-4 and so finished in Silver position - a fantastic achievement.
Team (left to right in photo) Boys: Max, Euan, David, Ben, Adam. Girls: Rebecca Lucy, Martha, Samantha and Abi.
Coaches: Jess and Chris.