The U14 Gils team of Emily Barrett, Mia Bartram, Josephine Jarvis, Eleanor Widdows and Hannah Wilson-Kemsley travelled with Captain Neil Plaskett and assistant Charlotte Groves to Woodford Wells, Essex. They were set the task of trying to win their regional group against teams from Suffolk, South Wales, Bucks and Hampshire & IOW.
The first day put the girls against Bucks. Three quick wins for Emily Barrett, Mia Bartram and Eleanor Widdows put Norfolk 3-1 up after the singles. Up came the doubles and win both pairs winning gave Norfolk a comfortable 5-1 victory.
Day two was always going to be a physical demanding and long day as Norfolk were scheduled to play two matches against both Hampshire & IOW and South Wales. The day started with the singles against a very tough Hampshire & IOW opponent. Hannah Wilson-Kemsley came in at number 4 making her debut at U14 County Cup. Unfortunately Hampshire proved to be too strong in the first 3 singles putting them into an early 3-0 lead. With Emily on against their number 1 player who has a higher rating and ranking. With the match lasting over 2 hours, Emily played some brilliant tennis but unfortunately just losing 7-5 6-4. Emily can take great credit from the match as at times was clearly the better player. With the doubles to go on Hannah and Eleanor won their match winning a close match tie-break 11-9 saving 3 match points in the process. Mia and Josie were beaten but the number 1 pair making the final match score 5-1 to Hampshire & IOW.
Next up was South of Wales. Hannah once again played a 4 and picked up her first singles win winning in an up and down battle. Eleanor played at 3 and with the match going one then the other managed to turn a 5-1 deficit in the final set into a 7-6 win. A really great effort from Eleanor. Again Emily went on at number 1. With a slow start Emily managed to pick herself up find a way to turn the match around finally winning in 3 sets in around 2 and half hours. Mia Playing at number 2 found a tough opponent and wasn’t able to make it a clean sweep. Mia did turn it around and gain a win in the doubles with Josephine. Both players played really well and with a new inspired handshake between points won the match. Emily and Eleanor wrapped up the tie with a win making it 5-1 to Norfolk.
The final day brought up the derby match against Suffolk. With Hampshire already winning the division it was a battle for second place. Eleanor was first up at number 4 and again managed to turn a slow start around securing a win making it 3 wins out of 4 over the weekend. Suffolk players 1, 2 and 3 showed slightly more experience gaining wins in all of those matches putting them 3-1 up. The doubles went on together after a long rain delay. With all players really fighting Suffolk finally came through making the final score 5-1 to Suffolk.
The Girls showed great commitment and desire over the weekend and were a credit to the County. Both Neil and Charlotte were happy with the girls performance and behaviour over the course of the weekend.