A large contingent of players and parents travelled up to Glasgow recently for the Under 12 Anglo Scottish team tournament (previously the Largs weekend). This was a very young and inexperienced team and it was no great surprise that they found the competition pretty tough. The team, which can be seen in the pictures below with their manager Karen Davison, was Amy Ward, Lucy Dodd, Ellen Davison and Amy & Hannah Zheng, Tim Bodani, James Dodd, Ollie Bruce, Matthew Short and Jack Tilbury. Unfortunately, Charlotte Graham had had to withdraw, having recently broken a wrist and we were indebted to the Zheng sisters for standing in at short notice.
First up for our youngsters was Borders: this is usually a close match and so it proved, with four of the ten games going to a deciding third end. There were good wins for Tim/ AmyW in mixed, AmyZ in singles and three of the level doubles pairs (James/ Tim, Matthew/ Jack and Lucy/ Hannah). Matthew in singles and James/ Ellen got very close to wins in their three-enders but the match was lost on points after ending at a 5-all games score. Nevertheless, it had been an encouraging start but the team knew that there would be tougher matches to come. The match against West of Scotland was lost 2-8 but not without some good performances. Matthew and Tim/ James scored good three-end wins and Jack got close in his singles after fighting back to take the second end 15-14 before going down 2-7 in the decider.
Two tough matches against the strong Yorkshire and Lothian teams followed. We were unable to take a game off Yorkshire, although Lucy/ Matthew could not have got closer in their mixed, losing 12-15, 15-13, 6-7. It was a similar clean sweep against Lothian, but this time it was Matthew and James/ AmyW who took their matches into the deciding end. By now, Matthew was beginning to specialise in long three-enders – and he had more to come! The next match was against Glasgow & North Strathclyde and this gave us a 1-9 score through a forfeited girls’ singles. Unfortunately, there was another 1-9 against Lanark with the one success being in a three-ender from, of course, Matthew/ AmyW.
And so, to the last match against Cumbria who had had a close win over Borders. To make things more interesting, the two mixed games had to be replayed as the pairs had played the wrong way round first time through: this gave us two good wins from Tim/ Ellen and Matthew/ AmyW. Lucy chipped in with two wins: she took her singles in three ends and followed this up partnering AmyZ to win their girls’ doubles. Hannah at singles, Ollie/ Jack, Tim/ Matthew and Ellen/ AmyW all got close in their matches but not quite close enough and the match was lost 4-6.
Very many thanks to all the parents who travelled to Glasgow in support but most especially to Karen Davison who looked after the team and provided so much encouragement over the weekend. It was a big learning experience for all of them – but they should all be much the better for it.
Congratulations also to Hannah Zheng who won the award for the most sporting competitor at the event.