January 4, 2016 by Laura Cowperthwaite
Notts v Leicestershire 3rd January 2016
Local rivals Nottinghamshire were Leicestershire U15’s second opponents in the Shires League. Leicestershire had beaten Cambridgeshire in their first match convincingly but were well aware of Nottinghamshire’s strong team ….so could they maintain their unbeaten run on this wet and windy day? (Could Laura find the venue??!!)
Leicestershire are always strong in the mixed and started out winning much of the early battles. The first win went to Hritika and Sameer, shortly followed by Eve and Marcus both winning in two. Nott’s pulled one back with Ella And Tom L losing in two fairly close games. If Leicestershire were to win today they really needed Jas and Tom C to win their deciding game against the number one Nott’s pair. A great result in the third game winning 21-14.
After the mixed the score stood at Leicestershire 3 – Nott’s 1.
The singles were next and the initial line ups looked very tough indeed. The first four matches saw three losses for Daniel, Tom C and Ella, with Hritika earning a vital point. The tie now stood at 4-4.
The second round of singles matches on court saw convincing wins for Jas and Eve against their opponents. Sameer fought really hard against a very strong Nott’s player but lost respectively to 14 and 15. The final singles game was a decider in Marcus’s game, with Marcus winning the first 21-15, then was close all the way in the second until losing 21-18. The deciding game again was very close with Marcus bravely battling on after a fall at the back of the court but couldn’t quite regain his earlier performance losing 21-14.
After the singles the score was Leicestershire 6 – Nott’s 6.
The doubles would be key. Could Leicestershire cause an upset?
The boys started off with two losses. Tom C and Sameer narrowly lost against the Nott’s top pair, then Daniel and Tom L fought back really strong in the second game but eventually losing 21-18. This meant for the first time Nott’s had crept into the lead 6-8.
The girls had been performing well so far and both pairings of Ella and Jas, and Eve and Hritika winning their matches. Eve and Hritika winning both games comfortably and Ella and Jas having a nail biting 23-21 win against the top pair in the first, and winning the second more comfortably 21-16.
The manager was ‘tense’ as the match score was pulled back to 8-8, with the reverse doubles to go.
Ella and Jas quickly won against the second pair to 9 and 8. A tougher tie for Eve and Hritika saw a victory to 16 and 14 to secure at least a draw for Leicestershire.
Could any of the boys snatch a vital win? The manager remained ‘tense’ with the score now in Leicestershire’s favour 10-8.
A brilliant display by Daniel and Tom L against the top Nott’s pair reaped no rewards by losing narrowly 21-17, 21-18. The match score now 10-9.
The final action on court was a crowd pleaser with both sets of supporters cheering on their players. Tom C and Sameer won the first game 21-15, but then narrowly lost the second 19-21 to set up a great show down.
The early action was as ‘tense’ as the manager with the Leicestershire boys 4-3 ahead. This amazingly became 13-3 by winning nine points in succession. Surely the boys could continue and secure the win? Nott’s came back though again to 14-8, but then a great smash by Tom C stopped their run of points. The final part of the tie was nip and tuck but Leicestershire held on to their earlier points advantage winning the important decider 21-11.
The team and supporters were jubilant with a tremendous 11-9 win over our nearest rivals.
Therefore, Leicestershire maintain their 100% winning form but have a tougher opponent in Bucks in a few weeks time!
Report by Mitch Dale