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November 19, 2016 by Laura Cowperthwaite
Sunday 6th November saw a team of 10 Team Leicestershire players and parents heading off up north to Sheffield for the first of this season’s North Midway tournaments.It was the first leg, seven teams entered altogether and it was to be played as a ’round robin’, each team playing all the others.Our first match was against Yorkshire 2, a brilliant start with Tom C and Eve, Marcus and Izzy taking both mixed. In the singles Dan won his convincingly 21-15 and Matt showed great determination and grit to only narrowly only lose his singles 20-21. Next our very own pocket rocket, Tamsin, with her skill and usual cool head won her first singles of the day 21-12 and Emily battled hard in a close fought match losing 19-21.The level doubles saw our ‘sat nav’ team, Tom and Tom, Dan and Matt, Izzy and Jess (fresh from their glittering successes the day before!) and Tamsin and Emily successfully beat off the opposition with 4 straight wins.Leicestershire – 8 Yorkshire 2 – 2Next up was Cheshire, which we knew may be a tougher match. First up was the mixed, Tom L and Emily, winning theirs 21-17, Marcus and Jess met their match and had more of a battle, unfortunately losing 15-21. In the singles it was a clean sweep for Leicestershire with Tom C, Eve, Marcus and Izzy winning all theirs. Next up was the level doubles, Dan and Tom L, our ‘amazon power house team’ reunited, Izzy and Jess, Eve and Tamsin all won theirs, Tom C and Matt lost the only one in a close fought match, only one point in it, 20-21!Leicestershire – 8 Cheshire – 2Yorkshire 1 was the next match! One each after the mixed, Eve and Marcus winning 21-15, Matt and Emily losing 14-21. Boys singles one each, Dan powering through his winning 21-3, Tom C losing 21-14. Girls singles one each, Eve winning her game 21-9, Jess losing a close one 17-21. Boys doubles….one each, Dan and Matt winning 21-17, our sat nav team losing this time 18-21. Last up the girls doubles, cheer leading was in full flow at this point, we needed to break the theme of one each……but it wasn’t to be Tamsin and Emily won 21-13, Izzy and Jess lost this time round 15-21. Our chief scorer Alan was frantically working out the point situation……phew…Dan’s big win and all those close games paid off and the two managers shook hands on the win for Leicestershire by 21 points!Leicestershire – 5 (183 pts) Yorkshire 1 – 5 (162 pts)Round 4 was against Lancashire with their two ‘illegal’ players!! The team were not phased, saw it as a challenge! First up was the mixed, our amazon Dan teamed up with our fearless pocket rocket, Tamsin and had a very close fought match against a very good pair only losing narrowly 19-21, likewise, Tom L and Emily teamed up again, played really well, had a tight battle but unfortunately lost 17-21. On to the singles, Tom C had a comfortable win 21-13, Marcus had more of a battle losing 18-21, Eve also had a comfortable win 21-10, whilst Tamsin met her match this time, losing 15-21. Match score after the singles and mixed 4-2 to Lancashire so we needed to win all four of the doubles to win the match. Boys doubles partnerships Dan and Matt, Marcus and Tom L fought hard but were unable to overpower the Lancashire pairings, losing 15-21 and 16-21. The girls doubles Eve and Emily, Izzy and Jess came through winning both of their games 21-12 and 21-17.Leicestershire – 4 Lancashire – 6Next match saw us playing Northumberland. Mixed pairings Tom C and Eve, Tom L and Emily started the match with two wins 21-19 and 21-13. The singles was a clean sweep to Leicestershire with Dan winning easily 21-7, Matt 21-14, Jess 21-17 and Tamsin 21-13. Level doubles pairs Dan and Tom L powered through their game winning 21-4, Tom C and Marcus won 21-16, Tamsin and Emily won 21-12 and Izzy and Jess succumbed in a close match to lose this time 18-21.Leicestershire – 9 Northumberland – 1It was our turn now to have a very welcome break before the last match of the day against Warwickshire……..the players were given the opportunity to pick the team for this last match and with only one loss, to a team that potentially will have to forfeit some of their games, we wanted this match to be another win to give us first place in this first leg!The team selected, (with only one management adjustment), everyone rested and recharged it was on court for a warm up led by Eve, along with a team talk.First games were the mixed, Marcus and Izzy had a close battle against their first pair losing 19-21, Matt and Emily also fought hard only to lose 17-21. The singles saw Tom C and Matt getting the first wins for Leicestershire 21-12 and 21-18, Eve fought very hard in her game unfortunately losing by that one point 20-21 and Jess also had a tight battle but lost 19-21. Warwickshire were up 4-2 at this point, Leicestershire needed to win all four level doubles to win the match. It was one each to the boys with our Tom L and Dan (playing another Tom and Dan!) winning 21-17 but Tom C and Marcus didn’t manage a win this time losing 14-21. On to the girls doubles, we needed to win both of these to get a draw at least! Izzy and Jess drew on their winning streak from the day before and won their game 21-18. The cheering and noise from the Leicestershire players was ramping up as the last game was battling on…..could Eve and Tamsin get us that win we needed???….. final score 20-21….a win for Warwickshire.Leicestershire – 4 Warwickshire – 6The jury is still out on who the actual winners of the first leg are……..Lancashire won but fielded ‘illegal’ players……..Leicestershire came second…….so may have come first…..watch this space!!Well played to the whole team!!