March 15, 2017 by Jo Pike
12th March 2017
Following round 1 of the Midway, Leicestershire started the 2nd round in 2nd place. The players rose to the challenge beating Cheshire in match one 8 – 2 with some clinical play in the mixed doubles followed by some outstanding performances in the singles to take a commanding lead and a good win.
Nottinghamshire again gave us a great challenge in a very even and competitive match. The mixed was shared with even points difference. In the singles, Baptiste dug deep to come from behind and take a well-earned singles victory whilst still relatively new to the sport. Fallon put on a commanding display. Things didn’t fare so well in the doubles with three pairs, although playing hard and fighting for points, just missed out. Big and thoroughly deserved win from Matilda and Sansha kept the match to 5 – 5 with Leics taking the spoils by just 11 points. A credit to all for keeping their heads up and taking everything they could.
Our next match was against Yorkshire 1 who, like Notts, had a real go at us. We had a very positive start with Will & Fallon and Baptiste & Carly getting solid wins in the mixed. Carly took the only win in the singles bringing the match to a nail-biting conclusion again in the doubles. Will & Mitchell notched up a very strong win to 5 and Fallon & Sylvie beat a strong Yorkshire pair to 16. The other two pairs, Archie & Baptiste and Sansha & Matilda, both had very tough games knowing that every point mattered. Playing with real heart they picked up enough points enabling us to win the match by a mere 5 points. A real team effort.
Our final match was against the round one leaders Warwickshire. Up to this point, Warwickshire had only dropped 2 games across their first three matches so even a 10 – 0 win could not knock them off the top spot. Could we take more games from them than the others? Could we better our 6 – 4 loss from round one? Game on! Mixed – Mitchell & Carly took a good win 21-8. Archie & Sylvie battled against a very good and experienced pair, narrowly losing out 15-21. Singles – Will finally got the better of his Warwickshire nemesis in an exhibition worthy match with both boys on top form, with Will taking the game 21-17. Carly was clinical beating the very strong Warwickshire singles girl 21-11. Fallon continued playing without fear, took on and got the better of her opponent 21-13. Baptiste took 15 points against a well-established tournament player showing great determination.
Doubles – Will & Mitchell attained their triple in doubles over the Warwickshire pair in what are always close games. Baptiste & Archie had to dig deep against another tournament hardened pair who in the end proved too strong. Up last, the girls doubles. Fallon & Sylvie and Matilda & Sansha (the latter three girls playing up an age group or two) played hard ands with confidence against well-ranked circuit players, earning every point, but were beaten leaving the match at 5 -5, again down to points difference. Unfortunately in this match, we were not able to keep our points difference high enough and we lost by 14 points.
Final result. A great experience and team performance leading to a very well-earned second place and silver medal. Well done Leics U12’s Primary squad – you’ve done yourselves and your county proud.
Report by Adam Sewell, U12 Team Manager