It was an early start for the U13s on Easter Sunday, made even earlier by the clock change, as they travelled North across the border for the Lothian U13 Invitation Team Tournament. The team was Ashraf Alam, George Moran, Ben Mathewson, Matthew Huxtable, Emily Harrison, Lexie Howard and Anna Railton, plus Durham’s Hannah Lee standing in for the unfortunate unavailability of Asmita Chaudhari. In their first group match, they were met by a fierce Lothian “A” team: but they managed two good three-end wins from Ashraf in the boys singles and the Emily/Lexie doubles pairing. That match went to Lothian by 5 games to 2 but we bounced back strongly in the next two matches against North East (Scotland) and the Isle of Man to record two convincing 6-1 victories. This put Northumberland 2nd in their group, and into a “semi” against the strong Yorkshire contingent, the winners of the other group. By this time, every one of our team had recorded at least one win and for most of them several successes. Another brave performance saw us go down 2-5 with Ashraf winning his singles and Ben and Matthew successful in their doubles. The last match to be contested was our “final” when we had to play off for 3rd/4th against Lanarkshire. Appropriately, this was the closest match of the day and although we lost 2-5, it was just a couple of very close games and a few key points which slipped away that stopped the score from being 4-3 to us. Ashraf and Matthew/Ben were again successful. Many congratulations to the whole team, all of whom played their part and were a pleasure to be with throughout the day. Particular mention must go to Matthew and Ben, who won all their BD matches except against Lothian “A”, including having nerves of steel to take the 2nd set against IofM at sudden death (21-20) before storming away with the third set 15-8!!
(This is an enhanced version of the match report from Elizabeth Alam: many thanks to her for managing the team, to Hannah for joining us and playing her part so well and to the other parents who travelled to support the team.)