Boys Under 18 County Cup 2018
At David Lloyd Southampton Tennis Centre Group 3a 23rd to 25th February
Team: 1. Dan Dean (Halton) 2. Ben Smith (Eton) 3. Captain Oscar Glenister (Halton) 4. Dylan Smith (Milton Keynes) 5. Brendan Emmanuel (Moor Park) 6. Miles Groom (Halton) 7. Joel Good (Halton) 8. Sergio Lee-Guttierez (Gosling) Manager / Coach Andy Scholfield (GXLTC) Assistant Roy Knight (Halton)
Andy’s Quote: ‘We had another thrilling event with all players putting in maximum effort and support for each other.’ ‘The team spirit was excellent’.
Six pre event training sessions were held allowing for play-offs for places, doubles training and singles tactical strategy. The venue provided excellent facilities which were used to the maximum by all the managers / coaches and teams. Each tie ran from 9am to 5pm each day with teams warming up and preparing for their matches from 8am. We were able to do a team stretch down at the end of each day.
Each match consists of six singles matches followed by three doubles. Like the Davis Cup, the captain was allowed on court to assist the players at the change of ends.
Despite having opportunities in all matches, unfortunately, for the second year in succession, Bucks under 18 boys team were relegated in 4th position.
On day 1 we played our old adversaries Hampshire. However, we lost the match 6-3; despite an excellent start where we were up in the first three matches. Notable debutant Dylan Smith played a long consistent match to James Blair. Debutant Joel Good at number 6 won the first set 6-1 but his opponent Outek Dinipala improved his quality of shot which Joel was unable to counter despite fighting very hard he lost 1-6 2-6. Brendan Emmanuel also making his debut hit great attacking shots but too many unforced errors before losing 6-7 3-6. Captain Ozzy Glenister gave a great attacking performance; dictating many rallies before cruising to a 6-2 6-4 win. Dan Dean at number 1 and Ben Smith at number 2 lost to strong opponents leaving us 2-4 with three doubles matches to follow. Ozzy and Ben won a pulsating doubles as number 2 pair 4-6 7-6 10-5. However, Dylan and Miles Groom as number 3 and Dan dean with Brendan were beaten convincingly.
Day 2 we arrived early and practised with much conviction. Our opponents were Sussex who were the eventual champions. Sergio Lee-Guttierez played as number 6 and gave a swashbuckling performance full of desire before losing. Joel Good dominated his match winning 6-3 6-2 but Dylan was involved in a three-hour thriller against serve/volleyer Alex Fox. He won 6-7 (4) 6-4 7-6 (2) despite being two breaks down in the second set. Dylan produced excellent returns of serve, passing shots including unbelievable topspin lobs, and great defence to stifle the good attacking play of Alex. He saved four match points in the third set before dominating the third set tie-break. Ozzy Glenister played Lui Maxted who absolutely canned the ball in the first set with huge forehands and single handed backhands. Ozzy could do nothing against this onslaught. However, the second set was completely different with Ozzy finding his depth and quality of shot causing Lui to make errors. Oz was 5-3 up but could nt quite clinch the set. Ben Smith lost a very close match 7-6 7-6 as did Dan at number 1 4-6 4-6 but we were 2-4 down going into the doubles. We changed our pairings with Ozzy and Ben playing at number 1. They again played a tremendous match to win 3-6 6-2 10-4. However Dan with Miles Groom and Joel with Brendan tried very hard but just lost out.
Day 3 Relegation battle v Cambridgeshire. Miles Groom having performed outstandingly in the previous day’s doubles was brought into the singles at number 5. He was up against a big serve-volleyer. However with his outstanding passing shots and accuracy in baseline rallies Miles was able to stay with his opponent and finally break his serve once he was able to read it more effectively. Dylan Smith versus Zachary Cox was quite an unsavoury match however Dylan striking the ball with even better quality than the previous two days matched his opponent in all areas of play. Dylan was unfazed by his opponent’s antics winning the first set 7-5 but falling behind 0-3 in the second set before storming back to take the second set despite the referee deducting a game from the score-line after the players could not agree who had won the game (it was obvious to me !). Joel again playing at number 6 won a long match against a strong hitting opponent 6-0 6-4. Ozzy at number 3 won 11 games in a row from 3-6 1-3 to give Bucks a great 4-0 lead. Surely we would win from this position but never think this because in sport nothing is guaranteed until it is statistically impossible to lose ! We stayed with the same doubles pairings from the previous day and understood it was everyone’s individual responsibility to work really hard to get the vital win. Oh the agony and ecstasy of every point in the nerve wracking match tie-breaks being played simultaneously by our 2nd and third pair. In fact Joel and Brendan had played really well to be serving for the match at 6-3 5-4 but we slightly tightened up giving opportunities to our opponents. The match tie-break saw all four players make nervous starts and the score see-sawed back and forward. We had two match points which we were unable to win! Score 6-2 5-7 13-15. Dan Dean and Miles also had match points at 9-7 but do you stay consistent or keep looking to attack ?? We lost 4-6 6-4 9-11.
…. Desperate devastation and relegation to division 4 and re-building again.
….we learn most in adversity; together we come back stronger.
My sincere thanks goes to the whole team squad and reserves, Roy Knight in his role as vice-Captain, and Venetia Cottman (for excellent admin and support), Bucks Indoor and Halton for training sessions, and player’s parents: Smiths and Paul Dean plus evergreen County stalwarts Mike Francis and Dave Orchard and our great County Chairman Andrew Petherick who came to watch this awesome event.
See Twitter @andytennace and Facebook Andy Scholfield for video footage
Andy Scholfield 1st March 2018
Bucks U18 County Cup Captain Boys