Many of our juniors and ex-juniors will have lovely memories from earlier years of the weekend spent at Largs in late May. This has not happened for the last couple of years, while extensive works were carried out at the site, but it was back to Largs again for the Under 13 Anglo-Scottish team event over the last weekend of May. This is team manager Karen Davison’s report on a great weekend.Anglo Scottish U13 team – Largs, Saturday 28th/Sunday 29th May
Team : Girls – Ellen Davison, Lucy Dodd, Charlotte Graham, Amy Ward
Boys – Ollie Edmundson, Charley Robson, Jack Tilbury, Hugh Twelves
Team Manager/Coach: Karen Davison assisted by Joel Dodd (Parent)
Our annual trip to Largs with the U13 County team was held in the newly-refurbished Inverclyde National Sports Centre which not only held the tournament but also provided accommodation and dining facilities for the teams. The weekend was extremely hot and humid with temperatures reaching 27 degrees outside and no air conditioning in the venue: the players did well to cope with all areas being uncomfortably hot.
Our first match on Saturday was against Lothian, always an experienced side, and our team took this match to get used to the hall, environment and occasion: quite a few nerves affected most of our team. Our girls had played in more of these events than our boys but still were outclassed by a strong opposition. The final score was 10-0 to Lothian, with all games being played to 15 points, best of 3, but the third end only to 7, no setting. Our closest score was in Charlotte/Amy’s girls’ doubles, losing 13 & 10.
Next match against Yorkshire was one where we never expect to pick up many ends/games but nevertheless the team weren’t deterred. We were 3 games down before Amy & Ollie picked up a win in the mixed. Another win followed for Charlotte in her singles, playing a girl who she has met on several occasions without success: but today was different, Charlotte triumphing 11-15, 15-11 & 7-3, with the whole team cheering on every point. Next, Lucy won her singles 14-15, 15-9 & 7-2 and we were 3-3 on games. Both boys’ doubles were unable to secure wins but Charley & Hugh managed a 3-end game losing 7-2 in the third. Charlotte/Amy & Ellen/Lucy both secured wins in their doubles matches meaning we drew with Yorkshire…….the team were jubilant and this showed a measure of Northumberland’s progress.
The third match was against Glasgow, again a tough draw. Ellen & Jack came close in their mixed, losing 3-7 in the 3rd. The only win came from Amy/Ollie in mixed winning 7-2 in the 3rd. Charlotte & Amy pushed the girls’ doubles to a 3rd end narrowly losing 6-7. Final score Glasgow 9 – Northumberland 1.
We had to break for tea, which wasn’t good preparation for the final match of Saturday. The team were hot, tired and some hadn’t eaten the only choice of food, myself included.
The fourth match was against West of Scotland: we hadn’t played this county before so weren’t sure what to expect. Jack & Lucy were unlucky not to win their mixed losing 6-7 in the 3rd end. Then Charley notched up his first singles win 15-11, 15-12 but we were unable to pick up any more games until the girls’ doubles. Here Charlotte/Amy & Ellen/Lucy both scored wins in 3 ends, winning 7-5 and 7-3 respectively in their deciders. The final score was West 7 – Northumberland 3.
Sunday, after a decent breakfast we were ready for action again. First up we played Lanarkshire. I had decided to keep the team the same so everyone was used to the discipline they were playing in and who they were playing with. Unable to secure any wins in the boys’ singles we won both mixed doubles pairings of Amy/Ollie 15-6, 15-13 & Ellen/Jack 15-9, 9-15, 7-3. Lucy won her singles in an extremely well fought match which resulted in a win 7-6 in the 3rd end. Both boys’ doubles Charley/Hugh & Jack/Ollie lost their 3-enders 6-7 and 3-7. Charlotte/Amy narrowly missed out on a win with another 6-7 in the third. Ellen/Lucy picked up the last game of this match. Final result, Lanarkshire 6 – Northumberland 4. Although recorded as a loss for Northumberland, this match had been so close and could easily have gone our way. The team fought very hard in the match and perhaps surprised themselves at how well they had done.
The sixth match was against Cumbria. They had the Scottish age-group no. 1 boy playing for them. Charley gave a respectable performance against him in the singles but was unable to out manoeuvre his opponent. We were unable to secure any wins until Ellen/Jack won their mixed game, followed by Charlotte & Lucy both picking up their singles games. Charley/Hugh narrowly missed out on a win in the boys’ doubles losing 6-7 in the third but both girls’ doubles won their games to make the final score Cumbria 4 – Northumberland 6.
After lunch our last match was against Borders, usually a match we would hope to win, so the team were reasonably confident. Again, I kept the team the same. All of the team won a game in this match, but I must congratulate Hugh as he had played and competed all weekend in singles and finally won his match 7-6 in the 3rd end……..the team were behind him with every hit of the shuttle. The final score was Borders 1 – Northumberland 9.
Final placing out of 8 county teams was 6th for Northumberland, very narrowly missing out on 5th place.
I had a fantastic weekend with this team. They behaved impeccably on and off the court and were a pleasure to be with. Unfortunately, a number of the team will be too old for this tournament next year, but I’m sure they will remember it for a long time to come.
My thanks go to Joel Dodd for assisting me all weekend and to the parents who made the journey and supported us in every match, even though they had to watch from the extremely hot and stuffy spectators’ gallery. This team were great and have developed an amazing bond with each other, something that will stand them in very good stead as they take this forward to the next age group.