Northumberland’s Under 14 team travelled north of the border on Easter Sunday to play in the annual Lothian team event. The team, most of whom were at least one year younger than the U14 limit, was: Charlotte Graham, Ellen Davison, Lucy Dodd and Katrina Ho; Hugh Twelves, Jack Tilbury, James Dodd and Matthew Short. Team managers Karen Davison and David Graham sent us the following report.
The six teams all played each other over the course of the day, each match being 10 games, with two of each discipline. Once again, this young team demonstrated excellent progress, competing strongly in every match and playing with confidence gained from recent good performances. Northumberland got off to a great start, recording excellent victories against Isle of Man (6-4) and Lothian B (8-2), with all the players recording at least two wins. Charlotte was involved in two particularly close games, winning 23-21 with James against IOM and 23-21 again with Katrina against Lothian B. Against IOM, Northumberland had started the match extremely well, with wins for both girls’ doubles pairs of Charlotte & Katrina and Ellen & Lucy. We then won both mixed games with the pairings of Charlotte & James and Ellen & Matthew. Lucy also won her singles game and the match was finished with a good win for Jack & Hugh in the boys’ doubles. In the match against Lothian B, our young team performed well in all disciplines with wins in the girls’ doubles, boys’ singles and boys’ doubles.
Despite losses against the habitually strong teams from Yorkshire and Lothian, there was much encouragement to be found in the close games in each match, including two excellent wins in the doubles against Yorkshire from Ellen & Lucy and Lucy & Jack. Ellen & Matthew also got very close in their mixed doubles before losing out 19-21. The match against Lothian A was tough with no wins but a number of the players went close, with James losing to 18 in his singles and Matthew & Hugh losing to 17 at level doubles.
Our last match of the day was against Borders. This saw wins in both girls’ doubles games and both mixed doubles. These were followed by battling singles wins by James and Charlotte, who had both been behind at the change of ends, and then a close 24-22 for Matthew & Hugh secured the win overall at 7-3. Unfortunately Katrina had to retire in her last game due to an injury.
Team Manager Karen Davison was delighted with Northumberland’s success, commenting that “this young and inexperienced team have come so far in such a short space of time. In every match, they bring a little more determination and show more confidence. This was a fantastic result for them and for Northumberland”.