Buckinghamshire Ladies County Week Report 2019
Group 3 – Ilkley
TEAM – Izzy Marshall (Halton, DLMK), Lauren Armstrong (Halton, DLMK), Amelia Barton (Halton), Lauren McKinlay (Halton), Alice Patch (Gerrards Cross, Halton), Alexa Wilson (Great Brickhill, Halton) Laura Deigman (Halton), Jemima King (Halton), Victoria Pisani (Halton), Lereesa Easterbrook (Halton)
Day 1 – Bucks vs Sussex
A very windy day in Ilkley made matches very tricky for players. Izzy and Lauren A started off with a 6-0 6-2 against a very frustrated pair while Amelia and Alice lost to the 1st pair 6-1 6-4. Tor and Alexa worked to get their win at 3 (6-2, 3-6, 6-2) despite never having met before that day. Bucks lead Sussex 2-1. In the second round Lauren M (subs in for Amelia) teams up with Alice to get a win. Izzy and Lauren pull back from a set down against the Sussex 1s but then disaster strikes at the beginning of the 3rd set. A rolled ankle from Izzy means a retirement and a lost opportunity. Meanwhile Tor and Alexa fight hard but lose in two close sets 7-5, 6-4. 3-3 going into the last round. Luckily Jemima turns up from her holiday and can sub in for Izzy. A win from Lauren and Jemima and a close loss from Tor and Alexa means its down to Alice and Lauren. They held their nerve through 3 very tight sets to win 7-5 in the 3rdrd to clinch the win 5-4 for Bucks.
Day 2- Bucks vs Northumberland.
We knew this was going to be a tough day. Northumberland had strong and established pairs and had won very comfortably the previous day. Round 1 saw Lauren A &J emima, Lauren M & Alexa and Alice and Tor all face defeat in straight sets. Alice and Tor hustled to win 6-2, 6-3 in the second round of matches while the other two Northumberland pairs grew stronger and more confident. Jemima and Lauren picked up a comfortable win in the last round 6-1, 6-0 so the overall result for the day is a 7-2 win to Northumberland.
Day 3- Bucks vs Derbyshire
The rain came on Wednesday and whilst other teams decided to wait for the courts to dry, Bucks and Derbs mutually agreed to start play as soon as possible on the indoor hard courts. Lereesa and Alice fought hard against a strong 1st pair but were unlucky not to get the big points and lost 6-2, 6-2. Jemima and Lauren held their nerves in two set tiebreaks to win 7-6(5) 7-6(4) meanwhile Alexa and Lauren M found themselves in a tiebreak in the 3rd set. Derbyshire’s 3rd pair found some unexpected form and hit the lines to win 3-6, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (1). 2-1 to Derbyshire. By round 2 we were outside on the grass again. Lauren and Jemima played amazing doubles to beat the 1st pair 6-4, 6-3 whilst Alice and Lereesa won in three sets with Amelia and Alexa losing two tight sets. 3-3 going into the last round! Lauren and Jemima win 6-1, 6-2 meanwhile Alexa and Amelia lose 6-3 6-2 leaving the match to be decided by Alice and Lereesa. After an amazing fight, Derbyshire just edged out the match and won 6-3, 4-6, 6-4. 5-4 win to Derbyshire. Gutted but not defeated
Day 4- Bucks vs Durham and Cleveland.
Bucks welcomed Laure Deigman to the team. In round 1 Lauren M & Alice and Laura &Jemima won with Lauren A and Lereesa winning 3 in the 3rd with many a momentum change in the match. In the second round, Lauren M &Alice lost 7-5, 7-5 despite a valiant effort whilst Lauren A & Lereesa and Laura &Jemima won in 2 sets. 5-1 to Bucks and the win is confirmed. Final round was another strong one leaving overall score 7-2 to Bucks.
Day 5- Bucks vs Nottinghamshire
Playing against the group leaders on the final day, we knew we had to get as many rubbers as possible to guarantee staying in Group 3, there was a chance we could go down! Laura & Jemima win 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 in the first round and 6-4, 6-2 in the second round whilst Lauren A & Izzy (back on the court for the first time since Monday) and Amelia & Lauren M lose in straight sets in both rounds. 4-2 to Notts and they need one more rubber to win the group. Lauren A & Izzy win 6-1, 6-1 and Laura & Jemima win 7-6(8), 6-4 whilst Amelia & Lauren M lose 6-0, 6-1 leaving the final score 5-4 to Nottinghamshire. Despite the loss we had secured our place in Group 3 for 2020 despite a rollercoaster of a week.
The Frances Charlton award was presented to Alice Patch for her outstanding contribution throughout the week. Alice left everything on the court despite a few moments when she probably would have preferred to be sitting down in the shade but she pushed on to help the team. Alice showed so much resilience and passion when competing and showed a never say die attitude in every point. An inspiration to all.
Report written by Izzy Marshall, Captained by Alison Longfield and Jemima King
A special note
Farewell to Alison “Chitty” Longfield after captaining the Bucks Ladies team for the last 12 years often alongside Jemima. From being cajoled to manage the team with a babe in arms in 2006, to buying ice creams for teenage mascots in later years, Alison saw off numerous counties with the Bucks Ducks to remain in Group 1 County Week in Eastbourne for many of those early years. From the highlights of winning Group 1 in 2013 and 2014 – to visiting Cromer and Ilkley and transitioning in new younger players in lower groups, Alison has supported the team and promoted Bucks tennis, often spotted pacing behind the courts whilst glued to a tight match. Winter County Cup saw many exciting singles and doubles rubbers over the years often on freezing indoor halls in remote locations. The team cannot thank Alison enough for the time and energy she has put into the team. Alison now moves on to become Vice President of Bucks LTA.