June 2, 2016 by Jo Pike
The Team : Zoe King, Michelle Lou, Chloe Wilkins, Wembley Prince, Hope Warner, Nick Twells, Camron Collens, Jai Chandarana, Matt Cross and Martin Beynon
Leicestershire’s ICT team got ready to embark on what for many members of the team was their last ever ICT. The first morning always seems to take so long, sorting out rooms and photos etc but once all the little bits of admin were done, Leicestershire made their way to the first venue.
Leicestershire’s first two matches were against Essex and Cumbria. Despite thoughts that Essex were going to be a slight banana skin, Leicestershire eased to an 8-2 victory. Special mention to Martin Beynon who in his first ever ICT match recorded an egg, 15-0 victory in the first end of his doubles with Matt Cross.
The second match was against Cumbria which proved no issue with Leicestershire taking the match 10-0.
Third match of the day and with Leicestershire already guaranteed a top half finish, it was crucial to win in order to avoid the mighty Bucks on Day 2. Leicestershire didn’t disappoint taking a 7-3 victory, including an impressive win from Hope Warner and Zoe King against the current U17 National Champions.
Day 2 and Leicestershire were drawn against Staffordshire, Cheshire and Surrey. First up Staffs and this match was a complete team effort with everyone winning important matches to take a 6-4 victory. The same followed as Leicestershire took on Cheshire recording a 7-3 victory.
Last up were Surrey, a team who were seeded to finish in the Top 4. Leicester knew that this could be tight with a possibility of upsetting the odds and putting ourselves into the Top 4. Despite losing the first 2 matches Leicestershire fought back with some impressive wins including some big upsets at second doubles by Matt Cross and Martin Beynon and first singles by Jai Chandarana. But sadly Surrey prevailed 6-4.
Day 3 & 4 and Leicestershire would be playing for places 5-8. The first match was against Hertfordshire, and as all the matches would be for the next 2 days, this looked to be tight. However Leicestershire proved too strong and completely a 7-3 victory. After this the last match of the day against Kent everyone knew their duties and performed a professional job again winning 7-3.
Last match of ICT 2016 was against the surprised package of the tournament Devon, with the winner taking 5th place. Leicestershire refused to let it slip and rounded off an impressive tournament with an extremely tight and nervy 6-4 victory.
A massive congratulations to the players who finished in 5th place, only losing one match in 4 days. As ever, this tournament would not be possible without the army of supporters Leicestershire takes with it, so a massive “Thank You” to all who made ICT 2016 a special tournament.