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14&U Girls County Cup Report

27/28th April, Group 1B, Aylesbury Tennis Club

Team: Papaya Douvall (Park Langley), Molly Dallas (Halton), Moki Chinthaparthi (Halton), Grace Cornhill (Delgado & Lee, Chesham Bois), Mia Krishnan (Delgado & Lee, Gerrards Cross Bull Lane).

Captain: Jemima King


After a successful 12 counties event topping the group against Nottinghamshire, Hereford & Worcester and Bedfordshire, the team went into the event with confidence, but knowing the qualifying group for National finals would be extremely tough with the depth in the opposition’s teams.  There were 6 counties split into two groups of 3 with the winner of each group battling it out for a place at the National finals in Nottingham.


Here are a few highlights from the weekend:


Saturday 27th April: Bucks 0 South Wales 6 – The first battle for the weekend was the weather, with the forecast maxing at 10 degrees, with wind and rain all weekend. However, this didn’t dampen the team’s spirits and they all handled the conditions brilliantly and got on and competed. S. Wales were the top seeds in our group, so we knew they had a lot of depth throughout their team. First up was Moki and Mia at 3rd and 4th singles, they were ready for the blustery conditions with different tactics needed depending on what side they were playing on. S. Wales players started off strong having come off a win against Berkshire in the morning and Mia and Moki, both found themselves a set down. The scoring format is brutal with shorts sets to 4 and no ad deuce, and we didn’t get the last point on many occasions.


However true to the Bucks values the girls showed their resilience and took the 2nd sets. Some fantastic and inspired tennis by both girls with Mia earning a match point but couldn’t get over the finish line and S Wales took both matches. Molly and Papaya up next against players a year older than them and highly ranked. Both girls battled hard, but the opponents had too many weapons for our girls, and we saw defeat in both. Onto the doubles which saw Grace come in to play with Mia and Moki/Molly teamed up. There were some good demonstrations of the doubles work we have been working on in squads, but we weren’t able to put enough pressure on S Wales. Onwards and upwards tomorrow battling against Berkshire for 2nd place in the group and a chance to play against Kent for 3/4th place. 


Sunday 28th April

Bucks 4 Berkshire 2 – A local derby match that we really wanted to win. The girls knew the opposition well with a few of them being club teammates, so there were no surprises on how the opposition played. The forecast for Sunday morning was heavy rain but that didn’t stop us. We were the first county to arrive, warmed up with table tennis and on the squash courts. We practiced in the rain and the girls felt ready to play having got use to the wet courts. The opposition didn’t get much practice time in which left us feeling confident and ready to go. The Bucks singles line up stayed the same and Mia and Moki had a flying start losing only 1 game out of the two matches. Berkshire put up more of a fight in the 2nd set but the girls held their own and held off the comebacks to take both wins. 2-0 up Bucks. Molly and Papaya stepped on court and were up against two players with very differing styles. Molly tried to break the rhythm of her opponent and force errors but the conditions did suit her opponent and Molly couldn’t break her down. Papaya went a set up playing some inspired tennis, taking the ball early and giving her opponent no time at all. However, Berkshire came back and took the 2nd set. Papaya dug deep, played to win, went after every 2nd serve return and smashed through the tie break 10-5. 3-1 Bucks, knowing we needed one more win to seal 2nd place.


We made a change and put Mia and Papaya as 2nd pair. They were an inspired partnership and carrying the confidence from their singles wins made light work of their opponents winning 4-0 4-0!!! Victory was ours. Molly/Moki couldn’t find the execution on their game points and lost in two tight sets. Next up was Kent, 3/4th play off!


Bucks 3 Kent 3 (Kent won in a doubles shootout) – On paper we were the underdogs with their top 5 players all in the top 100 UK 14U rankings. This however only made us more motivated to fight. We made a change in the singles and Grace came in at 3rd singles with Mia at 4, Moki 2 and Papaya 1. The rain started falling but the girls were brilliant and there was zero complaining. Grace fought hard and got to so many game points but her experienced opponent found a way to put the pressure on Grace and take the win. Mia walked on the court feeling confident having played great against Berkshire. She made light work of her opponent, played some inspired tennis and won 4-1 4-0.  2-1 up with Papaya to compete against an opponent ranked 20 in the UK. Kent were too consistent in all areas and took the win.


Down to the doubles. We kept the same pairings as Berkshire, with Papaya and Mia digging deep to put out a 10-8 win the 3rd set. Moki/Molly inspired by the 2nd pair went after their opponents, came from a set down but lost 10-5 in the 3rd. Shoot-out time. One player from the 1st and 2nd pair, Moki and Mia stepped up. Kent, however were on the front foot from the beginning and took the win. A valiant effort from the whole team to nearly get the win.


We knew it was going to be a tough weekend but it’s a great achievement to have qualified to play in this group and the girls certainly learnt a lot from the matches they played and had a great time spending time with their friends, representing Bucks and displaying the Bucks values – teamwork, resilience and humility.

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