Over the weekend of Feb 24-27th, counties across the country were competing in the 18U Aegon County Cup.
Norfolk Girls were contesting Group 3 with Dorset, Derbyshire and Sussex in Southampton while the Boys playing at Easton & Otley College Tenns Centre were at home against Wiltshire, Oxfordshire and Cambridgeshire in Group 4b.
Both teams were realistically looking to consolidate in these divisions, with the boys welcoming 5 new players into the team.
On day 1 the Girls took an early lead and kept there noses in front. Recording a 5-4 win over Dorset. Notable performances from Rosie Pooley and Emily Barrett, with both players winning singles and doubles rubbers. The boys found themselves 1-3 against Wiltshire, but Matt Samson changed the tide with a blistering performance. Hitting winner after winner Mr County Cup (as he has become known by the squad) started the comeback. Will Davies playing in his last 18U won the No.1 singles and the team took a clean sweep in the doubles winning all three rubbers. The eventual result a 6-3 win for Norfolk.
Saturday was another outstanding day for both teams. The Girls beating Derbyshire 9-0. Captain Derek Perry was please to see the whole team playing on top form to ensure the team would at least stay in Group 3.
The Boys faced Oxfordshire and again found themselves behind, 1-2. This time a heroic win by Cameron Whiting sparked the recovery, with a fine 3 set victory. Samson was at it again, this time winning in 3 sets and Davies solid as always at No.1, Despite losing Matt Cott to injury the Boys again won all three doubles to claim the tie 7-2.
Both teams were therefore playing in the promotion match on sunday. A great achievement when considering the rankings of the opposition. Players in both teams were beating higher ranked opposition and the Boys were 6/6 in the doubles.
However it wasn’t to be. Sussex proved too strong for the girls, despite singles wins for Vianne Palffy and Monica Raviraj. Monica recovering from 1-4 in the final set. The Boys faced a very strong Cambridge team, whose weakest player is a regular on the Men’s British Tour. A win for Davies was the only victory, but all the team had contributed so much in the hard fought victories of the previous days.
Captain’s Derek Perry and Stuart Silvester now say a reluctant farewell to County Cup stalwarts Talitha Rowan and Will Davies. Both have served the junior teams well over the last 6 years
However there is strength in depth and both teams will be stronger next year. Expectations will be high and promotion the target
Well done to all.
Girls Squad: Monica Raviraj, Vianne Palffy, Talitha Rowan, Rosie Pooley, Eleanor Widdows, Emma Barrett, Frances Evans, Josephine Jarvis
Boys Squad: Matt Cott, Alex Watkinson, Dani Long-Martinez, Matt Samson, Ben Collingwood, Will Davies, Cameron Whiting, Harry Ketteringham.