March 8, 2017 by Jo Pike
Having made an excellent start to the Shires League season with wins against Derbyshire and Northants before Christmas, the U18 Team have subsequently played 3 more rubbers since the beginning of February….
Sunday 5th February vs Yorkshire 2 (Home)
With the team at full strength, Yorkshire 2 were not expected to present a huge challenge – and so it was to be proved! The team started strongly with all 4 mixed pairs recording wins against the visitors; a good position from which to face the singles which followed suit with 3 of the boys and 3 of the girls winning. The score going into the level doubles was 10-2, leaving the home team only 1 win to deal an overall victory. Aspirations ran higher however and all 4 pairs won both their games with only 3 of the 8 going to the 3rd end.
Final score: Leicestershire 18 : Yorkshire (2) 2
Sunday 26th February vs Nottinghamshire (Away)
The recent addition of Izzy Pike to the team roll call came at just the right moment when Sunday morning saw the team assemble with (wo)men down at the Joseph Whitaker School for this important local derby; Eve nursing an injured foot and Ella feeling unwell. Izzy was thrown in at the deep end for her first game playing mixed with Jai who kept the ship steady to record a win, as did Ryan & Eve and Tom & Hritika to make the score 3-1 to the visitors going into the singles
This was a game of 2 halves! All 4 boys recorded straight set wins against their opponents but the girls had no such luck. With 4 strong singles players on the opposite side of the net and the illness and injury facing our girls, it was only newbie Izzy who could convert her efforts into a win. The score going into the level doubles was now 8-4; a clear advantage going into the final games. But things weren’t going to be easy! Jai & Nikhil won both their games and while Martin & Ryan fought hard and took both their games to 3, they were not able to record wins. As Eve & Ella and Hritika & Issy walked on for their games, Leics only needed a single win. Hritika & Issy dug deep to beat the Notts second pair but the girls were unable to convert their other games.
Final score: Leicestershire 11 : Notts 9
Sunday 5th March vs Warwickshire (Away)
The team assembled at Rugby School Sports Centre knowing that this was to be by far their toughest test yet. With both Eve and Ella still not fit to play, Izzy Pike and Jess Allen were called up to step into the breach.
Confirmation that this was to be a challenging day came right from the start with all 4 mixed games being won by Warwks, despite all 4 Leics pairs working hard and both Jai and Izzy and Ryan & Issy forcing a 3rd end. In singles, both boys and girls gave it their all but against exceptionally strong opposition, only Jai and Izzy were able to put wins on the board. Going into the level doubles, Warwickshire were ahead 10-2 and only needed 1 more game from the levels for the overall victory.
The Warwks girls were just too strong for the Leics pairs of Hritika & Jess and the Izsy’s but they didn’t give up and concentrated on putting as many points on the board as possible. The boys fared better with both Jai & Nikhil and Martin & Ryan carving out excellent 3 sets wins against the Notts #2 pair.
Final score: Leicestershire 4 : Warwickshire 16